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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: In spite of many negative reviews from mainstream critics and derisive, vitriolic opinions aimed at the movie (and Sony) for various reasons and some even predicting a box office fate akin to Catwoman or Fant4stic, Venom has shattered the box office opening record for the month of October (it held it until Joker came out the following year) and is sitting quite comfortably at an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. To put things into perspective: Budget: $100 million. Total box-office gross: $213-some million domestically and $642 million in foreign markets (with China spectacularly standing out), adding up to a worldwide gross of $855+ million, fairly close to the revenue Spider-Man: Homecoming received, and on a much lower budget than Homecoming to boot. The film ended up grossing more worldwide and being more profitable than either of the two entries of The Amazing Spider-Man Series, which had monstrous budgets and low box office returns by comparison.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • Anne says in the ending that She-Venom kissing Eddie was the symbiote's idea. The motivation for that counts as this, whether Venom wanted to kiss Eddie itself, or have Anne kiss Eddie as part of the "win her back scheme". Also, is Anne telling the entirety of the truth? Did Venom force her to kiss Eddie, which seems a bit out of character for the symbiote, or did Venom suggest the kiss and Anne went along with it for her own reasons?
    • Eddie did a lot of shady stuff to advance his own career. It's implied that he was run out of New York because no one would hire him due to his reckless disregard for any rules or tact, and he got not only himself but his girlfriend fired from their lucrative jobs in San Francisco because of his irresponsible journalism. On the other hand, he refused to be threatened into silence by his boss because a Corrupt Corporate Executive didn't like him poking around his secret experiments, and went ahead with his original plan to out Drake's human experimentation.
      • How important is it to the viewer that Eddie stole confidential information from his fiancée? Did potentially breaking the story about putting vulnerable people at risk during experiments make that justifiable?
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    • Was the Blue Symbiote’s death (after it killed Dr. Skirth) really an accident on the part of the two scientists who were supposed to be supervising it, or did they let it die on purpose after seeing firsthand just how far over the edge Drake had gone?
  • Ass Pull: Venom surviving the explosion of the Life Foundation rocket and still being bonded with Eddie even after separating from him and saying goodbye. It's never established whether or not Symbiotes only need a minuscule part of itself in a host to survive and the film never explains Venom's survival at all.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The relationship between Eddie and the symbiote is explored far more than it was with Topher Grace's portrayal from Spider-Man 3, being portrayed closer to the schizophrenia dynamic from the comics.
    • Much like Ben Affleck's Batman voice, a vocal filter is added to give the Venom symbiote a Badass Baritone instead of Topher Grace's more weaselly and awkward performance. Venom's appearance is also larger and more monstrous rather than looking like a doppelganger of Spider-Man. The creators also made sure to include Venom's trademark tongue from the comics, which was not used in Spider-Man 3.
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    • After the "Symb-EYE-Ote" pronunciation in the second trailer was widely mocked online, the actual movie made use of automatic dialogue replacement to keep it closer to the traditional pronunciation of the term ("Sym-BEE-Ote", in case you're wondering).
      • Side note: Merriam Websters was dragged into the pre-release discussion surrounding which was the right way to say the word and confirmed both ways of saying the word are correct.
    • Some reviews point out that the movie is at least self-contained. The Amazing Spider Man 2 was often criticized for being too busy trying to be a Poorly Disguised Pilot to set up a Shared Universe.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The music from the teaser trailer, "Life in Being", perfectly captures the feeling of darkness Venom brings yet its heroic later tones show how Eddie and Venom are, at their cores, heroes.
    • Eminem’s song for the movie, "Venom", is simply badass.
    • JT Music also dedicated a rap song to the movie, "No Hero".
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The infamous scene of Eddie kissing Venom became a talking point incredibly quickly. What most didn't talk about at the time it came out is that it's also a kiss with Anne, as she's taking the role of She-Venom for a short period of time.
  • "Common Knowledge": While the "Sym-BEE-Yote" pronunciation is commonly used in Marvel adaptations, one of the trailers opted to go with "Symb-EYE-Yote", which many fans see as being completely wrong. However, the latter pronunciation is still considered as phonetically-correct as the one used in most other Marvel adaptations.
