There can be a vast difference between critics and audiences, with something like Venom bringing it front and center. For every casual viewer enjoying it at release there was a critic chomping at the bit to rip it to shreds.
How could Venom work without Spider-Man! Sony don’t know what they’re doing! There were many comments on how this film could work when Peter Parker is off in space with the Avengers. Sony are fully in charge of the Symbiotes, and their track record is patchy to say the least. Between some iffy trailers and unreasonable excitable expectations we all conspired to set a bar that the best limbo dancer couldn’t get under.
Fortunately, such a low bar was easy for a Symbiote to clear. And you know what? Venom cleared it easily. I enjoyed it!
Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, and his relationship with the Symbiote known as Venom, is the heart of the story. Eddie is smart and charming, but also self-destructive and a bit of a shit. A Rom-Com would have the a series of coincidences and an understanding woman ‘fix’ him. Here we have alien, through their bond, teach Eddie how to be less of a shit, and even want to save Earth and stay with him. Their Bromance has a charm to it. Hardy spends most of the film looking just awful, but Venom is quite the opposite, looking spot on. Their growing understanding is pleasing to watch.
Michelle Williams’s does get some time to do more than be an oddly short skirt, whilst her and Eddie’s relationship doesn’t magically get fixed. I think it’s best to describe her role as uneven. Riz Ahmed on the other hand didn’t need to be here at all
I thought I’d miss the Spider-Man connection. Whilst still preferable, this story and world doesn’t need the web-slinger to make sense. Several comments alluding to characters and situations hint that Brock and his new friend could make the jump, but Venom has set up as a slightly different film, and if it wants to go anywhere near Carnage I can’t see how it would fit into the 12A world of the MCU.
Expectations and opinions are powerful agents to the uninitiated, but we are initiated aren’t we? Adjust your own and you might just enjoy this.