I really don’t, and it’s bugging me. There was a new trailer released today. The CG is polished, the character is definitely looking the part. We see our villain, the Riot symbiote, and we get to hear Venom have very violent talks with people. All of that stuff should be excellent to think about. But there is something that keeps dogging on me. Something that I can’t get out of my head, and at this point it is REALLY starting to eat away at me. It’s the culmination of a bunch of things I have seen that got me to this sudden realization – I don’t think that this is going to be the R-rated movie we were promised.
The first clue was Tom Hardy saying that he got into this role because of his son. Which means that he intends for the kiddo to see this movie. Which means that he feels it is kid appropriate. That doesn’t give me much confidence.
Next up was the trailer itself. There are a number of things that caught my attention. First, we keep being told about violence, but we never see any. In fact, some of what we see contradicts the violence that is alluded to. Example – we have Venom talking to a dude about eating his organs. That sounds like fun! Let’s see some violent action! Oh wait, you see a couple seconds later him throw the dude. It’s so fast that I didn’t catch it the first time, but I tend to rewatch things over and over. It’s a bad habit. It’s why I should avoid trailers, probably. Especially since modern trailers tend to ruin the whole damn film.
Then there is a scene where Riot is letting loose with its giant clawed arms. It is slashing outward at everyone who is directly in front of it. Awesome! Oh wait, it shows everyone being knocked over. What?! You would be dismembering everyone in that room! Where’s the blood?! Why is there not a single drop of blood in any of that?! That scene in-particular really is rubbing me the wrong way. The bulk of the people in that room should be headless, or mutilated in some horrible way. But they’re not! You can see that they’re not! No blood. No gore. No nothing!
Finally, we have this bit where Venom is accosting what I presume to be a robber or something. He is talking about how he is going to rip his arms and legs off, then his face off and roll him down the street like a turd. That line, by the way, was pretty great. That’s Venom! But as he’s biting down, it cuts away. Okay, fine. This is a trailer for all audiences, so that makes sense. Here’s the problem – if he actually did this, there should be blood everywhere! Just, everywhere. That woman at the check-out stand should be horrified, with blood all over either her register or that and her. It would make Tom Hardy’s line there trying to play it off that much better. Because he just did this horrible thing, then says “bye, Mrs. Chang!” Like how in Deadpool you have Colossus grilling the titular character about his violent methods, and him trying to play it off, only for a dude who was splattered all over the billboard to come crashing down. That was funny! Making it a little more grotesque would still make that work.
You know what this movie needs, if it is going to sell how violent it is? A Red Band trailer. Now more than ever. Because I am convinced that all the people who think this is going to be a crazy violent superhero film was duped. I’m one of them! I genuinely believed the articles talking about this. But now I am almost positive that that isn’t what is going to happen. This movie is going to be mass-market appeal. The nerds who like Venom for the violent bastard he is? Fuck them! Gotta make a family feature! Yay….
I am happy that they aren’t just jumping right into Carnage in this movie. It’s taking the comic story of all the offspring of Venom. That’s kinda neat. I am also really liking the design of this character. Clearing up the voice to show that it is Tom Hardy is also really great. It kills me that I am so reserved, because it’s clear that Tom Hardy is genuinely trying in this film. Nothing in the trailer tells me he isn’t putting his all into this performance. But this movie has been marketed as another entry into the violent superhero genre, and now I am almost dead-certain that that isn’t how this is going to play out. That bums me.
Does this mean that the film will suck? No. But fucking with people’s expectations is going to REALLY hurt it in reviews. If Sony is just blowing smoke about the violence in this movie, I think they should come out now and make a statement about it. Better to get this expectation tempered before the reviews come out and crucify the film. Head it off. Otherwise, put out a Red Band trailer. Let the adults who are expecting this to be violent get a little vindication. Just a thought.
Until next time, a quote,
“So many sacs, so little time.” – Venom, Venom