Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Venom

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know the drill, I watch a movie and blog about it.  This time out, we're doing the surprise hit of the fall of 2018, Venom.  I originally watched & blogged on January 13, 2019.

Well, even though we love seeing Spider-Man pal around with the Avengers, the truth is that Sony still technically owns the movie rights to Spider-Man and his wonderful web of characters.  Riding on Marvel's coattails, Sony is hoping to build their own cinematic universe out of Spider-Man's supporting players.  And we get our first one with Spider-Man's arch-enemy-turned-anti-hero, Venom

Like a lot of people I was curious to see how they were going to remove Spider-Man from the Venom equation.  The Coles notes of the Venom origin:  Spider-Man acquires an alien symbiot that enhances his powers.  Thing is, this symbiot is an alien life form and it's turning Spider-Man evil.  So, Spider-Man manages to reject it.  The symbiot soon comes into contact with Eddie Brock...a disgraced former Daily Bugle reporter who blames Peter Parker for ruining his career.  The symbiot grants Brock powers very similar to Spider-Man's, along with being bigger and stronger than Spider-Man, and now, as Venom, they set out to destroy Spider-Man. 

So, how do they do it in the film?  Eddie Brock is a cable news reporter, with his own show, and a reputation for rankling feathers and asking uncomfortable questions.  He's assigned a fluff piece to interview super-scientist Carlton Drake about his research company the Life Foundation.  Brock's fiance is a lawyer who's currently suing the Life Foundation, so Brock digs through his fiance's files to find some dirt on Drake.  Using this dirt, the interview takes an uncomfortable turn, Drake gets Brock fired and Brock's fiance fired, destroying Brock's relationship. 

Flash forward a few months.  Brock is broke, living in a rundown apartment, and he's approached by a whistle blower working for Drake.  Drake found...something on one of his deep space probes, and the body count is rising as Drake experiments on it.  The whistle blower sneaks Brock into the Life Foundation one night, where Brock finds the symbiot.  And before you know it, Brock and symbiot bond as Venom to take down Drake before he unleashes symbiots on the world and destroys it.

As superhero films go, it's pretty run-of-the-mill, but what makes it entertaining is Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock.  The dude just goes for it, and he's constantly switching from dark and brooding to slapstick comedy as he's trying to figure out what exactly is going on with him.  And then, when the Venom symbiot starts talking to him, the two get a bit of a buddy cop thing going.  And Venom's thoughts are hilariously violent.  It's just pure wackiness. 

So, yeah.  Venom offers nothing new in the superhero genre, just a wonderfully entertaining Tom Hardy.

No comments: