Skip to main content


Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed

With phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe drawing to a close, the studio seems to be having its best time ever with their tried and tested characters such as the Avengers as well as new ones like Black Panther, all of which are setting the cash registers ringing. But the same can’t be said about Marvel characters owned by other studios. 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four (2015) was a catastrophe and after the below-par X-Men: Apocalypse, it was the Deadpool series and Logan that bought them back on track. On the other hand, we’ve got Sony Pictures who messed up the Spider-Man franchise (Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spiderman series) only to collaborate once again with Marvel to give us the Tom Holland starrer Spider-Man: Homecoming which is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe unlike Sony’s other Spider-Man based characters such as Venom.

So considering how the Tom Hardy starrer Venom – the story of an antihero who, according to the comics, is one of Spider-Man’s archenemies – isn’t actual Marvel Studios property (who’ve been the pioneers of making films suitable for everyone), this film’s director, Ruben Fleischer, wanted to make it an R – Rated (A certified) one. After all, Venom’s ultimate killing style is to bite people’s head off and considering the above-mentioned examples, Logan and Deadpool series taking the R – Rated route, it also sounds right in trend. But that’s when the studios pulled the strings and made it into a milder version with toned down violence, which incidentally happens to be my problem with this film.

An origins story, Venom shows how four symbiotic life forms make it to Earth after a manned spacecraft crash lands in East Malaysia (because the USA is too passe). While one makes its way to Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), the rest gets in the hands of the villain Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) who actually sounds like a revelation in the beginning. While villains in superhero films usually covet the destruction of the world, Drake is someone who tries to save mankind, knowing about the impending doomsday. Why is he the bad guy then? Well, he plans on bonding symbiotes to humans to evade the danger. Apart from that and a few quirky one-liners, Venom is full of everything that Marvel has fed us for a decade now with this film adding nothing new to the list.

Apart from the fact that comic-book fanatics expected the film to be darker, the expectations for Venom skyrocketed even amidst those who don’t follow Marvel, thanks to a stellar cast. While Tom Hardy scores in a couple of scenes – especially the ones in which he converses with the Venom symbiote inside him – Ahmed is reduced to a wannabe Lex Luthor. Michelle Williams who plays the role of Anne Weying doesn’t have much to work with. The film, at some point, makes one wonder if Hardy deserved better than the one-note character written for him.

Though Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 didn’t match up with the first two instalments of the Tobey Maguire starrers, the director’s representation of Venom as a ruthless parasite was much spoken about. But what we get in this film is a creature that cares about its host, and is even witty enough to have a rap battle with Deadpool. While this does result in some funny moments, that’s not what you would expect out of a Venom film. Though the action sequences are aplenty, the gore factor is as minimum as it can get. Probably the forty minutes that were removed from the film as Hardy mentioned recently might have everything needed to make this film work.

On the other hand, fans do get to rejoice thanks to quite a few easter eggs. We get to see other symbiotes such as Riot and She-Venom and the post-credit scene (yes, there’s one) also holds a surprise. There’s also a Spider-Man reference in the form of a mention in the name of ‘the Daily Globe incident’ and even a kryptonite reference. Hardy’s matured looks fit in perfectly for a fordone journalist who has seen his better days. What also worked for me is Venom’s looks. As they can’t use the iconic white spider logo on a black coloured Venom, they’ve resorted to using white coloured veins which show it to be muscular, as well as solving the problem of being shown visibly in darkness.

On the whole, Venom is the amalgamation of all the run-of-the-mill tropes you’re tired of watching in a superhero movie only to be packaged as something new. Considering how Venom is meant to be the opposite of our friendly, neighbourhood Spider-Man, let’s hope that the sequel takes the darker route.

Rating: 2/5


Popular posts from this blog

Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi shoulder a mediocre film: Master Review

A flawed protagonist and a powerful antagonist have always proven to be successful tropes in the world of cinema. The hero, when being anything but perfect, makes way for a beautiful story arc as he convalesces and a strong villain makes the hero’s triumph at the end larger. Despite having both of these, Vijay’s Master feels far from a perfect flick thanks to succumbing to irregular pacing and a middling screenplay. Master follows the trials and tribulations of JD (Vijay), an alcoholic college professor whose valiant effort towards the student community plants a belief in his colleague Charu (Malavika Mohanan) that he would be able to do the same to the kids in a juvenile correction centre that needs… correction. Armed with a just kada, a classic four-wheeler, a Persian cat and a cool pair of sunglasses, JD embarks on a journey that will collide with that of Bhavani’s (Vijay Sethupathi). On paper, Master looks like a failproof star vehicle – the story of a man out there to teach lesson

InterContinental Mahabalipuram

After visiting InterContinental many times to meet people who were staying there, for events & functions and for, of course, dining in, I decided it was high time I experienced a stay at this property. A while back, it happened and here I’m chronicling that experience.  Location, Reception and First Impressions InterContinental Mahabalipuram stands among a handful of star properties that are located close to Mamallapuram but not exactly inside the bustling town. It’s situated on the ever-busy East Coast Road and is a cool 42kms away from Central Chennai and almost the same distance from the Chennai International Airport as well (yes, I checked). Post the ‘vanakkam’ by the security personnel who greets you right at the gate, the first thing one would notice about ICC is how simple and elegant it is. Once you get past the security checks, you’re welcomed by the sky and a long pathway and standing on the edge of it gives us a bird’s-eye view of the property. The reception is a high ro

Munna Bhai Dhaba, Sullurpet, Andhra Pradesh

  This time, we rode almost 100 kms to discover this hidden gem. Located at the ever busy NH16, Munna Bhai Dhaba is one of those places that dishes out some delicious food for you to cherish en route to your destination. Just that, this time it was our destination. After starting at 8:30PM from Chennai, we reached here around 10ish and by that time some items were unfortunately sold out. Out of 10, 6 of us were hardcore carnivores while the rest of them were Eggetarians. We opted for a couple of Chicken dishes which included Munna Bhai special chicken (a yummy starter with sauteed chicken and cashews) and a couple more Chicken dishes which are named after the states of our country. One such dish was the which had an egg base with piping hot Chicken curry on top which was the star of our dinner. A surprise show-stealer was the Onion Pakoda which looked bleh but tasted great. Rotis were so warm and fluffy that we finished 40 of them in no time. Egg Bhurji was apparently good too. Obvious