VENOM (2018) Reviews and overview


Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson has been named as the man who will photograph Venom: Let There Be Carnage for director Andy Serkis. Richardson recently worked for Quentin Tarantino again on Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and is expected to be nominated for an Academy Award to add to his three previous Oscars for his work on JFK, The Aviator and Hugo. Richardson has six other nominations to his name, including three for Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.

Previously, we reported that Michelle Williams has confirmed that she will be in Venom 2, reprising her role as Anne Weying.

In a recent interview with Yahoo, when Venom 2 was mentioned, Williams responded with “I’m in.”

In the same interview, Williams added praise for the new director Andy Serkis for his accomplishments as a motion capture icon, before taking on the role of a director.

“I’m such a fan of Andy’s, and I’m so inspired by what he’s been able to accomplish,” Williams said regarding Serkis. “He’s so gifted in such a specific way, and I’m very excited to learn from him and be around him.”

Previously, as confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, and after weeks of rumours, it has officially been announced that Andy Serkis will direct Venom 2, noting “[Serkis’s] expertise with CG and performance capture technology is one of the factors that landed him the Venom 2 gig.” Serkis is, of course, best known for his performance capture roles as an actor playing Caesar in the recent Planet of the Apes films and in The Lord of the Rings as Gollum/Smeagol. He also played one half of Burke and Hare and was in Peter Jackson’s King Kong. He has directed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Breathe.

“Verified It’s actually happening. I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I’m ready for the ride…Can’t wait,” Serkis wrote on Instagram.

The sequel has been scripted by Kelly Marcel and Avi Arad. Meanwhile, Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal return as producers.

Here is our previous coverage of the first movie.

Venom is a 2018 American science fiction dark fantasy feature film directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Kelly Marcel and Will Beall, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The movie was produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott.

Venom cost about $100 million to make (relatively modest for a superhero film), grossing $856,085,151 globally.

In December 2018, Venom co-creator Todd McFarlane gave feedback about the movie adaptation to Yahoo “It was a big roller-coaster ride. Visually, everything was coming at you. I think at times… the critics get it wrong in that they forget their age. They come in, and they’re 42 years old, and they come in with their attitude and they’re going, ‘Stop it.’ What if you were 16/15 and you were watching this movie? You would love it.”

McFarlane continued, “This thing delivered everything it was supposed to. It was gnarly, it was nasty, it had a big cool Venom, which was what I was looking for. [That] was my bias — I just wanted to see the visualness of Venom that I had created 30 years prior. I didn’t think that Spider-Man 3 did that right.”


Following a scandal, journalist Eddie Brock attempts to revive his career by investigating the Life Foundation. However, Eddie comes into contact with an alien symbiote that bonds with him, giving him superpowers and a horrific alter-ego: “Venom”…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Really, the cast and the Brock/Venom relationship makes the movie mostly work, but it does have other issues. For one, the CGI action is relatively unimpressive, thanks to the high bar movies like this have to clear because of Disney. This feels like a B-level superhero flick, and not a franchise launching tent-pole movie.” Chris Bumbray, Arrow in the Head

Venom is watchable in its silliness as it toggles between Hardy’s mush-mouthed befuddlement (that includes the scenes where he’s playing 100-percent human) and the impossible grotesquerie of the CG Venom, which may not be vastly more impressive than the 2007 version but is certainly—true to its source material…” Jesse Hassenger, AV Club

“It is, we regret to report, a mess. And while there’s a cast doing all they can to keep the movie from collapsing, they don’t have the raw material they need to do so. The elements of a movie, like a symbiote and its host, need to be perfectly balanced to thrive.” James Junt, Den of Geek!

Venom is neither triumph nor train-wreck. It’s a mediocre origin story, a superhero host that sadly fails to bond with its comedy parasite. Which is a shame, as there is enough here to to suggest it could have been a blast.” Ian Freer, Empire

“Visually, which is the only thing really going for it, ‘Venom’ has a stylishly gloomy Nolan-does-Gotham vibe. But Venom, the character, never comes into focus until the last five minutes, when it finally, at long last, starts to get interesting. Until then, he’s just another bit of secondary Marvel IP who scowls and growls, and never shows us why he should be headlining his own movie.” Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“There are in fact one or two big gags, but no real sense of fun – not compared to something like Thor: Ragnarok. Director Ruben Fleischer, who made Zombieland and Gangster Squad, is uninspired. Venom is riddled with the poison of dullness.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Venom never fully embraces or maximizes the exuberant nastiness of its premise. This is one instance in which a story that should have been unsparingly dark feels hobbled, even sanitized, by its PG-13 rating, and also by the usual Hollywood franchise imperatives.” Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“The action? It’s repetitive enough to bore you breathless. And the special effects are strictly bottom shelf. Social media has been all over Venom, accusing fans of stuffing the Web with fake bad reviews so A Star Is Born won’t whack it at the box-office. Don’t sweat it. No one has to fake a bad review of this.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Make no mistake: The effects can be dazzling. The alien matter splattering itself around like random tentacled liquid, the way Venom cross-breeds Spider-Man’s skyscraper-hopping agility with the Hulk’s dynamo destructiveness — it’s all diverting eye candy. But to what end?” Owen Gleiberman, Variety


Venom was released in most territories on October 4 and 5, 2018.