One of the most anticipated movies to hit the screen this year is the film adaptation of Spiderman’s most heinous villain, Venom. If you’ve read the original comic books, you know that Venom is a symbiotic parasite that all but consumes its host.
In the final pages of Venom’s first comic book appearances, it seems this is the first battle that Spiderman will lose. Opposed to the Green Goblin, it was obvious from the beginning that aCISpidey’ could more than handle his villainous ways. Interestingly, Venom is imbued with powers that are not so different from Spiderman. Venom has an incredible strength (even more so than the web crawler), is invulnerable, and has an extraordinary sense of awareness. He is also able to shape-shift to a degree. In the end, Spiderman accidentally discovers the symbiote’s weakness and is able to capitalize on it, However, he is not able to defeat the villain completely. Venom simple retreats to fight another day.
This film adaptation tells a different story than the comics. Venom is almost an anti-hero story, comparable to Deadpool or Wolverine. The production company and Marvel came together to focus on the initial story of Venom rather than his feud with the web crawler. Film reviews pouring in have applauded this direction as it makes the alien symbiote appear more humane. Venom suffers from loneliness and rage, not unlike the rest of us. In fact, it is this angry torment that twists Venom and his new companion into an unstoppable force.
Enter Eddie Brock. This young unlucky journalist is on the verge of exposing a terrible creative force concocted by an evil scientist known as Carlton Drake. Instead, he exposes himself to the alien symbiote and becomes something less than human, but more than a man. Together, Venom and Brock battle for control, not dissimilar to Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Together, they feel and experience the same grief and torment, but one expresses these emotions in a somewhat positive context, while the other tears his way through everything in his path.
The movie doesn’t really take on the fights that made Venom famous, but as an origin story, it’s very intriguing. The film puts a different spin on Venom’s origin than the comic books. It makes us empathize with Eddie Brock’s struggle while also enjoying Venom, kicking a.. and wreak absolute havoc on those who wronged him (along with some authority figures).
Despite his lack of famous conflicts in this film, the movie is more than action-packed. The dark tone and depth of the film’s emotional solicitation are matched by wanton destruction. The hyper-violent graphics and vengeful rhetoric come together and form an altogether pleasing piece. All of this is tied together very well by Eddie Brock, the humanity aspect between all the rage and loneliness. Played by Tom Hardy, the character has a surprising range of depth (more than previous Hardy pieces we’ve seen. Mad Max, anyone?). The actor really brings the struggle forward about how to control the powers of this situation that he never tried to expose himself to He highlights how there is incredible destructive power in grief, and how the struggle to make something of ourselves can be taken too far.
If you are a true fan of the original comics, it goes without saying that you will enjoy this take on Venom. If you have never seen or read about Venom before, you may expect to enjoy it more; becoming totally engrossed in one of the series’ most haunting and violent villains by looking at him as someone trying to do the right thing. After all, it’s not the road to heaven that is paved with good intentions, is it?