Hot Takes Only: Venom

The Shield’s Editor in Chief breaks away from his comfort zone of sports to write his first movie review


Shane Palma, Editor in Chief

If you are looking for my commentary on the future of the New York Yankees, the emergence of Sam Darnold or where Jimmy Butler might play this year (Knicks?), you won’t find it here.

I have decided to branch out of my comfort zone of sports to expand into the world of movie reviews. I have never written one before, even though I do love going to the theater.This is my first installment of what will hopefully be a weekly column, called “Hot Takes Only,” to review recently released films. For those not familiar with the popular movie website, Rotten Tomatoes gives a brief rundown of a movie plot, quick analysis and final score. Similar to that, I will be voicing either my criticism or praise for the film and then giving it a hotness score out of ten. For example, one flame out of ten would be considered “ice cold” and a movie to avoid while a ten out of ten flames would be “blazing.” Now without further ado, let’s jump right into our first review: Venom.

If you’re not into superhero flicks with the constant “battling to save the planet” narrative, have no fear as Venom brings much more to the table and requires no prior knowledge. Tom Hardy plays journalist Eddie Brock who eventually develops into the notorious Venom character. The film revolves around Brock’s life as he learns how to live with a symbiote and take down the industry responsible for his pain, the Life Foundation. It’s funny, action-packed, and overall a great time at the theater. But that is where the critics and I don’t see eye to eye.

Rotten Tomatoes gave Venom 30% out of 100%, and reviewers have torn the movie to shreds. “A tone-deaf, uneven and maddeningly dumb clunker that never settles on an identity” is what one critic had to say. I however, do not agree with the words of these “professionals.” While I certainly do not claim to be on the level of these film critic experts, I still feel that my opinion can carry some weight. Paying $12.00 just to get into the movie is enough for me to let you know if it’s worth spending the money. And when it comes to Venom, you should absolutely go see it. Tom Hardy’s performance, while not Oscar worthy, proves to fit his character to perfection.

My only true knock on the film is, like many are saying, the PG-13 rating. If rated R, Venom could have done so much more to give the anti-hero his true justice. The film is constantly riding the rails of a borderline ratings jump with the use of profanity and violence, but it just sneaks by. Unlike Logan and Deadpool, Marvel must not have been confident enough in the film to limit its audience and revenue. I mean, you can’t show an alien biting off the heads of his victims on camera in front of children right?


Venom comes in at a sizzling six flames out of ten. The inability to stretch the film into rated R territory holds it back from its true potential. However, the origin story for everyone’s favorite symbiote is still worth the trip to see it on the big screen.