Nothing says Halloween is coming like orange-coated supermarkets and cinemas showing Venom.
Editing itself into the ‘tween appropriate’ M-rating, simply put, Venom is the origin story of one of Marvels’ most famous anti-heroes: a liquefied alien surviving through human hosts. Once host and alien bond, the human gets enhanced physical power, and a voice in the head telling them what to do.
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In this particular outing, Venom ‘befriends’ Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). An investigative journalist with a penchant for 60-Minutes-style takedowns of abusive power-hungry corporations. Pushing back on the unethical experiments of the Life Foundation’s founder Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), Brock ends up unknowingly uninhabited by Venom after leaving ones of their labs. Wrestling with his symptoms initially, Brock tries to resist the alien, before realising its skills could be quite useful for his cause.
At the heart of it though, Venom questions what’s best for humanity and our want to control our future.
Given Tom Hardy’s history with dark, complex characters – think Lawless and Legend –Venom could’ve been much more sinister, but thankfully doesn’t go very far down that path. It does have mentions of ‘possession’, ‘human hosts’ and ‘liquid aliens’ however, so don’t go thinking it’s aimed at families.
At the heart of it though, Venom questions what’s best for humanity and our want to control our future. The ethics of experimentation and who should be our guinea pigs, all come up in Drake’s quest to shore-up mankind’s next step.
Drake says we’re a generation away from extinction, and that “God has forgotten us”. He believes scientists need to improve human biology and allow us to live ‘off-planet’ unrestrained by Earths demise.
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It’s not a new dilemma in the world of sci-fi, but Drake’s approach makes Elon Musk look like a cautious goodie-two-shoes.
Aimed at comic book fans and a legion of young Marvel devotees, thankfully Venom isn’t as dark as the trailer makes out. In fact, its man-munching reptile becomes almost likeable with some moments of humour (although still not someone you’d want to meet in an alleyway).
Venom offers a cautionary tale about how our flaws can take over when we lose trust in God’s sovereignty, but you may want to skip it for the remaining violence and ick-factor. Venom is in cinemas now.
Release Date: 04/10/2018
Running Time: 112 mins
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze and Reid Scott