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Marvel movie review: Venom symbiote in the Bay Area

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Marvel movie review: Venom symbiote in the Bay Area

By Juan Diaz, CONTRIBUTOR

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We are “Venom.” But more importantly ‘we’ are impressed. The movie “Venom” was a surprisingly fun adventure to watch, regardless of all the criticism it has received so far.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it an unfortunately low critics score of 30 percent. However, the audience score is at a formidable 89 percent. Regardless of the critic score, the film, by Zombieland director, Ruben Fleischer, has a lot to show for itself as far as earning that 89 percent.

Tom Hardy’s performance was nothing short of amazing. This is not a surprise to fans at all considering he is no stranger to comic book roles. Hardy played DC Comics character Bane in the 2012 film, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Hardy’s role as Eddie Brock is much more different than the masked mercenary from the final installment of the Dark Knight trilogy. Brock is an investigative journalist with a taste for controversy. Unfortunately, one day he asks one too many questions to the wrong person, and it ruins his life forever.

The film takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area although it was also partially shot in Atlanta and New York.

Certain shots follow our journalist anti-hero, Eddie Brock, through the city of San Francisco. The film actually looked like it took place in San Francisco and it was refreshing to see another movie shot in the Bay Area.

The film explores the hilly streets with the cable cars, the famous Waterbar at the Embarcadero, the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the less shown Bay Bridge that films often forget exists.

You can feel the emotion in the theater as everyone recognizes certain landmarks and thinks, “Hey I know that place, I’ve been there before”.

The movie felt like an old-school 90s action flick. More specifically, it felt like a 90s cartoon adaptation in a good way. The blue color of the bay water beside the white city landscape really helped the colors pop and moreover helped contrast some of the darker moments in the film.

The film had some very lighthearted moments despite all the darkness. One scene in particular, where Brock, infected with the Venom symbiote, jumps in a fish tank and eats a live lobster.

Make no mistake, although many complained about the PG-13 rating instead of the R rating that would be expected with a dark character, the death count is high in this movie. For those who plan to watch the movie, Don’t be shocked if you see a few heads bitten off here and there.

Although Brock’s Stockholm Syndrome-esque relationship with Venom is one to love and laugh at, the film is not all sunshine and rainbows in terms of pacing and character development.

The film does take a long before Brock morphs with Venom. The first act of the film is a bit slow, which can provoke anxiety to the most patient of moviegoers but when the action happens, it is clear that it was worth the wait.

The villain, Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed known for his role on the HBO miniseries “The Night Of,” is an entrepreneur who researches space travel. Think of him as an evil Elon Musk.

He is only that; the villain has no character development at all. He begins as bad guy from the start and finished just as sinister. Drake is a key part to the plot, yet, there is no cha

racter arc and it is an essential element for a good movie villain.

Carlton Drake’s character did, however, shine light on a group of ignored people. The homeless community of San Francisco. He’s using them as test subjects for his experiments. He sees them only as things, but not as people. Brock on the other hand, does not. In fact he is friends with a homeless woman who becomes a victim of Drake’s experiments.

This films portrayal humanizes homeless people and does so without being pushy and preachy. It is refreshing to see a film that centers around a journalist who is based in the Bay Area. Sure the film is not perfect, it has its own flaws, but it was definitely worth the watch and I would recommend it to anyone who is the least bit curious about it.

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Marvel movie review: Venom symbiote in the Bay Area