Every time anything’s come out about Venom, the big-screen outing for Spider-Man’s sometime-nemesis, sometime antiheroic ally, there’s been something missing, and that something has tended to be, er, Venom.
That all comes to an end now with this new trailer for Ruben Fleischer’s film, out on October 5th:
Looks good, right?
- The way the mouth of the costume forms over Hardy’s face is pretty horrific, in a good way. The imagination does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to comics, but that’s a lot harder to pull off in life action. The more you watch this the more disturbing it is, really - the tongue darting up, the distended eyes shrinking, the grim look on Hardy’s face as he’s absorbed by it… Hideous. Good hideous.
- This trailer definitely makes it look like there are going to be more laughs than anything else we’ve seen, which is great. Venom as a character is so over-the-top that if it isn’t peppered with a few dark jokes it could easily come across as a bit self-parodic.
- It’s also easy to see where the reported R-rating is coming from - it all seems fairly murder-y.
- He’s sort of doing his own twist on a Gollum/Smeagol thing in that bit where he’s walking down the road talking to himself, isn’t he? We can dig that.
- Riz Ahmed with an American accent, as Life Foundation CEO Carlton Drake, is oddly reminiscent of Tobey Maguire in that opening voiceover. Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man a few times. Does this mean anything? No.
- It feels like there should be quite a lot more holes in his hoodie after all those tendrils burst out of him, right?
- Remember that game Prototype? That was good. This is a bit like that.
- Michelle Williams as Ann Weying uses the same sort of excuse (“I don’t work for [the evil person], my firm does”) that so many of us use to justify buying stuff from really bad companies (“I’m not abusing these workers myself, the company I’m buying stuff from is, it’s different“), which we all really should stop doing at some point.
- It looks like the question Hardy asks Ahmed is actually much longer in the real film, and cut to be snappier for the trailer, which is good because this version doesn’t really make sense.
- The story is made a lot clearer in this: A reporter (Tom Hardy) investigating a controversial businessman (Riz Ahmed) is approached by a whistleblower (Jenny Slate) seeking to to expose the inhumane experiments being done on people using an alien symbiote, and the reporter’s investigations lead to him getting infected and his girlfriend (Michelle Williams)’s life being endangered. Easy! It’s not just loads of biffing, motorbike jumps and exploding.
- There is also lots of biffing, motorbike jumps and exploding.
- Running through the log: yes! Never seen that before. Loads of chases through forests involve impacts into horizontal logs, but it’s usually either something the wily hero ducks under, something the wily hero jumps over, something that knocks the foolish henchman from his horse or something a big truck drives through to demonstrate its badassedness. The wily hero accidentally running through it because he’s accidentally become extraordinarily strong is a new spin on it, and good one.
- “Embrace your inner anti-hero” is not a great tagline, as it doesn’t mean anything. Nobody self-identifies as an antihero, and the costume is on his outside.
There’s a new poster as well, a good one:
There’s still no sign of Carnage, rumoured to be in the film, or Woody Harrelson, rumoured to be, er, Carnage - it certainly looks like the main baddie is Riz Ahmed’s Carlton Drake, surrounded by plenty of heavies ready to get walloped in the guts by an alien tendril or twelve. And there are still plenty of questions about the universe of the film, the presence (or not) of Spider-Man, the rumoured setups for spinoffs about other comics characters, loads of stuff.
Either way, this is all looking genuinely exciting now - so much of the hype for this movie so far has been about what it’s felt like it has potential to be, but a clearer look at it has us properly excited about what it is.
(Pic: Sony Pictures Entertainment)