Talk about an uneven film!
On one hand, Tom Hardy is fantastic in Venom – an antihero comicbook film set in the Spiderman universe featuring the web-slinger’s most famous adversary. Hardy’s got a ton of charisma, and he does a phenomenal job arguing with himself as a strange alien organism starts to take control of his body. It’s the kind of performance that you can’t wait to see more of in a sequel (which will probably happen seeing as how the film is a huge success).
Unfortunately, the rest of the film can’t live up to Hardy’s performance. First off there’s a ton of CGI here, and not all of it is good. In fact, the final 15 minutes are overstuffed with shoddy effects that are just plain disorienting; you can barely tell what’s going on and who’s fighting who, which really robs the film of its impact.
Moreover, Venom suffers from cheap baddie syndrome. That’s right, the film’s villain is a horrendous bore in every way. A superhero is only as good as the antagonist he goes up against, and Riz Ahmed (who was incredible in The Night Of) is saddled with the exceedingly dull Carlton Drake. The less said about Michelle Williams as the requisite love interest the better; she’s severely miscast.
But hey, at least there are some funny one liners and a couple of memorable action beats.
Tom Hardy is excellent, but Venom can’t match his talent. This is an entertaining but highly flawed superhero flick.