Venom

Venom

2018, PG-13, 112 min. Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., Oct. 12, 2018

It’s the biggest cinematic question of the year: Which symbiotic action movie starring sorta-Tom Hardy is better? Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade caught audiences by surprise by showcasing inventive fight choreography and a breakout performance from star Logan Marshall-Green. For its part, Venom comes barreling into theatres with superhero name recognition, a big budget, and lofty expectations as the first film in Sony's new Spider-Man spin-off cinematic universe (none of which are planned to actually feature Spider-Man). It’s a shame, then, that this competition didn't turn out closer. If you can't out-action a movie with a similar premise and a fraction of your budget, maybe blockbuster filmmaking isn’t the business for you.

Carlton Drake (Ahmed) is a man with vision; unfortunately, it just so happens this particular vision involves fusing homeless people with symbiotes  –  a race of parasitic aliens  – and launching them into outer space. When unemployed journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy), whose career had previously been ruined by Drake, stumbles across this conspiracy, he is immediately forced to go on the run from the billionaire’s security forces. Brock is not alone, though. He is powered by Venom, one of the renegade symbiotes that bonds with him and makes him an unstoppable fighting machine. If Earth is to be saved from an invading force, Venom and Brock must work together to stop Drake from unleashing an invading force on the planet.

No one can accuse Hardy of giving Venom anything less than his absolute best. He has always been a performer who loves a good affectation; here he seems to be riffing on his performance as Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road, playing Brock as a babbling brawler who seems barely in control of the situation in front of him. Most of the good moments come while watching Hardy rant as the symbiote takes control of his body, beating up a room full of security guards or getting chased by a fleet of SUVs on his motorcycle. Hardy brings a cartoonlike energy to his performance that the film almost seems ready to use as its north star before falling back into the dull rhythm of doomsday plot devices and mirror-image boss battles.

And listen, movies are allowed any number of narrative dead ends if they still work hard to entertain us, but Venom is such a deluge of bad writing that it’s hard to see anything else. Brock is perhaps the worst journalist ever committed to screen, eschewing any semblance of journalistic rigor in favor of shouted hearsay. And why? Since Drake is set to crush Brock either way, making him a rigorous reporter would’ve added weight to the screenplay without changing the structure of the film. The only reason he is presented as a bad reporter is because the filmmakers didn’t bother taking the screen time needed to make him a good one. These little mistakes and missed opportunities pile up, and instead of focusing on the action at hand, you find yourself wondering how an unemployed journalist can still afford an apartment that big in San Francisco.

Ultimately, Venom is shorter and goofier than its superhero competition, which might be enough to set it apart for some audiences. Still, if you were hoping that it would push the boundaries of mainstream action movies and give us a split-minded superhero worth cheering for, you’d probably be better off checking out Upgrade instead. What you lose in head-biting you make up for in, well, everything else.

