Weirdly yes and no. As someone who grew up in a household that encouraged comic reading and being immersed in the lore of those worlds I was let down by the movie. I liked the subtle nods to the comics that there were, but it is hard to have Venom in a universe where there is no Spider-Man. Venom’s entire arc through the comics is how much they hate Spider-Man. This is because the Symbiote hates Spidey as well as Eddie Brock. That hatred fuels them and is literally their only motivation through the beginning stories they are in. Recently Marvel has fleshed out the character more with a great solo title out now that I highly recommend picking up and reading. The movie takes the idea of Venom and plays with it.
Riot is not a Klyntar. Riot does have a lot to do with the LIFE foundation, but it was synthetically made in the comic books. Riot was made as a part of a team that eventually all fuse together to make another symbiote names Hybrid. Riot was never a pure blooded Klyntar and never had the powers that were show cased in the movie. Riot in the movie is more Carnage than anything. This brings up another questionable decision from the movie that I am still trying to wrap my head around.
Why in God’s is Woody Harrelson cast as Cletus Kasady? It sets up the next movie as Venom versus Carnage I get that, but the casting seems off. The wig is terrible, and Harrelson’s body type is far and away from what Cletus’ body type is. Cletus(Carnage) is scrawny. It seems like a bad choice, but I will give Harrelson credit that even in the few seconds that are the post credits scene he is in he does convey a very convincing psychopath that would make a great host for the Carnage symbiote.
How are they going to make Carnage a bigger threat than Riot was? I don’t know, Riot seemed to be able to do everything that Carnage can do so the sequel may just feel like a rehash of the same story line but with different stakes. I’m interested to see what they do but not hopeful for the franchise as a whole.
Now that I am done bitching about the weird things I will say, if you go into this movie with very little knowledge of who Venom is and the comics as a whole it is an enjoyable movie. It isn’t weirdly paced and there are only a few parts of it that don’t really make any sense that I assume can just be blamed on poor editing. The action sequences are good and Venom looks like a beast. They are tall, jacked out of their mind, and teeth and tongue were spot on. I don’t think it was an over all poor movie, but it was not a great movie.
Overall I think it is mediocre and a refreshing departure for the Superhero genre. Just the right amount of dark, grit, and gore with some scenes that were genuinely funny because they were written that way. I would give it 3 Spider-Men out of an X-Men.