Venom ★★½

“Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!”

Is it a complete and utter mess with no tonal consistency? Sure it is, but it’s an oddity that’s also kinda fun. This is my second time watching and I still don’t know what to make of it. In fact, I’m almost certain the people didn’t know what to make of it while making it. It’s tonally all over the place, with such a generic story and set pieces. 

Tom Hardy clearly thinks he’s in a comedy movie, and thus delivers a brilliant comedic performance, but does it match the rest of the movies tone? No, not at all. Sometimes it wants to play Venom like he’s a horror villain and then the next scene he’s bickering with Brock like it’s a buddy cop movie. It’s such a confused mess of a movie that plays just about everything plotwise too safe but then Hardy is there just doing his thing.

Any scene not involving Brock/Venom is rather dull and lifeless, with the plot itself just being forgettable and bland. Even with cast members like Riz Ahmed and Michelle Williams who are both totally wasted. But then in the next scene Tom Hardy does something incredibly bizarre or amusing and the film wins me over. I mean, that lobster tank scene is played incredibly well by Hardy, and it’s such an odd moment but he plays it so well. He’s incredibly likeable and the back and forth with Venom is always a lot of fun played out on screen. 

It’s certainly not a good film, and misses just as much as it hits. I’m kind of hoping the sequel just let’s Hardy do what he wants, as it’s clear that he’s the one lifeline this movie series has.

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