I keep trying to write a genuine review for this movie but am having the hardest time. Partially because this movie does not really earn any real critique or discussion. Partially because the review over at Birth Movies Death does a much better job of discussing what doesn’t work and what does (mostly unintentionally) work for this movie. But Kyle told me I had to write something, so here is just stream of consciousness sentences that came to mind while I read the Wikipedia plot summary for this movie.
–Venom is the best romantic comedy of 2004.
-I’m convinced that Riz “Elon Musk” Ahmed’s character’s company is called the Life Foundation as a reference to the people who thought that Jake Gyllenhaal/Ryan Reynolds space movie was a prequel to this.
-At one point, the evil Symbiote Riot kills a bunch of people in Malaysia and then attaches himself to an elderly woman who needs a cane to get around. This isn’t even the weirdest person Riot attaches itself to.
-Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a new reporter who seems best known for his hard-hitting investigations, and his boss inexpiably sends him to interview the clearly evil head of a company for a fluff piece. Eddie’s “I don’t know why he’s sending me to do this” is the most sensible thing anyone says in this movie.
-The idea of Tom Hardy playing everyman reporter Eddie Brock is genuinely one of the weirdest parts of this movie.
-Jenny Slate’s Dora Skirth, a doctor with a conscience at the Life Foundation, sneaks Eddie into the company so he can see the research Not-Elon-Musk is doing to homeless people, but then seems to forget that cameras exist, and just makes it very clear that she is helping him through every stage of this building.
-As soon as Tom Hardy gets infected by the Venom symbiote, this movie becomes something truly magical in the best/worst ways.
-Tom Hardy as Eddie and Tom Hardy as Venom’s voice have more chemistry than almost any other romantic pairing in the superhero movie genre.
-Tom Hardy commits to this role more than anyone really should have, and for that, we should be so grateful.
-There are sequences early in Hardy being infected where I truly believe that director Ruben Fleischer just said “we will let the audience determine what I want the tone to be here” and each time that it happened I chose to believe that it was meant to be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
-Tom Hardy ends up in a lobster tank in a very fancy restaurant, where he eats one of the live lobsters. Please see the above statement.
-I would say about 30% of the dialogue in this movie is between Eddie and Venom, and that percentage should have been closer to 100%.
-I’m fairly certain the last half of this movie takes place in the span of a single night, which is wild when you think about a second planned mission to space is ready to go despite having never been discussed previously.
-Venom briefly possesses a very small dog, and then makes eye contact with Eddie’s ex, attorney Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). The next time we see either of them, Venom has inhabited Weying’s body (which is way more sexual than it needed to be), and I mostly just want to know what understanding Venom and Weying came to, and how that happened while Venom possessed a dog.
-Venom and Eddie make out in this movie. Yes, it is while Venom is possessing Weying, but later in the movie we find out it was Venom’s idea. I told you this was the best romantic comedy of 2004, and I meant it.
-We learn that Venom has decided not to help Riot kill the entire planet because of his relationship with Eddie, but also because he was a loser on his home planet and he doesn’t want to be a loser again.
-At one point, both Venom and Riot have detached from Eddie and Not-Elon-Musk, respectively, and the movie expects us to believe that Riz Ahmed could get a few good hits in on Tom Hardy in a fight. Honestly, I think it’s the least believable part of this movie.
-Venom theoretically sacrifices himself at the end of the movie, which, I mean, isn’t earned, because Venom is clearly deeply selfish, but then it’s revealed he wasn’t dead, and we get zero explanation of that.
-Venom tells Eddie that “we will win Anne back.” I then spent most of the rest of the day trying to figure out how that polyamorous triad would work. It was upsetting.
-Stan Lee gets his requisite cameo in, and in it he suggests that he understands that Venom exists inside of Eddie, and Eddie seems pretty chill with this.
-The infamous “turd in the wind” scene from this movie’s final trailer is this movie’s final scene. They went all in on that, and honestly, that makes so much sense to me.
-Just in case you forgot what movie you saw, Eminem’s song that plays over the end credits says “Venom” at least 1,764 times.
-There’s a mid-credit scene meant to set up the likely inevitable sequel, but mostly all I remember is that they put Woody Harrelson in a Little Orphan Annie wig.
-The end credit scene is just an extended look at the animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and it was probably the only moment in the movie I unironically enjoyed.
This movie is stupid. Bring your friends!