Sean Collier, A&E writer
(Note from the Editor: You may have noticed that we ran a review of Venom by our staff writer and critic James King last week. After reading that article, Sean came to me saying he had a different opinion and offered to write a review himself . In the name of due diligence and providing our readers we varied opinions, we are publishing this article this week. Hope you enjoy it- Taylor Mitchell A&E Editor)
When you ask someone about the movie Venom, chances are you are going to get a wide array of answers. Whether or not the movie is “good” has been a huge argument that brings up the question: What makes a movie good? This is highly dependent on personal preference. In my opinion, there are two factors that should be taken into account: The quality and practicality of the work put into the movie (Camera work, script, acting, etc.) and the entertainment value of the movie. A movie can be badly made, but still be considered a good movie. Venom is somewhere in the middle for me.
In the sense of filmmaking, there are decisions made in the making of Venom that should not work. The script takes a strange pace and the character’s actions don’t feel believable or are too convenient for the plot. The story seems like the fight in the end was written first and everything else was planned around it. Also, the movie seemingly has a hard time deciding what it wants to be: a thriller/ horror movie or a dark comedy. Also, there are confusing shots and some of the actions are hard to follow. That doesn’t mean all of the shots are bad. There are a lot of really interesting shots sprinkled in with all the other generic, confusing ones. My personal gripes don’t have to do with the movie as a whole but rather direction and the weak points of the script. The script lacks having a meaning behind a character’s actions at certain points. Things just…happen, and you are expected to be okay with it.
On the flip side, Venom is a very entertaining movie. It has a lot of really funny moments and awesome action sequences. It is definitely the best portrayal of Venom on the big screen. The moments with Venom and Eddie are interesting enough to keep you invested. Eddie isn’t a throw away character, we get to know him in a very relatable way. It’s shown clearly in the beginning that Eddie has his own moral beliefs and it gets in the way of his career and his relationship. The movie also shows in moments how alike Venom and Eddie are. The symbiotes are not underused either, you are shown what they are and how they function. The movie shows you what Venom is capable of, including some graphic, spine-tingling moments. The primary antagonist of the movie, Carlton Drake, isn’t very memorable, but, then again, he shouldn’t be. When Riot enters the picture, the movie implies how insignificant Drake is in Riot’s eyes. He’s just a tool just like the other people he bonded with. Drake’s beliefs weren’t some half-baked environmental statement either, he had a god complex. Which is shown even with his first monologue. Riot as a villain is more memorable, even if slightly underused. The fight in the end is a conceptual masterpiece in regards to the symbiotes and fans of their ilk. I personally am a fan, and it was awesome.
Venom is definitely a movie that doesn’t outright give you all the story context you need on a silver platter. Some things take a deeper look. If every movie gave you every piece of information on what people are feeling or blatantly go out their way to tell you what is happening like you haven’t been watching the movie at all, NO ONE would enjoy it.
So my verdict is ultimately to go in with an open mind ready for a laugh. It isn’t the best movie ever, but it will satiate your hunger for people and tater tots. With all that being said, this is my opinion. If you disagree with me, that’s totally fine. I’ll respect your opinion if you back it up. In the meantime I’ll go on my merry way and enjoy my “critically bad but entertaining” movie self.