I hate Venom, the Marvel Comics villain-turned-anti-hero spun off from The Amazing Spider-Man, so I am definitely not the target audience for Venom, the movie. That would be 13-year-old boys who think the stylized hyper-violence of the comic is cool, and love the idea of a character whose costume is not only alive, but fights its wearer, Eddie Brock, for control over Brock’s body.
The new trailer for Venom was just leaked to the interwebs, compelling the studio to officially release it earlier than planned. Apparently far earlier than planned, because the worst thing about the clip is the appearance of Venom itself.
The title character is supposed to be a mix of actor and CGI, but it clearly needs to spend more time in rendering. Green Lantern also tried to pull this off back in 2011, and we all know what an unmitigated disaster that turned out to be!
This Sony film is centered on a Marvel character, but it is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (like the Avengers and Spider-Man), which is unfortunate because Venom’s comic book origin is intimately tied to Spidey and his supporting cast; with Peter Parker and pals off-limits, the movie has to manufacture a new origin for Venom, and it’s… weak.
It’s also part of this trailer. See what you think:
While Venom never worked for me as a comics character, it really doesn’t work for me as a live-action presence. The face looks like a hard plastic mask with a computer-generated tongue. I’m crossing my fingers that director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) intends to refine the VFX a lot before the film is released.
Star Tom Hardy is a terrific, Oscar-nominated actor and the best part of this trailer, but his experiences in genre films have been hit-and-miss. His version of Max Rockatansky in 2015’s best movie, Mad Max: Fury Road, was great and his turn in 2010’s Inception was excellent, but Hardy also played another garbage comic book baddie, Bane, in the highly flawed The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Oscar winner Michelle Williams is also in this — but then again, Halle Berry did Catwoman (2004) after winning her Academy Award, so shiny statuary is no guarantee of quality. Not that Venom looks Catwoman bad; it’s just not inspiring confidence right now.
Venom opens in theaters on Oct. 5, so there’s still time to fix the title character, Mr. Fleischer…