Hello kids today I will be talking to you about a very silly movie I saw called Venom. You know about 4 years ago I was sitting in my journalism class with my friend and she was reading off a Wikipedia list of all the Marvel films planned for the upcoming years up into the 2020s. And I thought “how can they be planning so far ahead I mean surely Americans will be bored of the same old superhero movies after a few years.” But let me tell you, kids, they are not bored. They are still demanding the same old shit year after year and thus hath the market provided. So here we are in 2018 with a really stupid movie with horrible morals and hyperviolence and idiotic female characters who are so sketchily written that they could just be a goose-feather pillow and no one would know the difference and I’m fucking sick of it. I’m sick of it. I’m not even gonna pretend this is a review because it’s not. This is a rant, kids.
Synopsis: Cool-guy investigative journalist Eddie Brock investigates evil science businessman Carlton Drake after Drake’s LIFE Corporation space ship crashes in Malaysia. Eddie is a JOURNALIST who must get the FACTS, but Drake is EVIL and doesn’t want to tell him that he’s secretly conducting fatal human trials with aliens that he picked up off a comet, so he just gets Eddie fired and fires Eddie’s goose-feather pillow girlfriend (her name is actually ANNE but who cares) from her job, too. So Goose-feather dumps Eddie and he suddenly becomes a loser. But not all is lost, because Carlton’s side-kick Jenny Slate (also known for her starring role as the evil sheep in Zootopia) brings Eddie into the lab because she’s suddenly having moral qualms about the whole testing parasitic aliens on vulnerable homeless people thing. Eddie INVESTIGATES and is infected with the parasite, a wise-cracking alien named Venom who sounds like Darth Vader and isn’t such a bad guy even though he likes eating people’s heads. Now it’s a fight between EVIL Carlton Drake and INVESTIGATOR Eddie Brock to save the world from more aliens. It’s all very original, as you can see.
My rant: This film is just so derivative and stupid. It claims to be about a villain, but it can’t even commit to having the villain be a villain. In what other place than in a Hollywood movie would we be so focused on having our main character be a virtuous “good” guy that we gloss over the fact that he’s possessed by a blood-thirsty alien? They completely neutered his character and turned him into a Deadpool-esque joke. The trailer makes it seem like he’s an “enigmatic, complex character” (literally the quote on the Sony Youtube video) but he’s just a wise-cracking idiot who’s possessed by an evil alien. There’s no other way to put it, the alien is evil. He eats people! Are we seriously watching superhero movies where this is portrayed as funny? Where characters getting their HEADS BITTEN OFF is somehow a joke? What the hell is going on?
Besides the bat-shit insane plot, which makes absolutely no sense to start with (how would finding aliens…that we can bond with…help us eke out a life on another planet? We still wouldn’t have fucking oxygen!) even the characters aren’t good. Look, I’m not expecting some Oscar winning narrative or nuanced character development, but Sony, you gotta give us SOMETHING. Tom Hardy is a capable actor, he makes Eddie somewhat charismatic (even though his voice is very high pitched and strange), and he even carries the humorous bits, but he can’t save such a flat character. Like WHAT EVEN HAPPENS in this film? Eddie’s a journalist, then he’s fired, then he’s infected by a parasite, kills a bunch of people, beats up Drake, and then he becomes a journalist again. He doesn’t learn a fucking thing. He doesn’t grow as a character. He’s completely static. Worse, he doesn’t have to make anything like a hard choice in the film because he has NO AGENCY. Everything he does in the film is because of Venom making him do it. So he’s basically a walking meat-suit being piloted by a carnivorous alien who wants to stay on Earth because he feels like a loser with the other aliens. Boo hoo, how sad. He still eats people.
There is something so strange in the way that superhero movies treat death and violence. I mentioned this years ago in one of my first blog posts, but basically, superhero movies don’t treat death like it’s a big deal. They are completely desensitized to it. They increase the desensitization by playing off the mass carnage as humorous, like in one scene where Venom suggests that Eddie decapitate his enemies and take some time to make little piles for their heads and bodies. Like on one hand, that’s absurdly funny. But on the other hand, it’s like WHY THE FUCK ARE WE LAUGHING ABOUT SOMEONE GETTING DECAPITATED? No one has to take responsibility for the violence they commit. No one is held liable or made to feel morally culpable. Drake’s team chases Eddie through San Francisco, totaling dozens of cars in the process, causing enormous property damage, shooting off guns at random, etc, etc. Who knows how many bystanders were killed by stray bullets, or crushed between cars, or disfigured by the myriad explosions? Those sorts of consequences don’t matter in these films because it’s all fun and games as long as no one gets hurt. Or at least, as long as we don’t see it.
I don’t know, guys. These movies are just getting progressively stupider and stupider and yet we’re still paying $13 bucks for this trash and they’re taking #1 at the box office week after week, which means unless someone blows up Disney, we’re gonna get about 15 more of these movies in the next 5 years. It’s so depressing. They’re such shit. They don’t even try. You know how the fucking evil alien got defeated? WITH SOUND. With fucking sound. Literally ALL THEY HAD TO DO TO DEFEAT THIS UNSTOPPABLE ALIEN WAS PLAY HIGH FREQUENCY SOUND!!!! WHAT THE EVEN FUCK!
I’m sorry. I’m so done. I’m very tired. Don’t watch this movie. Re-watch Mad Men instead. That’s what I’m doing. Even Eddie Brock wouldn’t watch this drivel.