  • Complete Monster: Both halves of the Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • Dr. Carlton Drake is the CEO of Life Industries with a god complex. Coming into possession of the symbiotes, Drake experiments with homeless people, having them attached to and devoured by the symbiotes in massive numbers to learn how to control them, even using the Symbiote to murder a doctor who assists Eddie Brock. When he merges with the Symbiote Riot, Drake eagerly embraces his newfound power and assists Riot in killing all in his path, intending to bring the Symbiotes to devour all humanity to satisfy his ego.
    • The Riot symbiote is the "team leader" of the planned symbiote invasion force coming to Earth, and one of the four symbiotes brought back to Earth by the Life Foundation. Riot escapes, surfing from host to host and eating them alive from the inside-out—with two of his hosts being an old woman and a little girl—while leaving a slew of slaughtered innocents behind him. Riot bonds to Carlton Drake in the climax to send out a probe to bring the rest of his kind to Earth and allow them to feed on all humanity, massacring the entirety of Drake's staff when he's informed there may be a delay. Riot is apathetic to the death of even the other symbiotes who died in Carlton Drake's care, and decides to even kill Venom when he goes renegade.
  • Creepy Awesome: Venom. An eight-foot-tall alien with huge, sharp teeth and an elongated tongue, with a deep, gravelly voice, and also eats people alive? Scary. The fact that he also kicks ass, takes names, and gives his host superpowers? Awesome.
  • Creepy Cute: Whilst Venom himself is rather awesome and scary looking... he's also weirdly adorable. See Evil Is Sexy for more.
  • Critical Backlash: The movie receiving mostly negative critical reception, with many comparing it to superhero stinkers from the early 2000's like Daredevil or Catwoman, arguably did it favours as it caused a large chunk of the audience to go in with very low expectations. However, many moviegoers saw the movie as So Okay, It's Average, with a lot of genuinely entertaining scenes, and they jumped to the movie's defense instead.
  • Critical Dissonance: While Venom has been largely panned by critics, the general audience likes the film, with a 81% audience score contrasting the critics' 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The IMDb score is also fairly high, with mostly 6-7 votes and reviews stating that the movie is at least watchable instead of a full-on disaster.
  • Critic-Proof: Despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews, Venom blew away already-optimistic box office projections of a $60-70 million domestic opening weekend by doing $81 million ($205 million internationally) instead. When considering its budget of only $100 million, it turned quite a nice profit, unlike some of Sony's previous efforts.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Judging from how often she pops up in fanfic, a lot of the fandom really likes Mrs. Chen. Even though she's a minor character in the opening and epilogue of the film, she's often given a more prominent role as an ally to Venom and Eddie.
    • Dr. Dan Lewis, Anne's new boyfriend, is very well-liked for being nice to Eddie and never once getting jealous over Anne's past relationship. A lot of movies see the ex's new paramour put into an antagonistic role, so the fact that Dan actually likes Eddie and tries to help him out is a welcome change.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • The fan theory that Life (2017) is a Stealth Prequel to this movie, partially fueled by the fact that the movie recycles a minor shot from Spider-Man 3, which was Venom's debut in live action.
    • Fans came up with tons of theories (of varying quality) about how the symbiote could be introduced to the MCU should the film not do well and Marvel would get the rights back, assuming that the film would flop (and be of poor quality in general), despite Word of God stating that the MCU Spider-Man will fight villains that he hasn't faced in the previous films.
    • With the news that Ron Cephas Jones would be in the film, some suspected it would be as his Luke Cage character Bobby Fish, who was last seen headed to California to see his daughter, as even if Sony isn't ready yet to fully attach their films to the MCU (or rather, even if the MCU isn't ready to fully attach their films to Sony), sharing a minor character like Bobby could be their way of testing the waters for it.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Venom, although its downplayed here as he's a Nominal Hero rather than outright villain.
    • Unlike his host Drake, Riot just oozes utter badass, being both an incredibly competent fighter and an effective leader, and damn terrifying at that
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • While earning him little sympathy, Carlton Drake (more specifically, his actor Riz Ahmed) is quite easy on the eyes.
