Monster mess just doesn’t cut it
– I could’ve done without one scene where he yelps in fear and his lame ET joke – there’s rarely a dull moment when Hardy gets into full flow, peaking with a surreal scene where he hops into a water tank and eats live lobsters.
It’s a pity that director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) waits nearly an hour to unveil Venom in all his glory – and the effects used to bring him to life are very hit and miss.
Despite a sharp tongue and cool attacking powers, including using an unfortunate man to beat up other men, the Venom character is also neutered by the studio’s lack of conviction in aiming for the movie’s initially-speculated R rating – or 18 certificate for us Brits.
Hardy apart, the cast is remarkably unremarkable; while Michelle Williams (Anne Weying) and Riz Ahmed (Carlton Drake) aren’t given much to work with by the script – the latter playing the most generic villain imaginable who even dresses in black – they both sleepwalk their way through the flick with less energy than an insomniac after an hour on a treadmill.
The dialogue gets progressively worse and we rush towards an unsatisfying climax hindered by the standard CGI-heavy showdown that lets down many a comic book film.
Like 2015’s Fantastic Four, this feels like it’s missing a few beats, lending credence to Hardy’s claims that 40 minutes of his favourite scenes were cut.
If Venom had come out 15 years ago I may have enjoyed it more; but genre standards have risen so high that misguided, erratic fare like this just doesn’t cut it any more.