Science fiction and fantasy
directed by Ruben Fleischer
This is very much the story of an ordinary person who becomes extraordinary, and a lot of the film's humour comes from Eddie's attempts to come to terms with that change. At the same time he has taken something from a powerful billionaire who is prepared to throw everything at getting it back. Lots of action scenes follow as Eddie tries to save the lives of test subjects, to evade the men hunting him, to evade the police, and to protect those he cares about. The stakes get higher, as is customary for this genre.
Another typical trope is the love interest. Anne (Michelle Williams) wants to move on from her relationship with Eddie, and has done, but Eddie can't and his aim is to win her back, never mind that she's in a relationship with the charming and pleasant Dr Dan Lewis (Reid Scott). I wasn't rooting for their relationship to restart, mostly because it seems too close to the woman-as-prize trope for comfort. Anne is an assertive lawyer and no shrinking violet, so it's disappointing to see her character used in the plot as if she's no more than a carrot to dangle at the end of Eddie's redemption arc.
And speaking of redemption, Venom is an antihero who enjoys biting people's heads off and causing mayhem, so he has his own journey to take. When not oozing out of Eddie or others like black oil, this shape-changer is a voice in Eddie's head which often urges Eddie to commit crazy, destructive acts. The dialogue between Eddie and Venom is a highlight, with Eddie trying to calm the monster within and Venom clearly enjoying the mischief he can make.
It makes for an amusing, fast-paced movie about a battle against corporate greed and murder. It's fairly shallow fun which deals almost as much with Eddie's attempts to pick himself up and to go back to something like a normal life as it does with the ethical struggles against an evil corporation. The film is funny, exciting, and quite a bit larger than life.
15th September 2020
If you like this, try:Spider-Man 3 by Sam Raimi
The third episode of the Spider-Man films finds Peter Parker fighting his own dark side.
Review © Ros Jackson
Source: Netflix streaming