In a sense, I think you’re both right.

There’s no reason Venom (and potentially that Joker movie) couldn’t be great. Logan is a tricky comparison, because it has the obvious star power of Jackman and Stewart and at least some continuity with the rest of the franchise, but Logan could’ve had all those elements and still been a failure. But it had the freedom to take some chances, and to tell its own story that wasn’t tangled up with a franchise, even if it was born of one. Talent in front of and behind the camera and a good script could probably make a great movie from just about any comic character out there—even a character that has a symbiotic relationship with another (figuratively with the Joker/Batman dynamic, literally with Venom/Spidey).

But I also don’t think you have to be the most jaded cynic in the world to look at the plans Sony keeps floating for their Spider-Man Movies Without Spider-Man and see that they’re grasping at anything they hope they can hang a franchise on and will probably just churning out bland studio-contract driven results unless they stumble into a good movie by accident.


It appears there is a lot of venom out for Venom


Looks like this one is a turd in the wind?


Just when you think the lessons of comic book based films past have been learned as Marvel cleans up, out comes Venom to let you know there are plenty of people in filmmaking that have no idea what they’re doing.


I think I’m going to push back on this a bit. I agree with the overall point you’re making (that Logan told a unique story that wasn’t a “typical” super-hero movie, and that the quality writing and acting would have elevated any movie, even one without a franchise behind it), but I think you’re underestimating how much Logan leaned on all the previous movies in the Wolverine and X-Men franchises beforehand.

They didn’t have to waste much time on explaining what Wolverine’s powers were, how he got them or what his overall “character” was like. Sure there was the opening scene that showed much of that, but it was there more of a reminder (healing factor, claws, berzerker rages, got it? good - moving on…) than an explanation for the audience.

Similarly, they didn’t have to do a lot of exposition with Professor X. There wasn’t even much of a scene establishing his telepathy, and even his school was only referenced in a single throw-away line. All that stuff was assumed to be known by the audience.

Likewise they didn’t have to spend any time explaining about mutants or how society views them or making ham-handed parallels to the civil rights or gay rights movements – that was all well-trod ground from the other movies.

So instead of that they got to concentrate on character moments and the all-important, nested, buddy/road-trip aspects that made the film so great.

Venom doesn’t get to trade on much of anything in the same way – yes, we’ve seen the character before in a lesser Spider Man movie that no one saw, but that hardly counts. Instead they have to make an Origin Story movie… which can be done right (c.f. Deadpool), but which is kind of wearing thin at this point.


Jesus. These early Twitter impressions are really bad. Keep in mind that the early tweets for Suicide Squad, Justice League, and Amazing Spider-Man 2 were the normal overhyped “influencer” nonsense.


Worldwide: $890,871,626, according to Box Office Mojo (Spider-Man 3, which had Venom).


Those are all fair points as disclaimers for other advantages Logan had, but again, plenty of franchise sequels come in without having to retell origin stories and still drop the ball. Either way, I was reluctant to bring up Logan because of those and the same disclaimers I offered, but it was the best example I could come up with what you can pull off if you’re free to make a good movie about a comic book character without the baggage of supporting a franchise.

It’s a formula that abstractly I think you could achieve success with for any character, but realistically was never in the cards for Sony’s Venom.




Spoiler: Spider-man died in a recent movie.




You know, I liked it better when you could just get some reviews for a movie and go see it.

I am not even sure how much overlap Venom and a Star is Born even has. Heck I’ll probably see both, but I see a lot of movies (neither movie is my choice. My movie girls want to see both of these).


Now I want to see a MCU version of A Star is Born where Spidey is the burned-out star on the way down and Venom is the fresh-faced youth who eclipses him.


You beat me to the punch on that one. Fake Tweets!


Oh Venom. You’re kind of a loser on our planet too.


This movie doesn’t really deserve much dissection on it s own. The writing was awful–a lot of the dialog, and all of the plot. Nothing makes sense, the villain is stupidly over the top–and Riz Ahmed doesn’t do the bad writing any favors there–and nothing about any of the symbiotes makes sense. Their behavior is inconsistent, their motivations are incomprehensible.

There was a sliver of potential in the bickering and back and forth dialog between Eddie and Venom. In a very different movie, that could’ve been a funny dynamic. Here, it was mostly undermined by the problems above. It’s never clear why that dynamic exists in this movie, in fact it’s a glaring question: why does Venom care about Eddie at all? They never even pretend to explain why a symbiote would want to keep him as a host when everyone else is disposable to them. There’s not even a selfish reason for a symbiote to sustain him like “Oh, it’s because of his scientifically unique blah blah blah”, much less any reason Venom would stick with Eddie when Eddie starts trying to lay down some rules on who gets eaten.

What makes this a little more fascinating is wondering exactly what the relationship is between Marvel Studios and Sony.

Was there ever any legal/financial chance of what Sony’s doing without Marvel existing in the same continuity as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man? Is the reception of Venom going to affect that, or was that never on the table?

Apart from any actual crossover, does Sony still have carte blanche to make Spider-adjacent movies within whatever their original Spider-license allowed? Does Marvel Studios have any say at all in what Sony does with Venom, or anyone else closely linked to Spider-Man? Even if there’s no actual possibility of a crossover, if Venom bombs, will that strain the relationship just based on the close public association of the characters?


I agree it doesn’t particularly need a lot of dissection, but I enjoyed it okay for what it was. I think I’d probably have had a much more negative opinion if I didn’t like Tom Hardy so much, though.

It was my first movie at the new Alamo Drafthouse in town, and holy fuck was that a better moviegoing experience than literally any other theater I have ever been to in my 35 years of life.


I thought this was a totally serviceable superhero movie.

… he said, right before starting to dissect comic book movie logic ;-)

You’re treating all symbiotes as interchangable, while they clearly had distinct personalities.

The symbiote boss (Riot or something?) was treating humans as disposable since it’s only motivation was getting to the rocket and finishing the mission. So it’d just jump from one human to another, stay in control, eat them up, and leave behind a trail of corpses. Venom didn’t do that. After escaping captivity, it was mostly letting Eddie drive. If it hopped to other hosts it seemed to leave them unharmed. I’d speculate that it’s because Venom had no mission to accomplish, and it was just totally happy to lay low and stay alive.

Venom then grew to like Eddie and clearly considers him to be something like a favorite pet. (See all the buddy banter, or e.g. the final bit with Venom saying something to the effect that getting Eddie and Anne back together is its new project). It’s probably more fun to hang around Eddie and eat the occasional bad guy than it is to go on a rampage for no reason at all.


You’re treating that as something the movie established, and not something it just shifted into halfway through the movie.

There’s no sign of sentience or personality for any of the symbiotes, no hints dropped for the audience, no reactions from the human hosts in the trials or other victims, until 45 minutes into the movie when Eddie is first exposed. Then suddenly Venom is a snarky voice in his head and they’re arguing over who’s driving?

That’s exactly what I said it was–an idea with some potential undermined by bad writing. And from there the idea that there’s anything particularly likable about Brock that would sway Venom’s urges isn’t demonstrated, it’s just another thing we’re told is true.


The sentience is established like five minutes into the movie, after Riot takes over the paramedic, figures out who the space ship belonged to, and starts following some sort of a plan.

The different personalities are established the moment there are two symbiotes outside of captivity, and they behave totally differently. What good would some hamfisted tell-not-show “the symbiotes appear to have different personalities, Mr. Musk, and might even be sentient!” dialogue do?