Venom Review Roundup: Dull, Pointless, Messy And Dated

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Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote other half aren’t having a great day, that’s for sure.

The upcoming Venom movie has been receiving an overwhelmingly negative response on Twitter now that the social media embargo has been lifted. With the full embargo expiring tonight as well, the first proper reviews are starting to pour out online and just like those initial reactions, they’re pretty brutal.

Admittedly, there does seem to be a few things to like about the film – Tom Hardy’s performance, for one – but on the whole, it sounds like Venom is a dud and a rather shaky start to Sony’s plan for their own Marvel universe. Of course, the box office numbers will ultimately decide where things go from here, but if audiences listen to the critics, it doesn’t seem like Eddie Brock will be pulling in much cash this weekend.

Below, you’ll find just a sampling of what people are saying and while the Rotten Tomatoes score hasn’t been revealed at the time of writing, we don’t imagine it’ll be very high.

CinemaBlend:

The whole movie disappoints, actually, including the mid-credits tease for a sequel that won’t ever happen. Venom convinced me of what I initially feared. It doesn’t make sense to create stories around Spider-Man characters if you can’t use Spider-Man in them.

ComicBook.com:

Above all, it’s a poorly conceived script which hurts the film in the end. Awkwardly nuanced attempts at comedy often clog up scenes which Fleischer gave his best efforts to direct. Despite crowded environments and wild choreography, Fleischer kept the mayhem easy to follow and brought out the best possible from his stars. Ultimately, Fleischer shouldn’t be blamed for the stiff moments and simple scenarios which were written into the movie.

IGN:

Tom Hardy’s committed performance can’t overcome a painful script and indecisive direction, resulting in a film with a personality that’s as split as its titular character. There are occasional moments of brilliance in the dynamic between Eddie and Venom that give a hint of what the film could have been in steadier hands, but ultimately, that only makes the finished product a more frustrating viewing experience.

Comic Book Movie:

Venom is crazy, cringey, funny, and maybe even a bit of a mess – but it’s never less than entertaining. It’ll be interesting to see how – or more accurately, if – this “Spider-Man movie universe without Spider-Man” progresses, but there’s definitely some potential here.

Variety:

In “Venom,” the spectacular but mostly derivative and generically plotted new comic-book origin story (it’s the first installment of the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters), Tom Hardy is afflicted with an otherworldly force that invades his mind, his body, his very being. It’s called the desire to act like a stumblebum Method goof. The symptoms, which are highly visible and dramatic, range from a propensity for bug-eyed staring to a tendency to swallow each line with a kind of renegade doofus mumble, in a way that leaves Hardy sounding like a cross between early Marlon Brando and late Adam Sandler.

The Guardian:

As the reporter who fuses with an alien “symbiote”, Hardy stumbles in a film that is nowhere near the nimble excellence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe series

Collider:

Venom should have been a quality start to Sony’s own Marvel franchise. This, however, is a film that doesn’t earn it and the multiple reminders from the studio saying, “Hey, don’t forget we want to make more of these,” only makes it worse. Perhaps its box office will determine the future of this franchise, but from a quality perspective, Venom won’t give Sony a solid base to build on.

Of course, negative reviews from critics aren’t always the end of the world for a film. Many movies have been blasted pretty hard and gone on to become commercial hits. But in the case of Venom, where there was already a sense of apprehension surrounding it, this first wave of reactions isn’t a good sign and we imagine Sony’s probably sweating quite a bit right now.

Still, if you’d like to decide for yourself whether or not Venom is worth all the hate, you can catch it when it hits theaters on October 5th. Or, you could heed the warnings and go see A Star Is Born instead. The choice is yours.

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