Venom – the latest project of Sony in collaboration with Marvel, but set outside the MCU, seems to be highly successful all over the world.
But why? The last solo projects of Sony, were The Amazing Spider-Man 1&2, which were received with mixed feelings by critics and public. As a result, Sony had to “loan” Spider-Man back to Marvel. They didn’t think twice, before integrating him in the MCU. By doing that, they created the most successful literation of the crawler on the big screen – Homecoming. Throwing Iron Man in the mix, was a nice touch as well.
Although, Sony took the profits from the movie, they still needed a movie of their own, thus Venom was born. Set outside of the MCU, it was not very anticipated by the fans Stalling the trailer didn’t help as well. However, two weeks after the premier, the movie still holds the weekend box office record. And here we’re asking the question, why? Why is it so successful?
- The Cast – Assigning Tom Hardy to the project is the first green flag, which fired up the fans, not only of the comics, but of the actor in general. Until this moment he has proven able to play many different roles (as long as they include a muzzle) and capture the spotlights with his charisma. In general, he doesn’t have any weak roles. His first major one was in Inception, after that he played the iconic Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, followed by Max in Mad Max and later known from the HBO series Taboo. He has proven to be brilliant. Therefore, we expected nothing less in his portrayal of Eddie Brock and his relationship with the symbiote, called Venom. Williams and Riz Ahmed also portray their characters quite well. Although, Michelle’s character falls to the background soon after the movie begins, in the third act she returns to the action much like Gwen Stacy was in TAS 2 (like they are from the same studio). Despite that, the culmination was very good. As they say the hero or in this case the anti-hero, is as good as its villain. Riz Ahmed, however, does that role pretty good. Since the beginning he is established as the villain, without any hesitation. He’s presented as a humanitarian billionaire, one of the most cliche villain characters, but his motivation resembles more Smith’s one, from the Matrix. He doesn’t want to conquer the world, he want’s to “cure” it from humans.
- Different story – All fans of Spider-Man, know how Venom was introduced in the comic books. He’s one of the crawler’s greatest enemies, both physically and mentally. After all, Venom was literally part of Spider-Man, as he was its first host. Here however, everything is different. Venom has never met Spidey. As alternative universes are now established in both Marvel and DC, we can safely assume that this literation of Venom is taking place in one of these alternatives. The action is taking place in San Francisco, instead of New York and Eddie Brock is not the typical villain, which we knew from the comics. Here the enemies of Venom are his “relatives”, the symbiotes, which have been harvested by Ahmed’s character and brought to earth. In this version we can look at Eddie as the anti-hero. Although the action starts slow, when we finally see how Eddie and Venom bond together, it is like magic. I will talk about that in point 3.
- Symbiosis – The chemistry between Venom and Eddie is done extremely well. Although the latter is quite muscular, he’s insecure. There are only two things that can make him continue forward and they are either his girlfriend or his thirst for “juicy” stories. He’s established as an investigative journalist, who won’t stop at anything to find out the truth. This is the case in his relationship with Ahmed’s Carlton Drake. The clash between the two builds the whole story. On the other hand, Venom is strong, arrogant and fearless, until he has to face a stronger version of himself. Even though the meeting between the two has some minor faults (for example, how can a high end laboratory not equipped with security cameras), the end result is more than satisfactory. The transition itself, until we see the end product of the symbiosis is extremely interesting and even includes comedic elements. The acting of Tom Hardy, speaking with Venom or himself (since he voices the symbiote), making involuntary movements shows his talent. The bickering, the jokes, the dialogue all lead to one great chemistry between the two personalities of Tom Hardy.