Showtimes

Wed., Oct. 17

1:10, 4:20, 5:05, 7:50, 11:00, 11:35

Fri., Oct. 19

11:15am, 2:35, 5:35, 8:30, 11:25

Sat., Oct. 20

11:45am, 2:35, 5:30, 8:25, 11:20

Sun., Oct. 21

12:00, 3:45, 7:45, 11:30

Mon., Oct. 22

1:10, 4:05, 7:25, 9:55

Tue., Oct. 23

2:35, 5:35, 8:30, 11:25
AFA 11:40am

Wed., Oct. 17

1:30, 4:00, 8:00, 10:55

Fri., Oct. 19

10:50am, 1:50, 4:50, 7:50, 10:45

Sat., Oct. 20

1:50, 4:50, 7:50, 10:45
OC 10:50am

Sun., Oct. 21

10:30am, 1:45, 4:45, 7:50, 10:55

Mon., Oct. 22

12:15, 3:00, 7:00, 10:35

Tue., Oct. 23

2:15, 5:10, 8:05, 11:05
AFA 11:00am

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 17

11:35am, 2:00, 4:55, 7:50, 10:45

Fri., Oct. 19

12:00, 1:40, 4:35, 7:30, 10:40

Sun., Oct. 21

12:50, 3:15, 6:00, 9:00

Mon., Oct. 22

11:10am, 2:05, 5:00, 8:00, 10:55

Tue., Oct. 23

2:05, 5:00, 7:55, 10:50
AFA 11:10am

Wed., Oct. 17

12:45, 3:45, 7:45, 10:45

Fri., Oct. 19

1:00, 6:45, 10:45

Sat., Oct. 20

10:30am, 1:25, 4:05, 6:45, 9:40

Sun., Oct. 21

11:00am, 1:55, 5:00, 7:30, 10:25

Mon., Oct. 22

1:05, 4:00, 7:35, 10:25

Tue., Oct. 23

4:25, 7:45, 10:40
AFA 1:30

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 17

11:00am, 1:50, 4:45, 7:45, 10:35

Fri., Oct. 19

4:00, 11:00

Sat., Oct. 20

12:35, 3:40, 11:00

Sun., Oct. 21

12:05, 3:05, 11:00

Mon., Oct. 22

3:00, 6:00, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 23

3:05, 6:00, 10:00
AFA 11:55am

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 4:00
CC/DVS 10:20am, 11:00am, 1:00, 1:40, 4:40, 6:40, 7:40

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

12:45, 3:35, 6:30, 9:15
3-D 1:30, 5:40, 10:00
digital 12:00, 12:45, 3:35, 4:20, 6:30, 7:10, 8:30, 9:15
XD 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D 11:20am, 5:20, 8:20
digital 12:20, 1:20, 2:20, 3:10, 4:20, 6:20, 7:20, 9:20, 10:20

Thu., Oct. 18

3-D 4:20
digital 12:20, 1:20, 1:40, 3:10, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 9:20am, 10:50am, 12:00, 1:30, 2:50, 4:10, 5:30, 6:50, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 10:50am, 1:30, 4:10, 5:30, 6:50, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 9:20am, 10:50am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 12:00, 1:30, 2:50, 4:10, 5:30, 6:50, 8:10, 9:30, 10:50

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30, 10:50

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D 2:50, 5:45
digital 10:55am, 11:50am, 12:55, 1:50, 3:50, 4:45, 6:55, 7:40, 9:50, 10:30

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D 3:25, 8:55
digital 12:35, 1:45, 2:30, 4:30, 5:15, 6:10, 7:15, 8:00, 10:00, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 18

3-D 3:25, 8:55
digital 12:35, 1:45, 2:30, 4:30, 6:10, 7:15, 10:00

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D 10:30am, 4:05, 9:35
digital 11:50am, 12:35, 1:20, 2:30, 3:15, 5:10, 6:05, 6:50, 7:50, 8:50, 10:40

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D 2:35
digital 12:20, 3:25, 5:15, 6:45, 8:00

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 12:20, 3:25, 6:45, 9:45

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 12:20, 3:25, 6:45, 9:45

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 12:20, 3:25, 6:45

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 12:20, 3:25, 6:45

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 12:20, 3:25, 6:45

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., Oct. 17

1:15, 1:30, 3:45, 4:30, 6:40, 7:30, 9:45, 10:25

Fri., Oct. 19

11:30am, 2:40, 6:35, 9:45

Sat., Oct. 20

11:30am, 2:40, 6:35, 9:45

Sun., Oct. 21

2:40, 6:35, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 22

2:40, 6:35, 9:45

Tue., Oct. 23

2:40, 6:35, 9:45

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., Oct. 17

11:10am, 12:35, 1:55, 3:15, 4:35, 5:55, 8:35, 10:15
3-D, EVX 10:55am, 1:35, 4:15, 7:00, 9:45
EVX 10:55am, 1:35, 4:15, 7:00, 9:45
OC 7:30

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Wed., Oct. 17

CC 11:50am, 3:00, 4:00, 5:30, 7:00, 8:45, 10:15

Thu., Oct. 18

CC 12:30, 1:20, 3:50, 4:25, 5:30, 8:45

Fri., Oct. 19

CC 10:30am, 1:00, 3:30, 5:00, 7:45, 9:30, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

CC 10:30am, 1:00, 3:30, 5:00, 7:45, 9:30, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

CC 10:30am, 1:00, 3:30, 5:00, 7:45, 9:30, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 22

CC 1:00, 3:30, 5:00, 7:45, 9:30, 10:30

Tue., Oct. 23

CC 1:00, 3:30, 5:00, 9:15, 10:00

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., Oct. 17

12:15, 1:00, 3:20, 4:10, 6:30, 7:20, 9:20, 10:10

Thu., Oct. 18

12:15, 1:00, 3:20, 4:10, 7:20, 10:10

Fri., Oct. 19

12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15, 11:55
XD 12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 20

12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15, 11:55
XD 12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 21

12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15
XD 12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 22

12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15
XD 12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15
XD 12:50, 4:00, 7:10, 10:15

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 12:35, 7:00
CC/DVS 1:00, 3:30, 4:20, 7:35, 9:50, 10:30

Fri., Oct. 19

3-D, CC/DVS 12:35, 7:10
CC/DVS 3:30, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 20

