Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
Let’s start off with the fact that this movie isn’t very good. I don’t think it’s garbage like some others do and that’s mostly because I was fairly entertained. It’s absolutely mindless entertainment, just above a level of something like Transformers. When I say mindless, I just mean in terms of wanting something more than a generic plot. I mean yes, the dialogue is attrocious at times but something fresh could have made up for that. The story just repeats the same beats that we have seen before in superhero movies (15 years ago).
It also repeats the same beats as Upgrade, which came out earlier this year (and is a much better movie). I just wanted something new, to be brought to the table, because this character is so fleshed out in the comics. That’s another issue I had, in general: The way that they tried to find a backstory for this character without Spider-Man was so lame. I would have been okay with not including him if the idea was brilliant. This was quite the opposite of something brilliant as it just felt underwhelming.
We got this odd mix of tones that never became consistent. It’s half cheesy and half gruesome. If you can find the right balance then sure but Sony couldn’t find it. Also, I’m in the “should have been rated R camp” because we have seen it work for years. Venom is the perfect character and it was a major missed opportunity. That’s actually a good way to sum up the film. The ideas are there and the acting is great. Hardy could honestly be the perfect fit for Brock. I just hope the film performs because I want to see a redo. Michelle Williams was wasted, the villain was weak and the story was predictable.
The “epic” motorcycle scene was boring and once agin; we have seen it before. Now, Eddie Brock and his dialogue with the symbiote is awesome. That aspect of the film is perfection. You can tell that Hardy cares and he brought out a smile, on my face, multiple times. I could have followed him for hours as Brock. His story needed to be more fleshed out with less expositional dialogue. Overall, there is some fun to be had. Whether it is intentional hilarity or not; it’s there and it works. Venom just should have been better as a whole.