After years of false starts and dropped projects, Marvel’s black-suit anti-hero Venom finally chomped his way to his own big-screen standalone film in 2018, breaking box office records and ingesting criminal pancreases along the way. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) directs a script by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, and Kelly Marcel, while Tom Hardy stars with an energy and commitment usually reserved for competitive powerlifting as Eddie Brock, a journalist who binds with the alien symbiote known as Venom. With the film heading toward 4K Blu-ray, we snagged a copy to see if it’s worth adding to your collection.
Venom on 4K is still the same ol’ whacky, haphazard film you remember from the theater. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock is living a personally and professionally successful life in San Francisco with fiance Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) when an attempt to interview sketchy tech billionaire Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) lands Eddie out of a job and out of a relationship. When Eddie tries to dig deeper into Drake, he encounters the alien race known as Symbiotes, one of which, Venom, forms a bond with Eddie’s body, taking it over and giving the journalist extraordinary, gooey powers.
This film made roughly 10 bajillion dollars at the worldwide box office but it’s also kind of all over the place. The third act thuddingly arrives with all the subtly of a crashed alien spaceship, and Carlton Drake’s antagonist motivation—and along with him, the villainous Symbiote—never amounts to more than a stock, base-level characterization.
But if Venom is a mess, it’s one holy hell of an entertaining mess. Like I said, Tom Hardy commits to this film harder than I’ve ever committed to a relationship in my life. The scene where Eddie straight freaks out in a fancy restaurant, culminating in Hardy plunging into a lobster tank, is a genuine highlight of 2018.
Plus—*spoilers*, if you still haven’t seen the film—a post-credits stinger featuring Woody Harrelson as Carnage teases some intriguing stuff to come.