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Posted at: Oct 5, 2018, 5:56 PM; last updated: Oct 5, 2018, 5:56 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: VENOM

Edgy but lacks bite

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Film: Venom

  • Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Marcella Bragio, Jenny Slate, Riz Ahmed, Reid Scott, Michelle Lee
  • Director: Ruben Fleischer
Edgy but lacks bite
A still from Venom

Johnson Thomas

Venom comes across as a silly exercise in aggrandizing an anti-hero. There’s little meat in the story-telling and the bite is pretty much lost in the perverse mayhem orchestrated in the endplay. The narrative doesn’t have a steady, believable tone and the hysterics with symbiotes make it look all the more silly. The fun though lies in the first hour when we see Eddie Brock (Hardy) battling his inner demon and going all over the place in his efforts to gain control. That’s when he realises the worth of his new-found (unwanted though) abilities.

Following his infiltration of Carlton Drake’s (Riz Khan) lab and subsequent infection of the parasitic kind, a group of heavily armed henchmen invaded his San Francisco apartment to take him down. Eddie unwittingly goes one-up on them though- surprised at his own ability to stretch and transform his limbs into sharp, killer weapons.

As the alien force within gains strength, Hardy steps back and CGI takes control- giving in to a blotchy, unwieldy spell of action that is so messed up that it’s not funny. Neither the dialogues nor the silly, riotous action can match-up to Marvel’s regular standard. There is substantial carnage, gunfire and destruction and bloodshed is limited. The film’s action set pieces grow larger in scale but there’s little emotional connection and the visual disarray is untenable. Mathew Libatique’s cinematography may lend lustre to the anarchy but there’s precious little to cheer. Tom Hardy’s attempt to lend intensity to the comic-book anti-hero origin story is the only credible effort in a vehicle that stutters with its many contradictions and picks up more lather than speed as it chugs along to a messy climax.

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