Anghus Houvouras on Sony’s Venom movie…
If I’ve learned anything from nearly 20 years of writing about movies online, it’s that I appreciate movies that defy expectations. This explains my Marvel movie malaise with everything from Age of Ultron through Captain America: Civil War. I was bored with the Marvel Cinematic Universe because it wasn’t doing anything different. They were delivering movies that ranged from ‘good’ to ‘marginally entertaining’ with a lot of polish but they were painfully redundant and formulaic.
Much of the praise currently being heaped on Avengers: Infinity War speaks to the fun of seeing all these characters come together in one galaxy spanning adventure to stop Thanos. This is the same principle that propelled the original Avengers to record-breaking box office and crowd-pleasing excitement.
However, I’d be lying if I said I was actually excited to see Infinity War. To me, it feels more like an obligation than a must-see cinematic event. And maybe the movie will smash my expectations like an enchanted hammer, but I feel like I already know what I’m going to see. Here’s my guess:
Lots of fights with Thanos and in the end he wins setting up a cliffhanger for Avengers 4.
I’ve already seen lots of praise for Infinity War, but if it ends up being nothing more than seeing characters occupy the same space for the first time and a lot of battle scenes, I’ll probably be underwhelmed.
Speaking of underwhelming; the new trailer for Sony’s Venom hit the internet this week and left a lot of people perplexed. It delivered a predictable plot, an interesting anti-hero in rogue reporter Eddie Brock and a first look at the symbiote which was met with mixed reactions.
I watched the trailer, and the first thought that came into my head was this:
This looks like the Venom movie Canon films would have made if someone had given them $50 million.
The trailer for Venom makes it feel like it could occupy shelf space next to Sam Raimi’s Darkman. One of those early 90’s movies that went wildly overboard providing occasional moments of inspired mania. Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock feels like he’s carved from the same scenery-chewing heroic granite as Alec Baldwin’s Shadow or Billy Zane’s Phantom (SLAM EVIL). Nothing about the trailer felt polished, other than the epic wide shots of San Francisco. The meat of the trailer was a menagerie of mystifying B-movie mayhem. Motorcycle chases, the hero struggling to control his evil inner voice, the by-the-book evil corporation trying to weaponize an alien specimen including a mental CEO willing to kill to maintain control. This is the kind of stuff you find in Best of the Worst videos over at RedletterMedia.
Than final shot of the symbiote covering Eddie Brock and brandishing it’s serpentine tongue: this is the stuff of junk cinema legend. More importantly, it looks like something refreshing in the comic book movie adaptation. Something different. And that different might not add up to a good movie. But at this point, I’ve become so immune to the formula; choking on way too many similar superhero movies that I find myself more excited for something like Venom which could be a spectacular failure than the cookie cutter comic book movie experience.