    • You'll find no shortage of people finding the fully formed Venom to be surprisingly hot. A lot of the findings point to his tongue. And keep in mind that none of these are even mentioning Tom Hardy, who's already a well-known Mr. Fanservice (or, for that matter, the portion of the comic's fandom that's long held this particular torch where Venom is concerned). This got to the point where China decided the market the movie by advertising how good a boyfriend Venom would make, complete with a strangely wholesome picture of Venom helping out his girlfriend.
    • Of course, She-Venom is also there to provide appeal for the gentlemen and lesbians in the audience, if only briefly.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Between fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and potential fans of Sony's proposed Marvel setting, rather unsurprisingly. There's also a different kind of rivalry between fans who want Venom to be integrated into Marvel's setting (mostly from Marvel Studios fans who like the way the movie looks) and those who want it kept as far from Marvel Studios as possible (either from the camp of non-Marvel Studios Marvel movie fans who would prefer this movie series goes with more tonally-distinct and R-rated projects in the future, or from Marvel Studios fans who fear that the movie looks bad and would risk tarnishing Marvel's brand with a crossover).
    • There is also one between Marvel Studios fans and Venom fans, as Venom fans are generally excited for the movie thanks to Venom being an anti-hero in this and the movie being influenced by the fan favorite storyline Lethal Protector and to a lesser extent Planet of the Symbiotes. Suggesting that the movie will bomb on the Venom Site's Reddit page is an easy way to get yourself downvoted.
    • Fans of the sci-fi action film Upgrade don't think of this movie very fondly given the fact they share incredibly similar premises, Empowered Badass Normal protagonists with penchants for Black Comedy (who also coincidentally look very alike), and the fact this movie was a box office success but received negative critic reviews while Upgrade received better reviews from both critics and audiences but received less attention. Another common criticism is that Venom wasn't as violent as some of the comics while Upgrade didn't hold back.
    • And now with (of all things) the Lady Gaga fandom. Gaga fans have been accused of flooding the Venom hashtag on twitter with troll bot accounts giving negative reviews of Venom, since it comes out the same weekend as Lady Gaga's new film A Star is Born.
    • It has now gained one with a most...unexpected group; the adoring fanbase of serial murderer Ted Bundy. After Bundy's...admirers compared being attracted to Bundy, a real life killer, to being attracted to Venom in an attempt to argue it was a totally normal and common thing, fans of the Marvel character reacted incredibly negatively to the comparison for very understandable reasons.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • While not part of the MCU, the movie existing at all has led to the creation of fan fiction and fan art in which Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Tom Hardy's Venom interact with each other. For example...
    • Fans of the previous iterations of Spider-Man did the same with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
    • With the critical acclaim and popularity of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, fans now have even more incentive and excuses to make Tom Hardy's Eddie and Venom cross over with other cinematic versions of Spider-Man.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Eddie/Venom has become incredibly popular amongst the fandom, being paired up together constantly despite Venom being an extraterrestrial blob of tar not confirmed capable of sexual reproduction.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The movie did fine business domestically (grossing about twice its budget there, which is neither remarkable nor anywhere close to some box office bombs it was compared to), but somehow, it went bonkers internationally, especially in China and Russia.
  • Ham and Cheese: Tom Hardy's performance somehow alters between taking the role completely seriously and hamming it up in this kind of a fashion. One critic even said that Hardy was "basically remaking Jim Carrey's Liar Liar", while another joked that Hardy was looking to be the first actor to win an Academy Award and a Golden Raspberry Award for the same performance. This has actually contributed to the film's So Bad, It's Good reputation.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of the first trailers has Venom licking an uncomfortable man's face in an exaggerated, Narm-y manner. The release of the film coincided with the anime debut of Jojos Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Vento Aureo, which is famous for the Memetic Mutation "This is the taste of a liar!" where character Bruno Buccirati licks The Protagonist Giorno Giovanna in a similar creepily-sexual way.
    • Venom's actor Tom Hardy previously starred as the supervillain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, a character who gets his strength from a steroid called Venom.note  Bane is also basically perceived as Venom's Alternate Company Equivalent, and the two even fought each other in an episode of Death Battle.
    • After Hugh Jackman announced that he would retire from the role of Wolverine after Logan, Tom Hardy was a popular fan-choice to replace him. Not long after Hardy's casting as Eddie Brock in this movie, the Venomverse story arc involved the All-New Wolverinenote  bonding with the symbiote.
    • Sorta overlapping with Harsher in Hindsight but the film's premise, Venom without Spider Man, basically has more credence since Avengers: Infinity War killed off Peter Parker.
    • It's rather funny seeing Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, and Woody Harrelson all in the same movie together since they've all now been in the new Star Wars movies.explanation 
      • Just like in Rogue One, Riz's character dies when the spaceship he's in explodes.
    • The entire premise of the film in quite hilarious in the Japanese dub, since the symbiote is voiced by Shido Nakamura, better know for anime fans as Ryuk, especially if you consider how this film and the manga ends: In this film, both Eddie and the symbiote survives, while in Death Note Ryuk kills the main character Light Yagami by using the titular item on him.
    • Also, from the same dub, Junichi Suwabe's role as Eddie is pretty hilarious for two reasons: He voiced another guy named Venom, a villanous character who is in love with his master, Zato-1, and the fact said character is quite similar to the Marvel's Venom, as he use a symbiote-like being for many of his attacks. Taking into account the pseudo-Ho Yay many perceive between Eddie and the symbiote...note  For extra hilarity, Eddie is the name of Zato-1's symbiote.
    • And also in another gag involving both Suwabe and Arc System Works, he also voiced Relius Clover, a Mad Scientist who transformed a human into a Venom-like being (Arakune).
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, Víctor Ugarte voices Riot. The hilarity come with the fact Ugarte previously voiced Spider-Man, Venom's rival, in Spider-Man (PS4).
    • Venom shows an unhealthy interest in puppies at times, which is funny if you follow Mock the Week and are familiar with Hugh Dennis dubbing over Camilla Parker Bowles in a voice very similar to Venom, complete with unhealthy obsession with puppies.
    • Don't feel bad about taking the lift, Eddie. Miles Morales was scared on his first jump as well.
    • The symbiote's powers as portrayed here greatly resemble those the protagonists of the [PROTOTYPE] games have. The original [PROTOTYPE] was originally planned to be a sequel to Spider-Man: Web of Shadows where the player would control Venom as he slaughtered and ate his way to a symbiote-infested Spider-Man. A circle of sorts has been completed.
  • Ho Yay:
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • A particularly odd example in that there's a degree of apathy toward the movie itself, as while most Venom fans are excited for the movie, there are some Venom fans that are generally suspicious of Sony Pictures or are Marvel Studios fans worried about Spider-Man's future in the MCU. However, there has been simultaneously some interest in the movie for specific visual effects. After the second trailer was released, many have said they don't actually care about the movie's story and writing all that much, but they will be willing to watch it just for the scenes with Eddie Brock fully-transformed into Venom, which look stunning.
    • Several negative reviews say the film is still worth a look for Tom Hardy's completely bonkers performance, which included a good deal of improvising.
    • When news got out that one of the film's stingers was an extended sneak peek at Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, people who were hyped for that movie went to see Venom just to see it.
  • LGBT Fanbase: In one case of winning an audience Sony was definitely not expecting or aiming for, LGBT fans immediately became quite fond of the movie because of romantic overtones in Eddie and Venom's relationship. Additionally, some nonbinary fans have started to perceive Venom as gender-fluid or non-gender-identifying thanks to the scene where he takes Anne's form while kissing Eddie.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: As if there was any chance of the titular symbiote not living to see the final number.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Confused/Awkward Kevin Feige. Explanation 
    • Tom Hardy's starring role in the movie necessitated more Baneposting.
    • "1:16" Explanation 
    • "When *insert*." Explanation 
    • The ladies of the Internet, especially on Tumblr, are going pretty wild over Venom's tongue. There are also responses remarking on how Venom is the successor to Tumblr's previous Evil Is Sexy obsession Pennywise.
    • "We... are Garbo"Explanation 
    • News articles pointing out that the full Venom trailer has Venom in it, after the teaser infamously didn't show him off.
    • Symb-EYE-Ote.note 
    • The full trailer reusing the exact same song as an earlier trailer for Avengers: Infinity War has led to much mocking about Sony's infamous online reputation for a lack of originality, or otherwise cracking jokes about the company being so desperate to create a Shared Universe to rival the MCU that they went so far as to directly copy its music choices.
    • "Kids love Venom!" Explanation 
    • "Like a turd in the wind."Explanation 
    • "See The Movie" Explanation 
    • "Eddie Brock and Venom make out." Explanation 
    • Venom is the best superhero movie of 2003.Explanation 
    • The shot of Eddie sitting in the lobster tank, either with amusing captions or just on its own (here's just one example of the former).
    • Due to the involvement of the extremely unpopular Avi Arad, Amy Pascal and Tom Rothman in the film's production, quite a few detractors have mockingly referred to them as their favorite Spider-Man villains, or alternatively as the Three Stooges.
  • Misaimed Marketing: An odd example that isn’t necessarily the film's fault. In the leadup, news sites focused their coverage on explaining or speculating about Carnage to the point of releasing videos explaining things about the character... despite no official indication that said character would even be appearing in this film. (Cletus Kasady is in the film, but only briefly in The Stinger, and not as Carnage.) In fact, Carnage received more coverage than Riot, the actual Big Bad of the film.
  • Misblamed: A common excuse for some being against the movie, including the infamous 'boycott' post originating on Deviant Art, accuses Sony of trying to 'steal' the rights away from Marvel by making this movie. What they seem to ignore is that Sony wanted to make the movie part of the MCU, and explicitly kept it PG-13 in order to allow Tom Holland's Spider-Man to crossover in the future, and it was purely Marvel who didn't want to be involved. On top of this, they seem to forget that this was part of the deal for returning Spider-Man, that Sony themselves get to make movies with the character's universe too. Sony get accused of being greedy and underhanded when all they're actually doing is making use of their side of the bargain.
  • Money-Making Shot:
    • The shot of Eddie strapped to a medical table and screaming, which has gotten better with every trailer as more of the final effects during the scene have been added on.
    • As of Trailer 3, this picture of the Venom and Riot symbiotes being peeled off their hosts during their fight is now one.
  • Moral Event Horizon: As if the unethical treatments he approved and his threat towards Dr. Skirth's family didn't cross the line, Drake murdering Skirth with a Symbiote should do it. Even if you excuse that as Pragmatic Villainy, stopping, him eagerly getting on board with Riot's plan puts the nail in the coffin.
    • If possessing and killing multiple innocents, including an elderly woman and a little girl, didn't confirm that Riot is too far gone, then his plan to enslave and massacre humanity should.
  • Narm: Plenty, as evidenced here.
  • Narm Charm:
    • People who defend the movie commonly cite this trope as being the reason why they like it, which might not be all that surprising considering that the character of Venom is largely over-the-top to begin with, since that's kind of how The Dark Age of Comic Books sort of went. Many reviews state that it's often very hard to tell if a scene is actually supposed to be funny or is just Narm. If you're in the right mindset, it can be a blast.
    • If it weren’t for Tom Hardy, the scene in the teaser of Eddie freaking out could’ve been much worse if given to a lesser actor. And it's not that the scene itself is poorly-acted, it's just the placement in the trailer and a lack of context that makes it seem goofy. Indeed, the actual trailer briefly revisits the moment, which looks significantly better with completed visual effects.
    • While Eddie confronting the Big Bad about the allegations against him in public is indeed an incredibly stupid move for a seasoned journalist, it meshes well with the fact that comic book Eddie despite what he believed wasn’t really as good at his job as he claimed. (Him losing his job in the comics was a result of him taking the confession of someone just claiming he was a famed serial killer without really corroborating it, with Spider-Man catching the real killer soon after.note ) It also kinda endears us to Hardy’s version by showing he does indeed care about the lives of people and is willing to put himself at risk for the sake of finding the truth. In the film itself, this incident follows after Eddie has just found out about the wrongful deaths and gotten an idea of the full extent of Carlton Drake's lack of concern for human lives, so his eagerness to confront him actually comes off as him being legitimately appalled at what he's found out and unable to conceal his rage.
    • A lot of the dialogue in the trailer that's been derided, besides being from the comics, actually ends up being pretty in-character with Venom in the movie, as he maintains a fairly darkly comical personality. "A Turd in the Wind" for instance actually fits along the lines of how he's been talking throughout the movie.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The movie became an internet meme for its dubious quality and being a naked cash grab for Sony. Nonetheless, the film still became a hit with many finding it entertaining in a So Bad, It's Good fashion. If anything, the quality of the final film only encouraged some audiences to go see it just so they can take the piss out of it.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • While the design has been derided for the lack of the white spiders, there is a basis for this, as barring the covers of the initial Ultimate Spider-Man arc and the video gamenote , Ultimate Venom lacks the white spider emblems.
    • The slobbering all over the man's face, the symbiote's Venom-face forming on the end of his arm and the "turd in the wind" dialogue all are faithful to the comic version of Venom. In general, a lot of what's derided about the film is pretty par-the-course for the character.
    • The "Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!" line has gotten some snark for trying too hard to be edgy. Except, that line was actually in the comics.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • She-Venom only appears for 20 seconds at most, but she simultaneously pulls off a Big Damn Heroes moment and proves that "sexy" and "possessed by the Symbiote" are not mutually exclusive in an iconic kissing scene.
    • Goofy wig aside, Woody Harrelson does give a memorable short appearance as Cletus Kasady.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Eddie/Anne/Venom became unexpectedly popular across the internet after the film's release. Considering that during the infamous "Venom kiss" scene, Anne is wearing the symbiote, it's practically canon. It certainly helps that, when all is said and done, Eddie and Venom are kind of a package deal. And, while they're working out the difference between "I" things and "we" things, Venom seems to consider getting Anne back definitively a we thing.
    • It's also popular to throw Anne's new boyfriend Dan into the mix for One True Foursome Polyamory, in light of Nice Guy Dan's genuine compassion toward Eddie, plus Dan and Eddie's complete lack of jealousy or resentment toward each other.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Prior to its release, the film became infamous for garnering a significant amount of Internet vitriol due to the involvement of Avi Arad (whose meddling sank the Spider-Man film franchise twice), Amy Pascal (who greenlit the infamous Ghostbusters reboot) and Tom Rothman (who became infamous for greenlighting critical and/or box office flops like The Emoji Movie, Fantastic Four (2015) and Slender Man, his irrational hatred of Deadpool, as well as screwing over many films with his interference), as well as many unpopular creative decisions (especially the decision to divorce Venom from Spider-Man, which led to a lot of In Name Only controversy and comparisons to Catwoman, which was a failure for similar reasons). Not helping was the fact that Sony was making the film without Marvel Studios' involvement, which led to accusations of the movie being a means of retaining creative control over the Spider-Man film franchise, much like the Amazing Spider-Man series. That said, the film garnered significantly negative reviews from professional critics but did well at the box office upon its release.
  • Signature Scene: Three scenes are cited in essentially every discussion of the film:
    • The first appearance of a full-bodied Venom at the end of the motorcycle chase.
    • Eddie jumping in a lobster tank at a restaurant and eating a lobster alive.
    • She-Venom kissing Eddie.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The movie starts out primarily focused on how good Eddie's life is and what he does before he goes into a downward spiral after getting fired. By the time Eddie actually gets hooked up with the Symbiote, the movie is about a third of the way through.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Many of the critics who were more forgiving of the movie saw it as this. While they didn't see Venom as a good movie, they did find it to be entertaining enough — for the wrong reasons — to be worth watching. Commonly cited issues/"perks" that contribute to this include a tonal shift between a slow, moody first half and a goofier second half (where the movie tries to insert self-aware humor into the mix, with mixed results), questionable dialogue throughout, the film itself feeling like it came from the meh side of early 2000s comic book movies (with Meg Downey of CBR even comparing it to Daredevil, Hulk and Catwoman), and Tom Hardy giving a no-holds-barred Ham and Cheese performance that one reviewer compared to Nicolas Cage's infamously over-the-top performance in The Wicker Man (2006).
  • So Okay, It's Average: General audience consensus seems to be that the movie, while not exactly the greatest movie ever made, isn't overtly terrible either and that it has a lot of entertainment value to compensate. This is reflected in its Cinemascore (B+) and its IMDb rating (6.9).
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In the second trailer, some of the tendrils that shoot out of Eddie when he hasn't fully transformed look conspicuously digital — as does the flailing Tom Hardy in the shot where Eddie goes flying off his motorcycle mid-air. Some of this can presumably be blamed on the trailer having incomplete CGI shots, however.
    • The CGI on the duel between Venom and Riot leaves quite a bit to be desired, mostly with Riot. Particularly glaring in that this is a night scene, as the lighting in those kind of scenes usually help hide weaker CGI in big-budget movies.
    • While not part of the movie, this ESPN-based promotional ad features some CGI shots that would be considered embarrassing in the early 1990s. The frame rate of the scene where Brock actually turning into Venom looks so sluggish that it resembles stop-motion, and it's abundantly clear in the "reaction" shots that he's been composited into the shot rather sloppily.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
    • Corporate espionage resulting in one of the guilty party bonding with something that allows him to create tendrils from his body and perform feats of superhuman strength? This Venom movie makes for a decent [PROTOTYPE] adaptation. And the number of times Eddie's shown on a motorcycle (in addition to the obvious science experiment turned Phlebotinum Rebel Anti-Hero thing) also make it look more like a Darker and Edgier Kamen Rider than [PROTOTYPE] did (the actual movie even has a Transformation Sequence). And since Eddie and the symbiote can talk to each other and they have to fight similarly combined beings, it's also reminiscent of Parasyte which was like [PROTOTYPE] a few decades early.
    • And then there are Riot's powers. Tentacles bursting out to impale everyone around, spikes bursting out of the ground, huge crescent blades perpendicular to the arms... a deliberate Shout-Out? Is Drake a fan of the game?
    • An anti-hero protagonist with a malevolent empowering otherworldly Enemy Within that he refers to as a demon and talks down to him inside his head with a sinister voice? Manifests itself often as black Combat Tentacles and is capable of forming an armored appearance over top of him? Is this Venom, or the Darkness? There is even a moment in the film where Venom uses it's tendril to rip a car door off it's hinges and use it as a shield, a move the player can do in The Darkness II game.
    • A human bonds with a color-coded alien, who speaks to him, often recommending violence/murder as solutions to his problems, can hijack control over said human's body, and can turn their limbs into weapons. The color-coded aliens intend to invade, but our heroes alien decides to fight back against his Authority Equals Asskicking superior? That sounds like the plot to a Blue Beetle movie.
  • Squick: Eddie going through the Trash Can and eating thrown away chicken, then puking when he realizes what hes eating. Granted, its not his doing as Venom is the one causing his change in behavior, but its still a gross spectacle.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Non-romantic case (well, debatably non-romantic) with Eddie and the symbiote, as towards the end Venom declares that Eddie has motivated it into protecting earth instead of enslaving it with Riot. While the two had some positive interactions, there wasn't really any bonding moments between the two to really explain why the symbiote likes him enough to protect his planet. Similarly when the symbiote is removed, Eddie is hurt to find out the symbiote was killing him, feeling betrayed by this revelation ("what happened to 'we'!?"), even though before this point, the two had mostly just struggled for control and it hadn't really demonstrated anything to make Eddie believe it actually cared about him beyond a host.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The first teaser trailer was panned by fans across the Internet, as it didn't actually feature Venom himself. The overall consensus seems to be that it looked like a generic action-thriller that just happened to share a name with a Marvel character (which the trailer didn't even reveal, seeing as the movie was only advertised as V for some reason). Even acknowledging that principal photography had wrapped up right before the teaser was released, it's generally agreed upon that the teaser should've been released later when enough of CGI for Venom was finished, instead of making it feel like it was rushed out to screen with Black Panther.
    • The actual trailer, while significantly better-received than the teaser, still has a significant number of detractors for its questionable dialogue (which isn't helped by Tom Hardy's dodgy "New Yorker" accent) and messy visual effects for Eddie's tendril attacks (although the latter may just be incomplete). However, most people have responded positively to the actual Venom transformation at the end.
