Venom carries a similar formula to numerous other Marvel movies that made the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the hit that it is today, yet still doesn’t manage to live up to the greater Marvel franchise. Like many action movies, Venom thrives on its fast-paced action. Unfortunately, the fast-paced manner of this movie is also what ultimately makes it difficult to fully enjoy.
In an ideal world, Venom would be the perfect Marvel movie. It contains one of the most interesting and appealing characters who ever appeared in Marvel Comics with some great performances by a great cast, ranging from Tom Hardy to Jenny Slate. The CGI isn’t half bad, the concept of Venom being a Hulk-like character is incredibly clever, and the events and dialogue have a perfect balance between seriousness and comedy. While these great elements of the movie are still prevalent in the final cut, the choppy edit makes it hard to enjoy the movie’s better features.
Venom‘s edit is in a desperate need of more “beats,” as in moments where the action stops for a second or two in order to let the audience keep up. This usually just consists of showing a character’s reaction, whether they are grieving, smiling wickedly, or just taking a moment to breathe in order to remind the audience of their mortality. These beats help us keep up with the movie in order to process everything that just happened during an intense sequence, and also help to make us more connected with the characters in play. Seeing a character react to a tragic death makes the death more emotional, which improves the overall quality of the movie.
It’s honestly confusing why these beats were not added to the final cut of Venom. With a run time of only 1 hour and 52 minutes, Venom certainly had space to put more material, especially considering that most superhero movies these days are about 2 hours and 10 minutes. Adding simply 5-10 minutes of reaction shots and beats to the mix would have made the movie a whole lot better, making it more enjoyable and emotional. It certainly would have improved the final fight sequence, which only seemed to last about 5 minutes, with audience members not really being able to catch their breath until after the fight was finished, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
On the brighter side, the action of the movie was very well done. The camera movement in the fights followed the focus of the scenes brilliantly, making them entertaining to follow and honestly really cool. One of the highlights of the movie was a chase sequence that went down about halfway through the movie, which arguably would put Fast & Furious movies to shame. Like the rest of the movie, these action sequences would have been even better with more beats added, but even without these beats, many of these action sequences are still enjoyable.
Though it’s not really a great movie, Venom still shows a lot of promise. It may not live up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s quality, but it’s still an entertaining action flick, as long as you can look past how quickly it moves. The ending also teases a lot of promise in the future of this potential franchise, making us hopeful that Venom ultimately does well at the box office. Perhaps if Venom does get a sequel, it will learn from its predecessor’s mistakes and be an even greater superhero movie, perhaps with an R rating.