Even with low expectations, we have been watching the development of Sony’s standalone Venom movie with more than a little interest, if only because it seems like such a weird outlier.
This isn’t a Joker situation, where we’re rolling our eyes at the very idea of it (even if we still can’t look away), nor is it a situation where we’re enthusiastic about the potential of something different and a bit unconventional, like with Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool, or even the upcoming Aquaman. Venom is just kind of … there, leaving us kind of fascinated as to why it’s happening separately from Spider-Man at all—that is, except for the obvious answer that Sony is determined to find a way to turn Spider-Man villains into their own franchise.
Now that people have actually seen the movie, and reactions have been allowed on social media, it seems that odd fascination is pretty much warranted. Judging by early reactions, Venom is every bit as weird a movie as you’d imagine, not only drawing multiple comparisons to some of the best-known superhero adaptation disasters, but apparently feeling exactly like the time capsule relic impression we all got from the trailer:
Think Affleck Daredevil. Think Ang Lee Hulk. Think Halle Berry Catwoman. That’s…I mean, that’s really all there is to be said, I think. It’s absolutely bizarre.
— The Mothmeg 🔜 NYCC (@rustypolished) October 2, 2018
#Venom is Catwoman level bad, with Tom Hardy’s worst performance since This Means War.
DON’T SEE THE MOVIE!
— Daniel R (@DanielRPK) October 2, 2018
Now that impressions can be shared: #Venom is pretty much this year’s Fant4stic. Everyone except for Hardy is coasting through their performance… I would hate to have to do press for this movie. #Venom #TomHardy
— Tread Talks (@treadtalks) October 2, 2018
Sorry to say that #Venom is pretty much a complete failure – a tonal mess that feels 15 years old, ignoring the storytelling strides that the superhero genre has made in recent years.
A few fun Venom-centric moments aside, it has nearly nothing to offer. Don’t get your hopes up.
— Tom Horrorgensen (@Tom_Jorgensen) October 2, 2018
That’s not to say no one had anything nice to say about it. In fact, it seems like a lot of whether you come away from the movie in mildly amused confusion or outright hate has to do with whether you’re into watching Tom Hardy turn in a truly bizarre performance. The movie apparently can’t decide whether it wants to fully double down on that or be something else entirely, though, so you’re in for a mixed bag either way.
Not sure if Tom Hardy’s weirdness sabotaged #Venom or saved it, but it has a self-aware cartoonishness, especially in its latter half. It’s not “good,” but it’s better than expected. Doesn’t feel like an R-rated film, am guessing the deleted 40min is just Hardy clowning around.
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) October 2, 2018
I’m *fascinated* with VENOM. The cast seems to all know they’re in a darker superhero movie, except Tom Hardy who is basically remaking Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar. I kinda loved watching this movie, in a Rocky Horror type of way. At one point Tom Hardy and Venom make out.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) October 2, 2018
It’s a testament to the weirdness of this movie that I’m not sure 100% sure whether the make-out bit is a joke or not.
In the end, it seems like a lot of what you get out of the movie will have to do with your expectations going in—frequently the case, but maybe more so in this instance. So, if you didn’t already get the idea that this would not be the refreshing, modern, unique take on Venom that would have been the best-case scenario for the movie, adjust your expectations now, and you may find yourself at least able to get some enjoyment out of a movie whose sheer existence seems surreal.
Significant chunks of #Venom don’t work *at all* but there is some serious charm to the Eddie/Venom relationship. Not sure I had the intended reactions to some scenes but fun is fun – even when it’s totally ridiculous, right? It’s too bad they didn’t go for the R rating though.
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) October 2, 2018
(image: Sony Pictures)
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]