dir: Andy Serkis
In any year I’ll see a stack of films. There will be great ones, okay ones, dull ones, painful ones, but rarely will there be actively dumb ones.
Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of dumb scenes in countless movies, but it takes a special talent / motivation to make a good “dumb” movie. Bad dumb movies are all too easy.
Of the thoroughly dumb ones I’ve seen this year, like the Australian made Mortal Kombat reboot or King Kong Versus Godzilla, this Venom flick is somehow dumber than the rest yet not any more enjoyable because of it.
Plot points and motivations, dialogue and virtually everything people say or do don’t matter in dumb flicks. Dumb flicks skate by all of that by being fun and / or funny.
This wasn’t fun, at least not for me. Tom Hardy as the somewhat lead character doesn’t look like he’s having fun either, but he’s based a career on that, so he’s not going to start looking comfortable now. Throughout this entire flick, and throughout what little I remember of the first one, Hardy’s character of Eddie Brock looks like little more than a guy who desperately needs to find a working bathroom. Alternatively, he has the air of a junkie starting to get the shakes, but they never stop; the shakes and the sweats are eternal.
Within him is an alien symbiote they call Venom, who consistently keeps wanting to eat other people’s heads. They have a very uneasy alliance, in that they fight constantly, though I think only Eddie hears Venom’s voice.
I could wax rhapsodic about how this is an updated version of the duality of the human soul / mind, of the Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde concept, but even the thought I put into constructing this clumsy sentence is more than the level of thought that was put into the original script. I say ‘original’, because I can hear the deathly “punch-up” moments scattered throughout the lazy screenplay.