Whew. After The Bunny Game even the more, uh, worldly and jaded of us here at Castle Blogferatu felt the need for a bit of a palate cleanser. Something light and refreshing…
In truth, I debated writing this one. I mean, for one thing, some people may not classify this as a horror movie. Sometimes I worry about that, but several good and dear friends of mine routinely point out that A) I worry too much about audience, B) it is my damn blog (which I get paid zero for writing), and C) anyone who claims to have the ultimate definition of the genre, well, we’ll just say the truth is not in them.
Also it’s a Marvel flick, and I’m ironically not all that into comic book movies. But it’s Venom. I’ve loved Venom since that day in 1984 when Peter Parker stumbled upon the wrong machine on Battleworld. True, Venom doesn’t follow this story arc, but the “Planet Of The Symbiotes” arc from the Venom: Lethal Protector series. But enough of that. Let’s talk movie.
I should point out the fact that I’m not the biggest Tom Hardy fan (much to the dismay of my friend Angela over at The Late-Night Picture Show). He was fine in Fury Road, but I liked Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult more. On the other hand, I loved Hardy as both Krays in Legend. He played the roles well, and his look was positively eerie. Check him out, actual Ronnie Kray in black and white:
Venom got fairly mixed reviews three years ago, and I kinda wrote it off for a while. Then I saw a trailer somewhere between February and now, and it sparked something. Little bit of backstory, along with horror, I’m a big fan of violent, destructive, single protagonist vigilante justice. Batman, Josey Wales, Paul Kersey, Dirty Harry, Dexter, High Plains Drifter, you get the idea. Then I saw the clip where Venom monologues on the guy shaking down Mrs. Chen at her convenience store and asks “Do you feel me?”
I was smitten.
Further, I was deeply impressed that Hardy voiced Venom as well. Based on all Venom’s comic appearances that I’ve experienced, Hardy gives him the exact voice I would have imagined. I mean, look at that dialogue bubble. How the hell could it sound like anything else?
Plus he’s got some fantastic, Deadpool like lines, especially when he and Eddie argue in Eddie’s head. Now, I do love me some Deadpool, but to be fair Venom’s appearance predates Deadpool’s by a good few years. Plus plus, Reynolds gives Deadpool a fine air of mentally off-balance sarcasm while Hardy delivers even Venom’s outlandish one-liners with a gleefully mismatched matter-of-factness.
As I was saying, given some of the parameters of this movie, I wasn’t originally itchin’ to watch it, but that gave me the perfect perspective for going into the movie in the first place. Instead of setting the bar too high and thinking “Okay impress me,” I just didn’t even set a bar. Kinda like the first time I ever saw the 1977 Rankin/Bass Hobbit (y’know, the good one). I’d read it but nothing beyond it, so I wasn’t steeped in the lore.
In both cases I was surprised. I wasn’t at first. Before Eddie and Venom “team up,” things move just a little slow. The big motorcycle chase has some coolish moments, but this ain’t supposed to be Baby Driver, so it goes on a bit longer than it needs to. I like how Hardy handles Eddie Brock, but man I love the personality he gives Venom–even more so the interaction and arguing between the two:
Eddie: “Yeah it’s a term of endearment, that’s all.”
And that kids is some primo shit right there. Most everything in this movie is super entertaining. Like Deadpool before it, Venom was fun, an absolute blast to watch. I’m officially calling it my current favorite sci-fi horror action comedy. True, I can’t think of anything else to put on that list right now, but surely there’s a sequel coming. And now, time for Tater Tots. And chocolate.
BODIES- I’ve only watched once, so my own count isn’t official. From what I’ve looked up, I’ve seen it range from 51 to 99
For purchase (not rental) on Apple TV, Google Play, Prime, Vudu, YouTube