Often, Marvel movies are the first thing people go to see once they come out, but students at John Adams High School did not seem to follow that trend when it came to the newest comic adaptation, ”Venom”. Accompanied by a hit soundtrack by Eminem, this thriller/science fiction movie was all the rave during the months leading up to to its Oct. 5 release date, yet many students denied seeing the film and were in no rush to get to the theater. Many said they would “eventually see” the newest Marvel movie, but it was clear that it was not a priority. The question is, why not?
The character of Venom initially debuted in Marvel’s Spider-Man in 1984. In later comics, Spider-Man’s rejection of the symbiote fuels Venom’s hatred, leading to his sole desire to seek revenge on Spider-Man and cause him pain and suffering until his death. Venom’s first onscreen appearance was in “The Amazing Spider-Man” in May 1984. This movie took the characters right off the pages and onto the big screen. This well anticipated version from 2018 begins with the introduction of journalist Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy). Before Eddie turns into Venom, an antihero who is supposed to be the “dark” version of Spider-Man, he tries to take down the founder of Life Foundation, Carlton Drake (played by Riz Ahmed). During Eddie’s investigation to recover as much information on Drake’s latest experiment as he can, he merges with Venom and gains supernatural abilities. Venom’s rage accumulates dangerous powers that take control away from Brock and put it in the hands of this twisted being as the story progresses. Brock isn’t alone anymore as he accepts Venom and continues to work with him and he becomes one with the creature; even when cornered by street thugs, they utter the words, “WE… are… Venom!”
Even while combined with a vicious symbiote, Eddie kindles a romance with ex fiancé Anne Weyings (played by Michelle Williams) and, instead of fighting for his old life back, he and Venom take down Drake and his organization and later agree that “…if this is gonna work, Venom can only kill bad people,” implying they are now a team. They have a newly formed partnership – possibly even a friendship – that grows with their experiences. Overall, the movie was action-packed and the plot was very entertaining.
Despite the success of the film, only five of the 26 students surveyed said that they saw the movie. Some reasons given were that students did not have enough time, were not into Marvel, or were planning to see it at a later date. However, senior Junel Estrella said that he enjoyed the movie because “there was a lot of suspense followed by action and I would definitely recommend it.” Teacher Scott Tierney originally watched the film because his teenage son is into Marvel, but admitted that he still liked that “There was a balance between the storyline and keeping it engaging for an older audience to watch.” He went on to recommend the movie to “age appropriate viewers only” because of its graphic nature.
Overall, Marvel’s latest installment was thrilling and engaging to a variety of viewers. Although many of our students have yet to watch it, Venom didn’t receive any reviews that would suggest it was poorly made, so why not go out and see it for yourself?