8 October 2018

Hitting Brock Bottom

Join us on Facebook!
In the comic books, Venom is an alien symbiote that first attaches itself to Spider-Man before he manages to simply shake it off like it's a bit of bird shit. Like a jilted lover, the symbiote then makes its way over to Eddie Brock, one of Peter Parker's less friendly colleagues, so that the two can get all up in each other and make his life as miserable as they can. Sadly, this Venom movie has a different origin story for the black goo that disappointingly doesn't involve an alien life form and an embittered journalist deciding to hate-fuck each other to upset a super-hero. The symbiote does still crash onto our planet but this time he couldn't find Spider-Man or even dare utter his fucking name because of a rights issue that literally nobody in the world seems to understand. Is this film part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because Spider-Man now seems to be and isn't Venom one of his most famous enemies? Sony seems to think it is, with producer Amy Pascal essentially implying as much in an interview with Marvel honcho Kevin Feige. Except to confuse the issue slightly is the fact that as she said this, Feige just happened to be demonstrating the universal facial expression for “I don't fucking think so”.

So the film begins when a spaceship made entirely from terrible CG crash lands with the symbiotes inside. One gets free, attaches itself to a woman and starts walking her aimlessly until the plot requires it to conveniently turn up again later on. An evil organisation called 'Life' collects the rest of them whilst reminding us of how much of a better Venom movie 2017's sci-fi horror Life was. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock finds himself unemployed after interviewing the head of the Life Foundation by screaming accusations at him without any shred of evidence. Despite being a successful journalist, Brock not only lacks any journalistic skill whatsoever but seems to have only the most basic grasp of how society actually works. Life are testing the symbiotes on homeless people to see if they can get the two to bond, although I'm not sure why? Sadly if they don't bond then the symbiote seems to make the homeless person dance like Thom Yorke and then die. Brock gets the symbiote attached to him after breaking into the building and recognising one of the homeless being experimented on. Either this is a huge coincidence or Brock just happens to know of a lot of homeless people to tip the odds in favour of this happening. I don't mean to judge but there are only three kinds of people that know a lot of homeless people and they're other homeless people, people who are fucking homeless people, and serial killers. The film never addresses which of these three he is.

Once Brock and his symbiote Venom are attached, the film becomes an unofficial sequel to Me, Myself And Irene with Hardy also seeming to take influence from some of Jim Carrey's mid-90's low-points. Hardy said that he was attracted to the role because of how he could relate to the Jekyll and Hyde relationship between Brock and Venom. Apparently, he meant because he used to have a drug habit but I thought he meant because sometimes he's in good films like Mad Max and sometimes he's in bad films like this piece of shit. Although if you weren't aware of Hardy's history of substance abuse then you might be able to spot it with this film. Not only does Brock come across as an addict after bonding with the symbiote, but in making this film at all it seems that Hardy is still making terrible life choices. Hardy also mentioned that the other reason he wanted to make the movie was that his young son was a huge fan of the character and even gave him advice on how to play it. I don't know if Hardy officially hired his son as an acting teacher but having seen the final results I think he should probably be looking into some sort of legal action either way. There's a slightly bullshit online joke that Hardy always wears masks for his roles and so it's ironic that this is one of the few in which he hasn't chosen to hide his face in shame. 

Although his weird performance isn't the most embarrassing thing in the movie, with Michelle Williams struggling to convince us that English is actually her first language. Here she's like one of those Roger Moore Bond girls who'd only follow him around because they were confused as to what else to do. This 70's Bond vibe is only further reinforced when one of the female scientists at Life was introduced to Eddie Brock as being what sounded like “Dr. Skirt”. I guess Professor Bigdick and Dr Wyfronts were too busy being men to do interviews that day. Riz Ahmed is also rubbish here as the idiot villain who seems to be the bastard love-child of The Social Networks Mark Zuckerberg and The Lego Movie's President Business. Not that I blame any of these people of course. It's just that the script is a piece of crap and as Pink Flamingo's Divine has proven it's hard to be taken seriously when you have dog shit in your mouth. The script here can also never get over the fact that Sony are desperate for their own money-jizzing MCU-like franchise and the film never gives us a reason for its existence beyond that. I don't care if movies deviate from the source material, however nobody here seems to understand that Venom's appeal is as an antagonist to Spider-Man. 

Both Brock and Venom are essentially 'the odd couple', only they share a body instead of an apartment and the film tries its best to find the humour in this scenario. I did snigger at one point but only because Brock said “he's in me” with regards to Venom, and I have the sense of humour of a schoolboy. However, this moment of immaturity then reminded me of A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge in which Freddy Krueger takes over a young boy's body and the whole movie has this unexpected gay subtext to it. Then I just wished I was watching that film instead which is a huge slap in the face to this one because Freddy's Revenge is also pretty shit. But at least it had something to say whereas Venom is not only completely empty but seems to be dating in real time. The special effects are beyond terrible which is a problem when the film concludes with a generic battle between two CG creatures. As Venom and the villain fight, it was like watching two people throw a glass of water at each other, with the film hoping that you'd be emotionally invested in the water as it clashes in mid-air. 

I'll admit that Venom is probably the best comic-book movie of the year, it's just I'm not sure what year that might be? 1995 maybe? And even then you'd think it was fine but not as good as last year's The Crow. Tom Hardy has since claimed in interviews that this final cut has removed his favourite forty minutes of footage but my only complaint is that they also left the remaining hundred and fifty minutes in too. If you're looking for a great third movie for a triple-bill with 2003's DareDevil and 2007's Ghost Rider then you could either watch this or you could stick your head in a blender and save yourself the time. I know we all had our problems with Spider-Man 3 but I think the makers behind this movie are the only people in the world that think it could have been fixed by adding more Venom and removing Spider-Man altogether. I'm trying to think of a better metaphor, but all I can come up with is that this movie is like a circumcision, only the doctor got confused and left the foreskin attached but somehow managed to throw away the rest of the dick. Thanks for reading motherfuckers, and see you next time.

No comments :

Post a Comment