Venom (2018)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer

Rating: 1 2 and a half

What do you get if you cross King Kong with Evil Dead 2 and throw in shades of Wes Craven's Shocker? You get the latest superhero outing from Marvel, Venom.

Venom is possibly one of the stupidest action movies I've ever seen, filled with ludicrous pseudo-science, crass dialogue and utterly ridiculous plot 'twists'. But because it stars Tom Hardy, who is not only super gorgeous (when he isn't hidden beneath six inches of black latex – which thankfully is much less often than I'd feared) but seriously funny.

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock in Venom

Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a sort of Evil Knievel investigative journalist who zooms around San Francisco on a motorbike delivering hard-hitting nooz reports. But his life goes pear-shaped when he takes on dodgy pharmaceuticals billionaire and space exploration pioneer Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). A couple of hard-hitting questions about suspicious drug testing practices and Brock finds himself sans job, sans girlfriend (a woefully underused Michelle Williams in a very bad wig) and sans her nice apartment and cat.

But when one of the scientists at Drake's facility has an attack of conscience and approaches Brock to blow the whistle, things go from bad to worse. For despite the ultra top secret work carried out in the lab, it proves a breeze for Brock to waltz in, smash a few doors and escape... with an extra-terrestrial parasite inside him.

Tom Hardy confronts his inner demon in Venom

Throw in a second 'symbiote' limping its way across the planet Horace Pinker style (of course it inhabits a little girl – derr! – and has a stupid skaterboy name), a bit where Venom spells out EXACTLY how to kill the parasite (think the end of Mars Attacks and you're pretty much there) and a class scene where one of Drake's minions tries to shut down a rocket launch by reading the instructions from a manual (turns out it’s similar to rebooting your iPod – just press two buttons at once – who knew?) and you have, yeah. Venom.

But lest this put you off, let me add that it's also wildly, ridiculously entertaining and I didn't fall asleep once. And if you love Tom Hardy (or even if you don't, but fancy seeing him re-enact the killer hand sequence from Evil Dead 2) this is the movie for you.

Five stars for gorgeous Tom, for few actors could carry a film this rubbish with such gleeful aplomb (yes Tom, the furniture is laughing at you), and one and a half for everything else. It's stupid, derivative, sexist nonsense (why is Michelle Williams' hot shot lawyer character wearing a Japanese school girl outfit? And why does she have to be so fecking useless? Black Panther this really ain't.) But boy is it fun!

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