Sony Pictures’ new attempt at building out a superhero film universe “Venom” hits theaters this weekend and is expected to break box office records, but reviews of the film have been disparaging. TheWrap’s film reporters Beatrice Verhoeven, Umberto Gonzalez and Trey Williams talk what worked about the film and all the things that didn’t.
The film, rated PG-13, was marketed as a darker, violent kind of superhero film, and while Venom — the alien symbiote Tom Hardy’s character Eddie Brock turns into — is ruthless, the film plays more for laughs. The problem with that? We’re not sure it’s supposed to.
The studio cut roughly 40 minutes out of the finished film and as a result, the movie feels a little disjointed.
“Venom” is goofy and should play well for the intended PG-13 audience, but it doesn’t seem to rise to the level that superhero films have reached in recent years with the likes of “Black Panther,” “Logan” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Some of the film’s best moments are the banter and fighting between Hardy and the Venom voice inside his head telling him what to do.
In “Venom,” Hardy’s Brock is a down-on-his-luck journalist who tries to revive his career by investigating the mysterious experiments being conducted by the Life Foundation and its shady leader, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed).
But along the way, an alien symbiote being tested by the organization bonds with Brock, transforming him into the titular monster. Brock finds himself being dragged into a fight with the Life Corporation, all the while being tempted by Venom into unleashing his darkest impulses. Michelle Williams and Jenny Slate also star, with Ruben Fleischer directing.
The film pulled in $10 million in early Thursday night showings, scoring it an October preshow record, and has a 31 percent rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
Watch their reaction video above.