VENOM: Bizarre Yet Totally Awesome

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VENOM: Bizarre Yet Totally Awesome

Tom Hardy at San Diego Comic Con, discussing his film

Tom Hardy at San Diego Comic Con, discussing his film "Venom". Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tom Hardy at San Diego Comic Con, discussing his film "Venom". Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tom Hardy at San Diego Comic Con, discussing his film "Venom". Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Holly Middleton, Sports Editor

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BEWARE: Spoilers ahead!

This past summer I had the pleasure of attending San Diego Comic Con, where pop culture is the religion and binge watching movies and TV shows is the practice. There, surrounded by my fellow nerds aplenty, I was able to watch a trailer and a 8 minute clip of Sony’s highly-anticipated Venom, starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed.

Instantly, I was amazed at a man who could, with the help of an alien life-form, morph himself into an enormous humanoid monster that is capable of massive amounts of destruction (and sass, but we will get to that in a moment).

The premise of the film was about a reporter named Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy) who had lost his home, his job, and his fiancee due to one man – Carlton Drake (played by Riz Ahmed). Drake is a billionaire and owner of an independent space exploration company that shadows its nefarious human testing under the guise of a charitable pharmaceutical giant. While Eddie Brock is trying to expose Carlton Drake for his human testing that kills more than cures, Drake sabotages Brock’s life and causes him to lose everything.

However, when one of Drake’s rockets returns home, it brings with it a few alien life forms that change Drake’s plans for his “pharmaceutical” company. He seeks to bond these aliens with humans to create a being that can survive in any kind of environment. But it isn’t easy. Subject after subject perishes, and he loses one of his aliens, dubbed a “symbiote”, to Eddie Brock. This specific symbiote is called Venom, and he and Eddie instantly bond without fail.

The film goes on to reveal that the remaining symbiotes’ plan is to go back to their planet and bring back more of their kind to earth, in the hopes of each symbiote finding a human host. Once they bond, the remaining or rejected humans would become a food source. The leader of the evil symbiotes, Riot, bonds with Carlton Drake (who is just as evil as him) and together they seek to pursue this mission. However, Venom and Eddie thwart their plans by blowing them up in a rocket, and the movie closes with Eddie getting his job back, rekindling a friendship with his former fiancee, and choosing to keep Venom around…just in case.

Unfortunately, after an anticlimactic and cheap-looking teaser trailer came out in September that barely featured the titular character, the excitement for Venom was greatly flattened. People feared that the 4-second clip of some animated bargain-Venom was an accurate projection for how the October 5th premiere would go; way more boring than people expected. Senior and comic book lover Allison Armanino expressed her worries at the time, saying “I had felt like Venom was barely going to be in it. Not only that, but I thought the guy playing the main character (Tom Hardy) may have been the wrong choice to play Eddie Brock.”

Seniors Allison Armanino and Holly Middleton line up to get into the Venom premiere, donning free Venom masks that were given out on premiere day. Photo by Holly Middleton

However, upon the release of the movie, Allison and many other students shared their surprised contentment with the story that Sony presented, casual moviegoers and superhero fans alike.

Sophia McGuire ‘19, a newbie to the superhero film genre, shares her enjoyment with the film. “I loved Venom so much because I’m not a huge Marvel fan and generally, when I watch marvel movies I get bored or can’t follow the storyline; however, I was able to be completely engrossed in the entirety of Venom, and not only did I understand everything that happened, but I was actually super invested and didn’t want it to end! I also loved the friendship between Eddie and Venom, it was really entertaining!” She looks forward to the sequel that may be coming in 2020.

Servite students as well enjoyed the Sony/Marvel film. Senior Jack Peterson tells the Royal Reporter, “Venom was a pretty good movie and frankly the criticism it drew from critics was unwarranted. Tom Hardy does an excellent job as Eddie Brock and Venom, and he fits the role perfectly. In terms of movies I’ve seen that involve a giant alien biting off people’s heads, Venom is definitely in the top three.”

Venom, at times, found itself a little too stuck in the standard conventions of a comic book film, and had a villain whose only motivation was to cater to his massive ego. The supporting characters have quite thin personalities, but what they lack is made up by a fantastic performance by Tom Hardy. From his last superhero movie in The Dark Knight to his comedic performance in 2012’s This Means War, Hardy has gotten better and better at acting and stretching his skills to fit any genre.

This film overall wasn’t the smash hit Avengers: Infinity War was, but it had the potential for the beginning of a successful franchise. The Royal Reporter gives Venom a grade of B+. See it in theaters soon!

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