Monday, 3 February 2020

Movie review: Venom, dir Ruben Fleischer (2018)

What do you get when a reporter becomes a superhero? Well, once upon a time you had Superman, whose alter-ego was mild-mannered Clark Kent. Superman is still with us, of course, but now you’re got investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who, infected by a parasite from an asteroid, becomes Venom.

I thought the conception of and writing for this movie were strong. The action scenes are also good, but its charm lies in the relationship between the alien and Eddie, who shows his true colours (to us and to the creature) in scenes where he’s speaking with Anne (Michelle Williams). Here the dialogue is not brilliant and Hardy pronounces some words awkwardly, but this is an action movie, not stage theatre, so you make allowances.

Anne and Eddie are Millennials and their banter has this novelty. Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake is also good. This actor plays an entrepreneur with quiet aplomb, as befits a character with power. In this regard he resembles Nathan (played by Oscar Isaac) in 2014’s ‘Ex Machina’, which took a look at technology in the form of robots and was directed by Alex Garland.

I would say that ‘Ex Machina’ is the better film, but ‘Venom’ is a decent attempt at tackling the issue of the ethics of Capital in the Facebook era. And it’s refreshing to see a journalist portrayed with strong personal values. I saw this movie on Amazon Prime.

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