Tom Hardy could hear Venom even before his shot!

Tom Hardy could hear Venom even before his shot!

Tom Hardy could hear Venom even before his shot!

For example: Venom has a radical goal shift that audiences are merely alerted to with one line of dialogue and zero narrative support; Drake spends the film reading from The Ultimate Villain's Guide on Being One-Dimensional and Obvious; and Michelle Williams could be cut from the entire movie and no one notice.

These names may not be very familiar to the general public, but comic book fans know them from the pages of Marvel Comics, where some of them have enjoyed decades of adventures in print and others are relatively new to the vast Marvel canon. It's not scary, the CGI is messy, the characters are flat, and the laughs are few and far between.

The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond. Did two back-to-back scenes really just end with someone saying "Have a nice life"? Director Ruben Fleischer, who made his name with the fluid and entertaining Zombieland almost a decade ago, is unable to make heads or tails of the action set pieces here. Admittedly, a mid-credits scene does tease an intriguing possibility for a sequel.

In the trailer alone, there are a half-dozen shots of the symbiote attaching itself to Eddie, pulling back from Eddie, consuming other things and/or people, or otherwise flexing its alien muscle.

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Venom does none of this.

A less-mumbly Hardy plays Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist whose career hits the skids when he confronts a powerful tech billionaire, potential Elon Musk stand-in Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) with allegations of wrongful death in his medical experiments. The whole point of Venom is that he isn't a superhero - he's a malicious parasite (but don't use that word in front of him), who bonds to Brock because they're both, in Venom's words, "losers". Whatever humor Tom Hardy summons from his conflicted dynamic with Venom mostly doesn't land because there is no darkness to offset it. Ruben Fleischer directs with a determined focus on a PG-13 rating-never mind that there is a lot of aforementioned biting off of heads and dispatching of scientists with extraterrestrial battle axes. As Life Foundation foot soldiers come to retrieve the escaped alien, Eddie and Venom forge a tenuous bond via an ongoing internal dialogue, even if - outwardly - it seems like the poor human is certifiably insane.

Also, its movie track is performed by American rapper Eminem who recently dropped a surprise album for the movie, Venom.

Carnage is a far more risky symbiote than Venom in large part because its host is already an accomplished criminal before they bond. They say that it is too rushed or crammed or too Comic accurate (which I sort of don't understand). With many concerned that filmmakers may have ditched some of Venom's most promising content, the British star has now readdressed his previous claims in an interview with IGN. Although Hardy has the looks of a leading man, he's very fond of obscuring them with moustaches, tattoos and face masks. "If Mysterio makes sense for the Spider-Man movie and would make a good story, it's in our best interest - all of us, Disney, Sony, and us". Evidently just outside of it, since it's been declared an orphan by Marvel Comics soothsayers, despite a connection to Spider-Man and a cameo by Marvel icon Stan Lee in a role credited as "dapper dog walker".

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