Ria’s Flick Picks: Venom

Hey, my name is Ria Vieira. In the upcoming weeks I’m going to be expressing my love for movies by reviewing some great or not-so-great films. If you want to discuss the movie or this column with me, please contact me at rvieira@andover.edu!


Set in Oakland, Calif., investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) sets out to expose the experimentation on humans by Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) and his bioengineering company Life Foundation. As Eddie becomes more involved with the company, he comes into contact with Venom, a mysterious alien brought back from a Life Foundation outer space mission. Eddie and Venom’s bodies merge and Eddie is tasked with adapting to a new rageful, superhuman side of himself, as well as saving the rest of the world from destruction by aliens of Venom’s same species.


However you spin it, the biggest flaw in this movie came down to the writing. It’s quite bizarre that the storyline had so many plot holes, underdeveloped characters, and little-to-no motive, seeing that superhero movies tend to stick to the same formulaic narrative that usually tick off all of these basic writing criteria and sells tickets. Perhaps Marvel struggled to execute the narrative of an “antihero” a second time, or maybe they were saving the “good stuff” for the sequel? Whatever the problem was, the story left me with no impression of an imminent threat to mankind that other Marvel films like “Black Panther” or even “Avengers” had. In fact, the longest fight scene lasted around two minutes and didn’t affect the city of Oakland, let alone planet Earth. On top of that, what were they even fighting about? I honestly have no clue. “Venom” had the potential to be as dark, ominous, and gripping as the “Dark Knight” trilogy, but unfortunately they were unable to establish any semblance of a storyline.


Honestly, the acting is what saved “Venom” from being absolutely terrible. The ensemble cast consisted of highly talented veteran actors like Riz Ahmed and Michelle Williams who did as much as they could with the flat characters that they were given. Tom Hardy, on that note, was fantastic in portraying the role of Eddie/Venom despite the poor writing. His gruff, edgy, and more contemporary style of acting was an effective change to the mass-produced personalities of blockbuster superheros. As the “Venom” franchise progresses (and hopefully as the writing improves), Tom Hardy will be an excellent new face for the Marvel universe.

Rating: 6/10

The only reason you should watch it would be for Tom Hardy. That’s as far as the good things go with this movie.


“Deadpool” has a similar vibe of dark comedy but to a further extent and “The Dark Knight” has the same sinister and cold tone as “Venom” but excels at expressing it.