<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate

Running time: 1 hour 52 minutes


The film has gotten terrible reviews from the critics, but don’t believe them. Venom is a delightfully silly, scary, screwy romp with a split personality anti-hero that’s far more interesting than most formula Marvel/DC heroes. 

Marvel films and their intense need for continuity and interactivity have created a universe that we’re familiar with now, and somewhat accustomed to. Perhaps that’s why something different – and dare I say it, dark – is viewed as going back to the 80s and 90s superhero films. Venom certainly has that feel about it.


We got a glimpse at Venom in one of the old Spider-Man films (Spider-Man 3) when Topher Grace played Eddie Brock, the reporter infected by an alien symbiote that battles Spidey. That really didn’t do justice to the story of Venom. In this origin story, we get a better sense of this intriguing ‘parasite’ that is brought to Earth (or did they come here themselves??) and infect a few acceptable hosts. One of them is Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an investigative reporter who finds anomalies in Carlton Drake’s (Riz Ahmed) medical research empire. It seems Drake wants to create super humans to survive the Earth’s inevitable demise at the hands of mankind. Okay, so the story isn’t quite original.

But what is both fun and furiously interesting is the relationship and interaction between Eddie Brock and the symbiote inside him that calls itself Venom: Its electric at times and then its savage and then its almost endearing. There’s something about this team-up that works brilliantly. In fact, you’re not really concerned about any of the other actors or character in the film apart from these two. Just having them banter and fight bad guys (‘You can only, maybe sometimes, eat the very bad guys’) is enough to keep you engaged.


Tom Hardy’s bumbling and sometimes incoherent babble as he tries to deal with what’s in his head is the perfect example of an actor who loses himself into this character without the fear of not being seen as the typical muscle-bound, hot-looking, do-gooder hero.

What fails the film is probably the editing. Apparently, according to Tom Hardy a half hour of ‘good dark comedy was cut from it (Read about that here). Which is a damn shame.


I loved the manic pace, the darkness, the silliness and the intensity of Hardy’s performance. Venom is a refreshing change in the candyfloss world of Marvel films that frankly are getting a bit monotonous.

PS: Read this story, Why Venom is Dividing Critics and Audiences

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