3-D, CC/DVS 12:35, 7:10
CC/DVS 3:30, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 21

3-D, CC/DVS 12:35, 7:10
CC/DVS 3:30, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 22

3-D, CC/DVS 12:35, 7:10
CC/DVS 3:30, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 23

3-D, CC/DVS 12:35, 7:10
CC/DVS 3:30, 10:00

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Wed., Oct. 17

11:50am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15

Thu., Oct. 18

11:50am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15

Fri., Oct. 19

11:45am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:15, 9:55

Sat., Oct. 20

11:45am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:15, 9:55

Sun., Oct. 21

11:45am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:15

Mon., Oct. 22

11:45am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:15

Tue., Oct. 23

11:45am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:15

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Wed., Oct. 17

12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Fri., Oct. 19

11:15am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15

Sat., Oct. 20

11:15am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15

Sun., Oct. 21

11:15am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15

Mon., Oct. 22

11:15am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15

Tue., Oct. 23

11:15am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 1:10, 4:00, 7:00
CC/DVS 2:15, 5:00, 8:00

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45, 10:50

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45, 10:50

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 2:15, 5:00, 7:50

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 12:05, 2:10, 5:00, 7:50, 10:45
CC/DVS 1:15, 4:10, 7:00, 9:55

Thu., Oct. 18

3-D, CC/DVS 12:05, 2:10, 5:00, 7:50, 10:45
CC/DVS 1:15, 4:10, 7:00, 9:55

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Wed., Oct. 17

11:40am, 12:45, 2:50, 3:50, 5:30, 8:30, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 18

11:40am, 12:45, 2:50, 3:50, 5:30, 8:30

Fri., Oct. 19

10:30am, 1:35, 2:20, 4:40, 7:45, 9:00, 10:50

Sat., Oct. 20

10:30am, 1:35, 2:20, 4:40, 7:45, 9:00, 10:50

Sun., Oct. 21

10:30am, 1:35, 2:20, 4:40, 7:45, 9:00, 10:50

Mon., Oct. 22

10:30am, 1:35, 2:20, 4:40, 7:45, 10:50

Tue., Oct. 23

10:30am, 1:35, 2:20, 4:40, 7:45, 9:00, 10:50

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Wed., Oct. 17

12:15, 4:30, 7:00, 10:05

Thu., Oct. 18

12:15, 4:30, 7:00, 10:05

Fri., Oct. 19

11:45am, 2:55, 6:00, 10:45

Sat., Oct. 20

11:45am, 2:55, 6:00, 10:45

Sun., Oct. 21

11:45am, 2:55, 6:00, 10:45

Mon., Oct. 22

11:30am, 2:55, 6:00, 10:45

Tue., Oct. 23

11:30am, 2:55, 6:00, 10:45

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Wed., Oct. 17

9:50am, 12:55, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00
3-D 10:30am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:30, 10:25

Fri., Oct. 19

9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:50, 9:55

Sat., Oct. 20

9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:50, 9:55

Sun., Oct. 21

9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:50, 9:55

Mon., Oct. 22

9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:50, 9:55

Tue., Oct. 23

9:55am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:50, 9:55

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

2:10, 7:20
3-D 4:40

Thu., Oct. 18

2:10, 7:20
3-D 4:40

Fri., Oct. 19

11:20am, 1:50, 7:10, 9:50
3-D 4:30

Sat., Oct. 20

11:20am, 1:50, 7:10, 9:50
3-D 4:30

Sun., Oct. 21

11:20am, 1:50, 7:10
3-D 4:30

Mon., Oct. 22

1:50, 7:10
3-D 4:30

Tue., Oct. 23

1:50, 7:10
3-D 4:30

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Wed., Oct. 17

11:40am, 12:40, 3:25, 5:30, 6:15, 8:15, 9:10

Thu., Oct. 18

11:40am, 12:40, 3:25, 5:30, 6:15, 8:15, 9:10

Wed., Oct. 17

4:45, 5:00, 8:00, 10:40, 11:00

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., Oct. 17

11:45am, 12:45, 2:30, 4:00, 5:15, 7:00, 8:00, 9:45, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 18

11:45am, 12:45, 2:30, 4:00, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 10:00
CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:30

Thu., Oct. 18

3-D, CC/DVS 10:00
CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:15

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:50, 5:25, 8:00, 10:40

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:50, 5:25, 8:00, 10:40

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:35, 4:10, 7:45, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:35, 4:15, 7:10, 9:45

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:00, 4:15, 7:45, 9:45

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READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Venom, Ruben Fleischer, Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott

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