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Film Review: Venom (2018)

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SYNOPSIS:

When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.

REVIEW:

Straight off the Marvel shelves of new movies and exciting characters, we are again revisited by the villain Venom. Though unlike previous films of this universe that have introduced villains per way of Spiderman films, we have the induction of a sole feature dedicated to one if its key villains. Quite a change for the status quo of previous super hero films, this movie actually feels darker and more specific to a borderline horror-meets-science fiction movie. Venom who we have grown up on as one of Peter Parker’s nemesis gets the spotlight this time removing any mention of the friendly neighborhood Spiderman to allow it s creature to emerge on its own. Helming that responsibility is feature actor Tom Hardy who plays the role of Eddie Brock / Venom.

Jumping right in….. Eddie Brock is a freelance investigative journalist who has made a name for himself on the Internet with his coverage reports. When he decides to tip the scales on a powerful company named Life Foundation, he sets into motion, a career and relationship downward spiral. Emotionless CEO Carlton pushes his weight around in the city while conducting secret experiments with symbiotic life forms (4 of which return on a probe sent into space).

As Brock tries to patch up things with former fiancee Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), he also continues his quest for private investigation which reluctantly exposes him to one of these symbiotics. This host takeover arrives in the form of a dark entity self-named “Venom”. Brock unaware of its parasitic invasion is taken over as Venom comes to the surface. The other remaining life forms attempt to inhabit others but fail to survive due to complications with their hosts. Brock now fueled by Venom creates a bizarre Jekyll and Hyde relationship that invokes Venom when confronted, in danger, or just generally pissed off. The enjoyment from this merge arrives with the spectacular Fx work presented that gives Brock a form of super human abilities.

Now getting right into the experience itself, I absolutely loved this film! The special FX work was dazzlingly creepy giving this perhaps one of the first Marvel films to head off the beaten path and dive right into the original terrifying nature of this creature. Movie watchers will undoubtedly make comparisons to recent film “Upgrade” which works in similar fashion. As the entity takes over, a voice begins to emerge telling its host what to do and when to do it. Better yet, also like “Upgrade”, the entity itself takes over using the host as its puppet.

It’s a stellar showcase of FX work that will quickly bring us back to the days of Jim Carey’s rubbery FX rooted visuals seen in the film “The Mask”. The extra abilities brought on by Venom’s presence make for a fun ride that gives the film its quirkiness and elastic qualities.

Eater Egg: The post credits scene “does” set the stage for the future inclusion of villain “Carnage”. I really didn’t think this was too much of a reveal as most viewers will not recognize the comic book suggestion.

I can’t say whether or not this will launch a platform for Villain films, but it certainly feels like it. As a dedicated Marvel fan and former comic book enthusiast I would welcome this new trend to give our villains a proper introduction paving the way for more super hero showdowns ahead.

Is the material too dark for children? I’d say it depends on the parents takeaways from their experiences. Certainly younger kids might find it a bit to chilling for their tastes, however teens may make the connections between their comic book experiences and this live action presentation.

Enuff said, Venom is one of the better Marvel universe films to emerge this year. A great experience and a worthy sci-fy action film supported by great acting performances. You really can’t not have fun with this one….. It’s refreshing to see a villain take center stage, but even better under actor Tom Hardy’s acting dynamics.

Venom is now available on blu ray per Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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