Venom, which was released last weekend has been receiving a lot of negative reviews from movie critics. Most of these reviews concentrate on the negative aspects of the movie, such as poor character development, a lackluster and inconsistent narrative, and the apparently toned down visceral tone of the movie. While all of these criticisms are justified when comparing Venom to superhero movies such as The Dark Knight, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War, it is not alongside those movies that Venom belongs.
Let's be honest here, Venom is not a good movie from a critique point of view, for most of the reasons already mentioned. The world within which the movie exists is generic and formulaic, inhabited by one-two dimensional characters with little to no development, with an exceptionally flawed in-world narrative logic - Riz Ahmed's villain never feels threatening, Michelle Williams has no believable romantic chemistry with co-star Tom Hardy, and the notorious Life Foundation, despite numerous unscrupulous acts never feels as notorious as it should. Normally these sins against cinema would be reason enough to pass harsh judgment upon Venom. But that would be missing the point.
It turns out that the most enjoyable parts of the Venom movie are the scenes in which Eddie Brock and Venom (both portrayed and voiced by Hardy) are present. The dynamic between the two characters learning to co-exist with each other are the most enjoyable, fun, humorous and action-packed moments within the movie. Playing like a cross between Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and the buddy cop element of Lethal Weapons' leads, Murtaugh and Riggs, the banter, arguments, and action set pieces with Brock and Venom are the movies saving grace.
The movie should have focused much more on the lead characters of Brock and Venom rather than trying force to build a world around them. Venom should have just followed these lead characters on a vigilante spree throughout San Francisco and allowed audiences to relish in the title characters relationship with its host. Unfortunately, as it stands Venom is a fun and enjoyable movie but there could have been more of that which makes it fun; the Eddie Brock and Venom bromance and less of the needless and additional fluff around them.
In regards to said fluff, Venom would have been better had they used Woody Harrelson as Carnage as the movie's main villain rather than Ahmed's portrayal of the symbiote Riot, allowing Hardy and Harrelson to riff off each other. Sadly, Harrelson's appearance is limited to a mid-credit teaser. Hopefully, should Venom make the estimated $450 million it needs to do to break even maybe Sony Pictures and director Ruben Fleischer can build upon what worked and learn from their mistakes, and make a better-balanced and more worthy sequel?