Rotten Tomatoes gave a critics consensus for the Venom film recently, and it’s not looking good.
Right now, we’re hovering around 30%. That’s about the level of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The critical consensus seems to offer the most brutal summary of what everyone thought:
“Venom‘s first standalone movie turns out to be like the comics character in all the wrong ways – chaotic, noisy, and in desperate need of a stronger attachment to Spider-Man.”
Although 90% of the audience is opting to see the film, when getting tickets on Wednesday night for premiere night (tonight), I found a lot of empty seats to choose from including down the center row.
The Turd in the Wind
Just to get a feel for the room, here’s a few excerpts from the critics.
Soren Anderson of the Seattle Times writes:
“A picture in the running for the dubious distinction of being perhaps the worst Marvel-derived origin story ever. And that includes the odious 2015 ‘Fantastic Four.‘”
Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com states:
“A tonally wonky lark that’s actually stronger when it’s sillier. It’s a mess, but a fun mess- at least for a while.”
And Glenn Kennedy of the New York Times chimes in:
“The ingratiating eccentricities of ‘Venom’ aren’t enough to really distinguish the movie from its superhero-movie brethren as it devolves into the usual expensive orgy of sound, fury and wisecracking.”
And those are some of the least favorable reviews.
However, even some of the more positive reviews offer some scathing remarks about the film.
Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle states:
“There’s nothing memorable in ‘Venom,’ nothing to talk about the next day. But if it happens to hit you right, its lightness is refreshing.”
Brian Lowry for CNN.com writes:
“More monster movie than a superhero one, Sony’s attempt to expand its Spider-Man franchise with this solo vehicle for one of his more colorful villains makes a mess of the tone, staggering from horror-tinged nastiness to split-personality comedy.”
Do we even listen to critics anymore?
At this point I’d state that any critical review is always subject to tastes in film and what the individual regards as artistic expression. But at the end of the day, what matters to studios is whether the movie was enough to kick off its official branching of a Spider-Verse.
Case in point, The Last Jedi of the Star Wars franchise was applauded by critics for being a bold approach to the iconic characters Luke Skywalker and making interesting decisions with Rey and Kylo Ren. However infamously, the film was not received well by audiences for those same choices. And some fans have even decried the treatment of classic characters to the franchise and the deviation from the vibe of the Star Wars universe.
But Disney has enough money to keep the Star Wars machine going, so we’re bound to get another film. But the film getting a great critical review while getting push-back from fans and audiences might be a wake-up call for Disney.
But maybe the bigger comparison could be Warner Bros. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film received a 27% rating from critics, but it would go on to have a 63% rating from the audience.
And My Small Voice Added to the Many Voices
My review for the movie is still forthcoming, we put this stuff out to chime in our two cents about how the film affected us. We rate things, we compare those things to other things we’ve seen, we factor in some other factors that complimented the movie like score, cinematography, and how well it fits in with some source material or other films within its franchise.
Sometimes critics are correct in their assessment of a film, like in the case of the Fantastic Four reboot and Batman V. Superman, and in others they create a vast chasm between themselves and general audiences with their reviews like in the case of The Last Jedi. Either way, we’ll have our opinion on it when we watch the film.
However, with a Rotten Tomatoes score like this coming out for Venom, how will this fare for the future of Sony’s Spider-Verse? And how about any sequels to the Venom film?
Perhaps the critical reviews won’t do much to deter fans from seeing the film. At the end of the weekend, what will determine the future for Sony is the box office numbers. However, getting center row seats so close to opening night does not bode well for the franchise going forward. If what I’m hearing from the critics is true, Sony will need to re-evaluate their plans for the Spider-Verse.
Venom is out in theaters now.