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Venom is a non-super superhero

05 October 2018

"Venom" may not be a great superhero movie, but it's definitely going to make you laugh.

What would people be surprised to learn about the making of a comic book movie? It's not scary, the CGI is messy, the characters are flat, and the laughs are few and far between.

Even as a person who read comics during the character's heyday, Fleischer's film leaves a lot of lingering questions, but in retrospect, they seem unimportant in the grand scheme of whatever cinematic universe Sony is trying to create.

In case you haven't guessed already, the star of the show here is Tom Hardy, who plays Eddie Brock, a journalist who is accidentally exposed to an aggressive alien symbiote which turns him into the ultra-violent Venom.

Eddie becomes infected with the space parasite as he tries to expose the devious machinations of a Bay Area tech mogul (Rogue One's Riz Ahmed). Who knows, people could walk into the movie expecting a bad movie, but then be blown away in amazement.

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"Venom" could pull in $65 million-$70 million over its three-day opening weekend, per industry estimates, which would mark the biggest-ever October film release.

From an earwig in Hardy's ear, they would play the Venom dialogue voice back to him during the scene. "But I will say that I look forward to future movies where said character could perhaps run across Venom".

The first and most consequential of Venom's credits stingers features a rather abrupt jump to Eddie being escorted into a supermax prison by a guard, apparently on assignment for his newly resumed journalistic career.

Venom does none of this. He's engaged to lawyer Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), but his job and relationship come crashing down after he accosts her client, billionaire Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), accusing him of using the homeless population of San Francisco in nefarious biological experiments. As a remorseful scientist (Jenny Slate) remarks, these hapless human guinea pigs should have paid more attention to the paperwork Drake had them sign. In the same way that those humans' bodies so roundly reject the introduction of a gooey alien life form, Venom represents a battle between two opposing forces.

Earlier this week, when Tom Hardy was asked about his favourite scene is in his new movie, Venom, he gave an uncharacteristically honest answer for a press tour.

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As the camera focuses on his face, he's revealed to be played by Woody Harrelson, sitting in a white jumpsuit, done up with an nearly cartoonish red wig. The problem is that the movie seemingly can't make up its mind, half the time resembling one of Marvel's gritty Netflix dramas - only with considerably more lavish (and gruesome) special effects. Directed by Ruben Fleischer, the movie is touted to offer something bold and fresh, including decapitations, snarling alter-egos and internal struggles.

"There's an element of original "Ghostbusters, ' a slightly "80s retro vibe to it, which I enjoyed, and a bit of 'Teen Wolf" and 'American Werewolf in London" vibe to it", Hardy said.

The whole exercise, frankly, invited skepticism from the get-go, given the idea of building around a character featured in the bottom-rung-of-the-web sequel "Spider-Man 3".

Well, thank god we don't have to watch a seven-hour version because the 95-minute one was more than enough.

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Venom is a non-super superhero