Venom Featured
Sony Pictures | Marvel

Venom Is a Better Movie Than It Has Any Right to Be

Nothing about the movie Venom should have worked. Yet, somehow, it ended up being an extremely entertaining and fun romp through a modified origin story of one of Marvel's best villains. What made this flawed masterpiece so lovable--and can the upcoming sequel possibly pull of the same trick twice?
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About thirty minutes into the 2018 film Venom, a thought occurred to me: I was actually enjoying this extremely weird and gross movie.

Despite the film focusing on a really disgusting alien parasite, something in the movie just clicked. Audiences seemed to agree because the Tom Hardy-led film went on to make big bucks at the box office and spawn (pun intended) a sequel.

So, what made Venom work where so many other non-Marvel comic book movies have landed flat on their faces? Well, it’s hard to explain.

Charismatic for the Wrong Reasons

Parts of the movie feel like you’re not supposed to be enjoying them. When Eddie first encounters the symbiote in his bloodstream, he’s (rightly) mortified. The audience is then treated to over-the-top scenes of the protagonist dealing with his newfound “powers”. Unlike most superhero movies, Eddie’s transformation into Venom comes with the unfortunate downside of being disgusting and not wholly in his own control.

Venom sort of decides when he’ll do his thing. If Eddie needs his help and Venom doesn’t want to do something, the two can get into arguments over which direction to take their shared body. The film presents this in an almost endearing and charming way, using Tom Hardy’s natural charisma to make the beleaguered Eddie Brock a sympathetic character.

Embracing the Chaos

Throughout the film, Eddie learns to lean into the unhinged chaos that Venom brings into his life. A particular standout scene has Eddie sitting in a lobster tank, devouring the shellfish whole, as horrified restaurant patrons look on.

That’s when I realized that this film had landed on a comics-accurate Venom that was presented in a way I didn’t expect from a major Hollywood blockbuster.

Venom is nasty and occasionally sweet–that goes for both the movie and the symbiote. Comics fans have known for years that Venom is technically capable of being a hero if Spider-Man isn’t around. So the film’s decision to leave Peter Parker out of the proceedings entirely kept Eddie Brock fully in the mode of a downtrodden reporter just looking for a big scoop.

Weirdly, this works. Skipping out on the extremely convoluted comics origin story of Venom was a wise choice by the filmmakers, as it allows the movie to just introduce the character in a way that feels natural. Of course, everyone hopes that Peter will be in the sequel.

The Sequel Arrives October 1st-Finally!

Carnage, Venom’s red-hued progeny, is set to be the primary antagonist of the sequel, which is due out October 1st. It was originally slated to release in October of 2020, before being pushed back to June 2021, then September 2021. It wrapped filming in February of 2020 which feels like a life time ago.

Fans all have their fingers crossed that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will make at least a cameo appearance. After all, Venom is one of his most popular antagonists. Venom without Spider-Man is like the Joker without Batman.