New Marvel blockbuster falls flat

A spoiler-free review on Sony’s last attempt to make a compelling comic book movie



“Venom” features a character whose visual appeal made him a hit at Marvel Comics in the 1990s, and continues to this day. (Sony Pictures)

Adrian Enzastiga, Arts Reporter

Will there ever be an end to comic book movies? Similar to the endless stream of John Wayne westerns in the ‘50s and ‘60s, superhero movies seem to have no end in sight. From Marvel’s continually-growing cinematic universe, these action-packed, comic-based stories are consistent box office hits. 

The newly released movie Venom is Sony’s second attempt at an expanded superhero universe, and quite frankly, it falls short of the anticipation. I went into the movie having some doubts about Sony’s ability to consistently produce quality superhero films. Venom was the final nail in the coffin for Sony’s ability to surpass its previous success. 

Any avid superhero fan would know that the character Venom is one of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains. In some comic issues, Venom is even portrayed as an anti-hero. In the film, an alien symbiote fuses with unsuspecting human host Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy, to become a menacing creature that wrecks havoc on itself and its surroundings. Extremely wealthy scientist Carlton Drake is trying to apprehend the symbiote, and now Eddie as well, in order to further testing on them both. However, his plan might threaten the entire Earth. Drake was a cliche and one-dimensional villain. He was void of undeniable charm or sinister intimidation, both of which are characteristics that make up an encapsulating villain. While leading a science corporation whose goal was to advance human evolution, Carlton never solidified himself as a threat to Venom.       

One of the main issues with the film was its generic dialogue. The script lacked the subtlety and creativity needed to resurrect worn superhero tropes. Another issue with the film was its unnecessarily convoluted plot. With such a rushed pace and abrupt narrative shifts, the film lacked cohesion. The action scenes were decent, for a movie made in the 1990s. Given the visually unappealing CGI, the special effects could be compared to that of Terminator 2.  

The on-screen chemistry between Eddie Brock and the title character acted as a lifeline for the film. The fact that Eddie was the only one who could hear the sinister voice of the Venom inside his head made for a unique dynamic. Moreover, the banter between them was often comedic. This timely humor added to the overall enjoyability-factor. However, at the same time, I was not expecting this light-heartedness from such a dark, hardcore anti-hero with an inhumane moral compass. 

I think it is time for Sony to give up on making any Spider-Man related movies. Please, stop making bad-to-mediocre superhero action flicks, and just hand the complete rights to all things Spider-Man back over to Marvel. Marvel Studios has already proved they are more capable of producing valid Spider-Man content, evidenced by their Spider-Man: Homecoming movie, which was praised by critics.