I don’t know where to begin, because I don’t know which version of this story doesn’t sound suspicious at best. So, here it goes.
Why get I got excited to see “Venom”
My affinity for films like “Venom” have seemingly been years in the making. I’ve been so lit to see “Venom” because the premise alone touches five passionate parts of me:
1. The journalist in me —
because we stan a curious, social-justice-loving, tortured soul.
2. The me that’s both head-over-heels in love with and full of bro-like reverence for Tom Hardy, since a smooth 2012 —
because when I wasn’t literally tearing up the prospect of Bruce Wayne’s ass being permanently beat and Gotham going to the dogs in “The Dark Knight Rises” I was saying “woof!” at Bane. I mean, yes, he had a mask on. But his voice was cute! And he displayed a lot of what scientists now know is BDE.
3. The retired goth in me —
because we stan a straight-up tortured soul.
4. The Marvel fan in me —
because, I mean, have you met me?
5. The thot in me —
which is the coalescence of the other four parts.
That last part of me is the most pertinent one. But it’s not what you think. No, I am not a “monsterf*cker,” as the subset of depraved individual is both affectionately and derogatorily called (see: Gavia Baker-Whitelaw’s “The horny history of Marvel’s Venom”).
But I am attracted to the intellect and courage of journalists. I’m a sucker for an anti-hero; I’m a sucker for a villain. And the idea of a finely crafted human like Tom Hardy turning into sharp-toothed, long-tongued demon symbiote doesn’t really bother me. I mean, I wasn’t lit or anything when the sex scene rumors started.
Let the goth thot festivities commence
So, naturally, I wanted to take the occasion of “Venom” providing, too, a perfectly placed mid-October time-peg as a jump-off for my 22nd birthday. I imagined my birthday party as big, bad and pitch-black. A celebration of darkness, if you will.
In the end, it wasn’t quite a goth soiree. But there was bloody cabernet sauvignon and a cake with a sparkly, thicc symbiote. We we booked a room and reserved a lane at Pinstripes, an bowling alley in Maryland.
We then went to the neighboring iPic movie theater to cozy up to Hardy and Riz Ahmed and Jenny Slate for, well, an exercise in suspending disbelief.
So, about the movie itself
“Venom” was corny —there’s no equivocation about it. Carlton Drake is a one-dimensional sociopath. World domination, whether it’s intergalactic or corporate, is super played out. Venom’s diction is funky. Symbiotes from other planets learn fast, but there is no reason for them to speak like a cross between a Bond villain and a 14-year-old boy.
There’s also a couple of glaring plot-holes. One of them is the basis for the key alliance driving the film forward. I’m also not sure how to read Anne Weying. One minute she’s drawing hard lines. The next minute, she’s a ride-or-die chick for her ex. As Angela Watercutter from Wired put it: “[The film’s] got a nice big grin, but nothing in its fangs.”
Pushing aside the cinephile in me (particularly, the one who will forever hold Marvel films to a “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” standard), it was all right. Really. Venom is kind of sweet, even if he stay wilding out.
The breach scene at the Life Foundation and the subsequent chase scenes were the most delicious parts of the film. The camera shots, editing and cinematography felt like something divorced from the sticky, black mess that was the rest of the film. But my God, those San Francisco hills! We stan a movie with a distinct cityscape at the forefront.
And of course, Eddie Brock really turned out to be my dream man: a well-meaning, empathetic, cute ass social justice-oriented digital journalist.
So, yes, it was a mess. But I absolutely loved it. It was endearing and it was fun, and it delivered exactly what I hoped it would. My recommendation, if you’ve got some friends free and can count on a glass of rose in hand? Dive right in. But otherwise, if you’re not a digital communications professional or willing to risk it all for Tom Hardy? You’ll be just fine with the niche memes in the meantime.