Venom 2018 ***

Ruben Fleischer’s comic-book thriller didn’t thrill critics, but audiences didn’t seem to care; the package was right for Venom, even if the film falls somewhat short. Tom Hardy is an ideal lead; often disguised in pivotal supporting roles, he’s an actor who hasn’t yet been fully exposed to the public, and has a certain mystique. That mystique vanishes quickly in venom, where he’s required to play an ordinary Joe called Eddie Brock, then forces him to mug like jerry Lewis once he shares his body with a alien creature. Venom takes almost an hour to get into gear, and the long slow burn does have some interest. Once the title character appears, Hardy steps out of the limelight to allow the CGI to perform, and Fleischer’s film is a straight-up superhero product.  It’s never a good sign when the trailer shows the film’s final scene in detail; wasting talent like Jenny Slate and Michelle Williams, Venom is a silly, childish film that’s kind of endearing for it’s daftness. While not a good film, it’s easy to see why popcorn-fanatics would still dig this kind of nonsense.


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