Venom is probably one of my favorite movies that is not… very good. I fully acknowledge that it isn’t a particularly good movie, but I do find it very entertaining and diverting.
A lot of that is due to Tom Hardy in the dual role of Eddie Brock and Venom, which is… really good. His accent is strange, but he does a really excellent job with the odd performance required of him.
However, it does show some signs of being a rewrite of a rewrite. For instance, the beginning of the movie sees the symbiote Riot in the body of a dying American astronaut. He’s loaded into a Malaysian ambulance and is being driven to the nearest city, when he decides to hop into the body of the accompanying EMT, presumably because the astronaut is too far gone. So far so good.
But for some reason, the first thing he does after possessing the EMT is… kill the driver… while the ambulance is still moving. Unsurprisingly, the ambulance is wrecked. Why did he do that? If he had just possessed the EMT and sat there patiently, he would have gotten to the nearest city (his intended destination) in a very short amount of time. By killing the driver and causing the vehicle to flip, he made it so he has to WALK to the nearest city, which takes a considerable amount of time and energy, especially since he has to fix the EMTs broken leg.
And of course, there’s the infamous timeskip error. After reaching the nearby city, Riot consumes some eels and kills various innocent Malaysian townspeople, only sparing an elderly lady. He swaps bodies (for some reason), possessing the elderly lady… and there’s immediately a six month timeskip. A few scenes later, we see Riot-as-elderly-lady again, at an airport. What WAS he doing for those six months? Playing shuffleboard? Griping at the grandkids with their Twitters and TikToks? Talking about how much better things were in her day?
Riot’s questionable choices kind of continue when he gets to San Francisco, now in the body of a little blonde girl who just… walks right into the Life Foundation building. Wouldn’t it be easier to swap out into a security guard and not have to worry about someone trying to stop Riot on the way in, and possibly setting off the alarm?
Then again, the security at the Life Foundation is not very good, since obviously Eddie was able to break all the way into the cells with the alien-infected people. Eh, I guess they just wanted the creepy factor of a possessed little girl sauntering up to Riz Ahmed, rather than Carlton Drake being chased through the building by a burly security guard.
But now, something positive.
A lot is said about the relationship between Eddie and Venom, and I’ll admit that it is a wonderful odd-couple relationship. But I also like the interactions between Eddie and Dan, the man is now dating Eddie’s former fiancee, Anne.
Now, in most movies, the Other Man is a douchebag of some kind. He has to be a bad person, because that’s the most immediate and cheapest way of showing that the Love Interest should ditch him and get back together with Our Hero. Of course, it makes the Love Interest look like an idiot for dating him in the first place when he’s so clearly a douchebag, and it’s completely unrealistic because people who date your exes are likely not bad people, but…
Anyway, I really like that except for a bit of awkwardness when they first meet, there’s no jealousy or assholery in the relationship between Eddie and Dan. Dan is depicted as a genuinely good, kind, unselfish person who admires and wants the best for Eddie, and even keeps Eddie from being hauled away by the police by claiming that Eddie is his patient. There’s zero hostility towards a man who was engaged to his girlfriend six months ago.
And Eddie, in his turn, clearly wants Anne back, but shows zero hostility towards Dan. Like I said, he seems a little awkward when they first meet, but he’s never antagonistic, and he never says a mean thing about Dan. He meekly accepts Dan’s medical help, and even asks for his advice. In fact, when Venom attacks Dan, Eddie blurts out, “I’m killing you! I’m so sorry!”
So yes, Venom has some flaws, and I fully acknowledge that these are flaws even though I like the movie. But it also has some good points that many “good” movies don’t possess, and I really do like the depiction of Dan.