On its second day in Chinese theaters yesterday, Venom earned approximately $44 million. Ranking only fourth for the biggest Saturday in Hollywood history for film imports, following behind only Avengers: Infinity War at $78m, Fate of the Furious at $71m, and Transformers: The Last Knight at $47m. In just two days in China, Venom has earned $78.4m almost matching its $80m North American opening weekend.
The film is quickly on its way to over $100 million for the weekend, making it the second-biggest launch for a superhero, or antihero, movie behind Avengers: Infinity War at $191m. Regardless of what fans think of the film, people can’t argue against the numbers. But who’s to say I won’t try anyway.
Does that billionaire’s laboratory have no security cameras? While I thoroughly enjoyed the film, I couldn’t help but become distracted by a few plot holes. Before I become to harsh, let’s review what makes this film work.
The Venom / Eddie Brock relationship was written and executed very well. Both personalities reflect the character’s origin and brought tension, emotion, and comedic relief to the character as a whole. This character chemistry made this film. If Tom Hardy and the writers can keep this up, the sequels will do very well, regardless of the story quality. Now, let’s hope they are smart about what they do with the sequels, because we all saw what happened with Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of The Caribbean films.
As a violent superhero film, or antihero, Venom was very tasteful for a PG-13 movie. Compared to the Deadpool series, Venom was potentially going to have a lot of gory violence, but it wasn’t over the top and kept blood and graphic images off of the screen. Even when guys get their head bitten off, it’s not fully visible or even on screen, allowing for imaginative visualization that doesn’t disturb audiences. With that said, some viewers who didn’t know what to expect, said that the beginning of Venom appeared like it was going to be a monster movie. In certain ways, Venom pays homage to horror fans with parallels of The Blob, consuming people for nourishment. Or Venom’s shark-like mouth eating people and biting off their heads because… Well that’s what monsters do, right?
Circling back to the lack of security cameras, this was a plot hole that I just couldn’t let go of for the rest of the film. Sure the story needed a gap of time for Eddie to get home and fuse with Venom, but this could have easily been established with Drake’s team having trouble making out the security footage, Dr. Skirth knowing where the camera’s are and hiding Eddie from them as they sneak in, as well as putting a plan of action together to go after Eddie. They’re not the Police or FBI after all. Finally, having security camera’s in the film has no impact on the story, nor any scene and having them wouldn’t have detracted from the film at all. The scene where Dr. Skirth admits to Drake that Eddie was the one who stole the Symbiote, wouldn’t have been any different if Drake already knew.
The other major issue I had was the abrupt transition of Venom having a change of heart to become the anithero. While it makes sense to need a reason for Venom to turn on his own kind, considering they changed his backstory for the film, the writers threw in that Venom likes this planet now because he’s a loser back home and for some reason doesn’t want his kind to come back and invade the planet. This is just lazy writing. A simple fix would have been to create a heart felt monologue from Eddie about the strong will and kindness of mankind, while Eddie and Venom were separated. Or even have Eddie’s Ex say something inspiring about Eddie to Venom. Instead they have a short statement by Venom saying, “oh, I’m sort of a good guy now and my race sucks.”
For those upset about how Riot, as well as the soon to come Carnage, creation stories were changed, I have to say that it was smart on the filmmakers part to adapt for the film. In the comic, most of Venom’s enemies are “offspring” of Venom that bond with human counterparts. Changing these characters to being other aliens from Venom’s planet opens the path for smoother introductions to each of these characters. For those familiar with the animated cartoon show Dragon Ball Z, I would compare this concept to the introduction of season 1’s villains where the Saiyans would arrive from their planet, one or two at a time, for our heroes to face. In this sense we can expect the Klyntar, or Symbiotes as most people know them, to send “scouts” to earth to find out what happened to their previous expedition. This is most likely how they will introduce Carnage in the next film.
Similarly, the creation of Venom was changed. Originally, Venom was a combination of the Symbiote’s DNA and Spiderman’s DNA, Bonding with Eddie Brock. Considering Spiderman seems to be absent from this story, for now, it would make sense to change Venom’s backstory. Other than Eddie Brock having his own personal vendetta against Spiderman, this isn’t a major plot point in the overall story.
The film was executed well, but I wish Hollywood writers would try and little harder to find and fix plot-holes before they spend millions of dollars on a project.
Mid/Post Credit Scenes
The mid credit scene had a good set up, but when we finally get to see Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady (a.k.a. Carnage), it’s a bit disappointing. Besides the fact that Woody Harrelson’s wig makes him look like Ronald McDonald, the whole scene feels thrown together, forced, and tacked on at the last minute.
In the comic, Kasady was Eddie’s cellmate from when he was in prison. Venom helps Eddie break out and in the process, leaves a Symbiote spawn behind that bonds with Kasady. Being an imprisoned serial-killer Kasady escapes into the world spreading his chaos with carnage. The question is if this scene will be the opening of the next film, allowing Carnage to be born of Venom’s spawn, or will there be another surviving or visiting Symbiote that finds its way to Kasady’s cell. Due to the nature of the scene, I am thinking the latter, but chances are that Kasady has already bonded with a Symbiote and thus is the reason he requested to see Eddie Brock.
The post credit scene was just offensive to viewers. Sony took the opportunity of using the patiently awaited post credit scene that marvel fans have come to expect, and they forced a teaser for a completely unrelated film to Tom Hardy’s Venom. This teaser for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was one of the trailers before the film. While they are both Spiderman based films, Sony has created a false impression that Tom Hardy will cameo as Venom in this film. Sony just took this opportunity to take advantage of Venom fans. This was completely inappropriate for them to do. This isn’t a trailer spot. If they’re trying to emulate Pixar’s short film before the actual feature, then this should have been played at the beginning of the film.