Venom (2018 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ruben Fleischer|
|Music by||Ludwig Göransson|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$215.1 million|
Venom is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel.Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).[a] The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel, and stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom, alongside Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. In Venom, journalist Brock gains superpowers after being bound to an alien symbiote whose species plans to invade Earth.
Sony began developing a Venom film after the character made his cinematic debut in Spider-Man 3 (2007). After various iterations, work on a new version began in March 2017, with the intention of starting a new shared universe featuring those Marvel characters to which Sony possessed film rights; Sony also intended for the film to share the world of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is set in the MCU after a deal between Sony and Marvel Studios. Rosenberg and Pinkner were set to write, with Fleischer and Hardy added in May 2017. Principal photography began in October 2017, in Atlanta, New York City, and San Francisco.
Venom premiered in Los Angeles on October 1, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018. The film has grossed over $215 million worldwide and set several box office records for the month of October, but received generally negative reviews from critics for its script and inconsistent tone, though some did praise Hardy’s performance.
While exploring space for new habitable worlds, a probe belonging to bioengineering corporation Life Foundation discovers a comet covered in symbiotic lifeforms. They bring four samples back to Earth, but one escapes and causes the ship to crash in Malaysia. The Life Foundation recovers the other three and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where CEO Carlton Drake learns that the symbiotes cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts, which often reject the symbiosis. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock reads about Drake’s human trials in a classified document in the possession of his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney involved in preparing a lawsuit defense for Life Foundation. Brock confronts Drake, leading to both Brock and Weying losing their jobs. Weying ends their relationship.
Six months later, Drake is getting closer to achieving successful symbiosis. Brock is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists who disagrees with his methods and wants to help Brock expose him. She helps Brock break into the research facility to search for evidence, and he learns that an acquaintance of his, a homeless woman named Maria, has become one of Drake’s test subjects. Brock attempts to rescue Maria, but she attacks him and the symbiote possessing her transfers from her body to his, leaving her dead. Brock escapes, but he soon begins displaying strange symptoms and reaches out to Weying for help. Her new boyfriend, Dr. Dan Lewis, examines Brock and discovers the symbiote. Meanwhile, Drake executes Skirth for her betrayal by exposing her to the remaining symbiote, which ultimately dies. This leaves the symbiote inside Brock as the only known surviving specimen.
Drake sends mercenaries to retrieve the symbiote from Brock, but it takes over Brock’s body and transforms him into a monstrous creature that fights off the attackers. Taking shelter outside the city, the symbiote communicates with Brock and introduces itself as Venom. It explains that the comet is an invasion force searching for new worlds where the symbiotes can possess and devour the inhabitants. Venom offers to spare Brock if he helps the symbiotes achieve their goal, and Brock soon comes to enjoy the superhuman attributes that the symbiote gives him. Brock breaks into his old workplace to turn in evidence of Drake’s crimes, but he is surrounded by SWAT officers on the way out and transforms once again to escape. Weying witnesses this transformation and takes Brock back to Lewis’s office, where they reveal to Brock that the symbiote is slowly rotting his internal organs. Brock also admits that the symbiote has two weaknesses: high-pitched noises and fire. Although the symbiote claims the organ damage is a fixable part of their symbiosis, Brock uses an MRI machine to weaken the symbiote long enough to separate from it.
It was okay. It was good. It was just like the last several solo Superhero flicks I’ve seen, but not as light-hearted as Antman, nor as funny as Dead Pool. Did I say I liked it? Tom Hardy plays the role well enough, but Venom’s voice is annoying. When he talks to his host, it is like having Optimus Prime, or Smaug interrupting the movie with one liners that are not that funny. All of that aside, I had a good time. There was potential for a lot more that was left untapped. Since we all know there will be a sequel or five, I can only hope the writing gets better. Having a Superhero who just eats the bad guys could be great fun. 3 stars – MR