Sunday, December 16, 2018

Video review: "Venom"

“Venom” is exactly the sort of fun, forgettable movie Hollywood is in love with these days. It came out without a tremendous amount of hype, aside from diehard comic book fanboys, and proceeded to make a boatload of money.

I just saw it two months ago and I can barely remember it.

Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a hard-charging digital journalist living the dream in San Francisco. Things come crashing down in short order when he takes on a technology tycoon (Riz Ahmed) everyone thinks is nice but secretly is working on some nasty experiments. While busting into the laboratory to prove his case, Eddie gets unwillingly attached to an alien symbiote and becomes Venom.

It’s a symbiotic relationship -- if your partner was a bullying, violent ball of black tar from another planet that wants to bite off everyone’s heads. Eddie’s aware of everything going on when Venom takes over, but can’t really control it.

Powers are fairly similar to Spider-Man’s: super-strength and speed, as well as the ability to create spikes and other shapes out of its pitch-black form. Oh, and he’s got a nasty pair of choppers to make good on all the avowed head-chomping.

The action scenes are a bit muddy, and I didn’t appreciate another Tom Hardy character whose dialogue is hard to understand. He’s a great actor, but mumbling is not an aesthetic.

The Blu-ray comes with some cool bonus features, including several deleted and extended scenes, a making-of documentary, pre-visualization of some of the CGI-heavy sequences, several featurettes and a couple of music videos.

By far the coolest extra is “Venom Mode,” in which you can watch the movie with informative pop-ups throughout the movie that include comparisons with the comics and hidden references.



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