Many worried voices were raised when Sony broke its head over a year ago and gave a solo adventure based on the terrifying antagonist from the Spider-Man universe an official release date. The renewed attempt to create your own film universe with foreign material, carried by a character who is primarily to be classified at least as an antihero, if not as a real villain at all, and the whole thing then even without Spider-Man – how could that be possible?
by Mara Hollenstein-Tirk
After the choice of the main actor was finally able to soothe the minds a bit and something like hope sprouted, all fears seemed to grow again with the announcement of the desired PG13 rating. Whether the doubts were justified and how Sony succeeded in filming another Marvel figure can be found here in our review.
Eddie Brock could actually have a good life, he has a fiancée who loves him and looks after his slightly self-centered streak, a job as a journalist that gives him pleasure and a decent apartment in San Francisco. But after sticking his nose too deep into the affairs of the “Life Foundation”, he loses everything in one fell swoop. The extraterrestrial “parasite” called Venom, which he caught for this during his research, does not seem to be a comforting substitute either, as his intentions initially seem more than just dishonest …
To make a real villain the main character of a film is always a difficult undertaking, after all, the viewer must be able to identify with the protagonist to a certain extent in order to be able to invest emotionally. The refore, a popular tool in such a case is the creation of an antihero, a rough-hewn guy, with whose methods the viewer does not always conform, but whose actions always remain comprehensible – among other things because he is mostly facing opponents who are still are more vicious than he is himself. Thanks to the preparatory work in various Marvel Comics, Sony already had a relatively easy time here and embodies the symbiotic connection between humans and alien as an antihero story straight out of a textbook. All cards are open on the table, so there are hardly any surprises for the initiated genre fan.
The CGI also offers neither really exciting nor outstanding and fluctuates in the course of the spectacle between mediocre to respectable. And yes, in addition to story weaknesses and average effects, some other fears raised in advance have unfortunately come true. Above all, the much discussed youth-friendly rating seems to have pulled the black bully’s teeth, which is all the more sad when you consider the fact that films like “Deadpool” and “Logan” have sufficiently proven that these stories are tailored to an adult audience can certainly bear financial fruit. The action scenes not only seem bloodless, but also completely overloaded, as the violence shown has to be concealed beyond recognition by the fastest possible and packed images.
But many of these quirks could be forgiven the film, thanks to the excellent actors, were it not for one question that fans of the comic figure in particular should ask themselves, namely: “Does the film do the character justice?” And here lies really bury the dog because the answer is no. Especially towards the end, Venom seems to degenerate into a good lap dog rather than a threatening entity.
All in all, you have to look at “Venom” from two sides: While fans of superhero films who have never had any contact with the character can have fun, most passionate comic readers will leave the cinema angrily.
“Venom” celebrates its free TV premiere today at 8:15 pm on ORF1 and PRO7.
Pictures: © 2018 Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH