CAUTION: This post about Marvel’s “Venom” contains spoilers.
Tom Hardy and “Venom” seemed like a perfect match. After Hardy’s appearances in “Mad Max” and the TV show “Taboo,” “Venom” made prefect sense. In many ways, Hardy was great during the first “Venom” movie by Marvel. Hardy/Venom/Eddie Brock brought the fun in a bad movie — they helped spin this into a good, bad movie.
Sorry, we helped spin this movie (because, of course, we are Venom).
Hardy, however, had to manage significant limitations, notably a script riddled with nonsensical plot twists and major continuity issues. So, because those plot holes made for a comically confusing movie, let’s run through the ones that stuck out.
1. Why does Venom relent on his world-dominating tendencies? His answer: “Because of you, Eddie.” Also, because, like Eddie, Venom was a loser. But do we actually believe him? Venom, who admitted he was ready to watch the world burn, has decided to abandon that conquest, abandon millions of his fellow symbiotes and abandon his way of life because of Eddie, who is painted as a selfish deadbeat for much of the movie. I’m not buying it. But they don’t waste time sussing out Venom’s change of heart, because there’s a rocket battle scene that’s designed to help us forget this earthquake in the plot. And let’s be real: That battle scene was sweet. But this plot issue is almost as bad as in “Batman vs. Superman” when they decide they won’t kill each other because both their mothers are named Martha. Please. Do. Better.
2. What is Venom’s relationship with Riot? Riot, who somehow started the movie wreaking havoc across the globe (it’s never explained how Riot got separated nor is it explained why the Drake company didn’t track him down), really wants to see Venom. Why? We don’t really know. There were two other symbiotes on earth (the blue one died and the yellow one was shown once and never mentioned again). Venom, however, is Riot’s No. 1 priority. During the movie, I wondered: Is Riot trying to kill Venom or are they pals? Turns out they were pals until Venom changed his mind about world-destroying, which makes the change of heart even less believable. Then when Venom betrays Riot, he doesn’t really seem to care about this betrayal. Their relationship status on Facebook: Complicated.
3. Did Venom and Eddie make out or did Eddie and Anne make out? Or did they all make out? Technically, not a plot hole. In fact, Anne says the kiss was Venom’s idea. So… Venom and Eddie made out. Their relationship status on Facebook: Also complicated.
4. How do symbiotes kill nearly every host — until Venom jumps from body to body with ease? Much of the beginning of the movie is dedicated to painting Carlton Drake as a sociopathic CEO, who cares much more about symbiote life than he does about human life. (By the way, the occasional parallels, including a deep-seated desire to live in space, between Drake and Elon Musk are deeply dark and entertaining.) During that start to the movie, Venom is killing countless humans, because he’s not compatible with the humans. They eventually die — sometimes in unnecessarily gruesome fashion. Why are they dying? Who knows? Then suddenly, Venom is compatible with just about everyone, including Eddie, that dog in the hospital and Anne, Eddie’s ex-girlfriend. Venom jumps easily from those three hosts, killing none of them.
4. If specific frequencies of sounds are lethal to symbiotes, why did they only separate Eddie and Venom? Why didn’t Venom die? Fire and high sound frequencies can kill Venom and all symbiotes — they state as much. Yet whenever Venom is exposed to a high frequency, he simply separates with Eddie. If that’s how he dies, why doesn’t he die?
5. Is Venom killing Eddie or isn’t he? Eddie and Venom are best buddies by the end of the movie. Dr. Dan Lewis, however, told us Venom was killing Eddie, according to an MRI. As far as we know, symbiotes consume their hosts — though they also have the power to heal them. So I can kind of piece together how Venom and Eddie can live as one. But I’m also surprised they didn’t exactly spell it out, since they’re going to do at least one sequel, which means Eddie has to live through at least 2 hours more of porous plot while filled with failing organs.
6. What’s up with Venom’s diet? At first, symbiotes crave raw meat. HUNGRY. We learn this in an unnecessarily disgusting scene. (I won’t rehash the details, but it involves spoiled meat and throw-up.) The point is further reinforced in a deeply bizarre and chaotic restaurant scene, which was honestly as fun as it was discomforting. But by the end of the movie, Venom gets down with chocolate milk and tater tots. Apparently, Venom’s pallet is expanding.
7. Why didn’t Eddie have any issues with the law? The wrap-up scene, when Eddie is sitting on Anne’s step, reveals that Venom and Eddie are still alive and living as one. Eddie’s life appears unchanged, which is weird because he and Venom did nothing but law-breaking. Sure, he can blame the murder and destruction on Venom. But if he did, what would become of Venom? They sidestep this by not acknowledging whatsoever that Eddie and Venom just tore apart San Francisco.
Some quick hitters.
9. Is Eddie British or American? Tom Hardy’s accent slips so many times that, if you didn’t know Hardy was British, you might wonder if Eddie was.
10. Why is Dan from “Veep” also Dan from “Venom”? As noted by The Ringer, same actor and same fictional name. Weird, right?
11. How does Anne get the perfectly high-pitched frequency onto the loud-speaker during the rocket takeoff? Also how does she know how to operate an MRI machine?
12. How did Eddie Brock live and fight so easily without Venom? Even when Eddie didn’t have Venom, the source of his power, he was still gifted in hand-to-hand combat. And that was while Eddie would have been experiencing liver and heart failure. Impressive stuff. Don’t know a journalist capable of that.
13. Why is Eddie such a bad journalist? He’s giving us a bad name.
14. What kind of names are Riot and Venom? This is why people don’t name themselves.