What happens when a cast of Oscar contenders like Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed and Michelle Williams are turned loose to chew the scenery of a (seemingly wryly self-aware) B movie?
Audiences get “Venom”, the latest bid from Sony Pictures to create its own superhero mega-franchise now that storylines for the studio’s web-slinging centerpiece have merged into the cast of thousands populating Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Audiences may remember the character Venom as the nemesis in “Spider-Man 3”, the last (and least) of the original Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire.
There are echoes of its cinematic predecessor in the current “Venom”, but instead of setting up the character of Eddie Brock, and his alter-ego, Venom, as a nemesis to Peter Parker and Spider-Man, the new reboot focuses solely on Brock.
A “loose cannon” in the reporting world, Brock’s bona fides as a righter of wrongs are established early in a montage sequence that has him reporting on the seedy underbelly of a stylized San Francisco, ruled by technology companies that have run more than slightly amok over the city’s population.
Brock’s nemesis, played by the Emmy award-winning British actor Riz Ahmed,