    • The announcement that the film would be PG-13 didn't sit well with fans who were hoping for a Darker and Edgier movie, who felt as though it's an attempt by Sony to get more people in the theater instead of actually committing to making the movie more violent.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The apparent absence of the white spider on Venom's chest in the second trailer is a point of contention among fans of the character, and only further establishes the lack of an actual connection to the Spider-Man franchise that the character is dependent on. If it's merely out of frame, the trailer is sure bent on hiding it (and there is a shot of Eddie's full body mid-transformation where everything but his face and chest is covered in the symbiote). The second trailer proves that indeed, Venom's chest insignia is entirely missing, although some of the criticism was quelled thanks to Venom's design looking damn good even without the spider.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Many people were not impressed with the full trailer using the exact same song ("Redshift" by Audiomachine) as an earlier trailer for Avengers: Infinity War.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Four symbiotes are depicted in the film: a black one (Venom), a silver one (Riot), and two others, one blue and one yellow. While the yellow one was shown possessing a rabbit, and the blue one with Isaac the prisoner and later Dora Skirth, they were ultimately rejected by their hosts and eventually died, without anything as much as even a murderous Venom-bunny running amok.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: What exactly was the silver symbiote up to for six months? Go on, say you wouldn't be interested in the wacky misadventures of this thing body-hopping around the world.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: While not regarded as a perfect film by anyone, even its detractors have largely admitted that Tom Hardy basically holds the movie together with his teeth and sheer force of will. Especially when it turned out that many of the best and funniest moments in the movie were things that Hardy came up with on the spot.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Quite a number of viewers were shocked that Riot was the main villain, instead of Carnage - a far more well-known character.
    • The Venom symbiote bonds with Anne Weying to become She-Venom long enough to reunite with Eddie Brock.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Eddie's actual transformation into Venom is as suitably nightmarish as one could hope for, and a clear recipient of where the movie's budget actually went. It also looks much larger than the Venom in Spider Man 3, and sports much larger teeth and the trademark tongue. Later, an officially-released still showing Venom smiling proved that Venom looking stunning wasn't a one-off.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Carlton could have saved a lot of trouble if he had used what his scientists had found out about sonics effecting the symbiotes to his advantage to bring Venom in sooner.
    • Carlton uses one of his irreplaceable symbiotes to kill one of his scientists rather than just having her shot. Unsurprisingly, the symbiote dies when it consumes her as it didn't have another host immediately available.
    • The thug at the end. Turns out it's a bad idea talking to the monster threatening to eat you rather than running off when he commands you to.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The fact the film is rated PG-13 like most superhero movies might mean that some would assume Venom himself is toned down and his human-eating is Adapted Out. (Though that aspect of the character wasn't really a part of Eddie Brock's version.) The film actually features them biting off a mooks head on screen, something the film directly acknowledges and draws attention to.
  • Win the Crowd:
    • While a lot of people wrote the movie off at first as Sony being greedy, some people actually got excited once it was announced that Tom Hardy would be playing Eddie Brock and that Ruben Fleischer (of Zombieland fame) would be directing. People seemed to get even more excited as Hardy continued to show enthusiasm for the project.
    • To a lesser degree, the reported involvement of Riz Ahmed has been received positively, especially after he became the first Muslim, South Asian and Asian man to win an acting Emmy in any category (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The Night Of, to be specific).
    • The reveal that the movie would have Venom/Eddie as an anti-hero and be inspired by storylines like Venom: Lethal Protector got Venom fans excited as Venom rarely appears as an anti-hero in other media, despite being an anti-hero longer than he has been a villain.
    • The reveal of Venom appears in all his slimy, fanged glory in the actual trailer, which quelled concerns that the character would barely appear in that form to save on budget.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Woody Harrelson's Cletus Kasady wig is quite possibly the least convincing one made for a superhero movie since the one that Kate Mara wore for Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four (2015) reshoots. Thankfully, it's only on-screen for a few moments as he was only a brief Saved for the Sequel cameo.

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