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I’ve been itching to watch the movie, Venom, for quite some time and finally watched it. It didn’t disappoint. Make no mistake about it: This isn’t something like the MCU that hides superb acting and writing within a fantasy-action film. It is what it is, but what it is is a lot of fun. Why else do you go to the movies except to have fun? Sometimes action is all you need.
Professional movie reviewers (the pre-internet world’s “influencers”) disagree. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Venom’s approval ratings are 80% for real people and only 29% for movie reviewers. Even politicians aren’t that out-of-touch with the people they serve. Seriously, how do these people have jobs? Who’s paying them?
From a purely artistic (not financial) standpoint, you can’t say a movie shouldn’t have been made unless absolutely no one likes it. Otherwise, it has artistic value. Movie reviewers shouldn’t be writing their reviews from the perspective of their own subjective point of view. They should put their egos and snark aside and focus on to whom the movie might appeal based on its themes and genre. Then the reader can predict whether or not it will appeal to them. That would be useful. That’s what I try to do with my writing, but I’m not a talented creative writer, so the professionals should do that.
I saw a play at Arena Stage decades ago, and one of the lines that always stuck with me was, “I don’t want to see one of those foreign films you like. If I wanted to read, I’d have stayed home with a book.” The speaker was talking to someone who should have become a movie reviewer. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a book, and there’s nothing wrong with seeing a film with subtitles, but sometimes you don’t want either.
If a critic wants to assign a rating to a movie (i.e., one star, two star, etc.), that’s fine; we can all ignore it. But to do their job correctly, their review must disclose the genre and themes of the movie so that each of us can make an informed decision as to whether the movie will likely interest us (or our children, if applicable). Those are the only opinions that matter to each of us.
Sometimes you just want to see someone get his head bitten off. Venom delivered. It was fun.
There’s only one thing about the movie that stood out that I didn’t like: The typical comic book trope of a villain having the same powers as the hero. But hell; it’s an origin story. I’m looking forward to the next one.