One week ago Sony released the latest trailer for their upcoming Venom movie. As with the first trailer, this latest Venom trailer left the viewers split on the movie. It’s still tough to tell if Venom will be successful as the divide on the Internet makes it hard to project how general audiences will get into it. One thing that will make or break the Venom movie is a problem many Marvel movies have run into: the villain.
When it comes to villains Marvel has a diverse pool of bad guys it can pull from. But when it comes to Marvel movies we haven’t seen that large selection of villains tapped into. Instead we’ve gotten a lot of evil copies of the solo heroes. Iron Man has faced other armored foes Iron Monger and a Whiplash/Crimson Dynamo hybrid. Ant-Man went up against Yellowjacket. And the list goes on for the various copies the MCU heroes have faced off against.
With Venom’s recent trailer Sony and Marvel are once again going down the route of copying the lead’s powers and appearance to create the movie’s antagonist. As shown in the second Venom trailer, we see Venom face off against who looks to be Riot towards the end of the trailer. Along with that we get glimpses of various other Symbiote users that will carry the action front as Venom fights waves of his clones, which may or may not include Woody Harrelson as Carnage.
One of the problems with this latest copycat villain route Sony and Marvel are going with is that it limits the creativity of the action sequences. As shown in the brief footage of Venom vs Riot, all we are getting is Symbiotes fighting as though they are just big blobs of ink splashing on the screen. Hurting these scenes even more is the fact that the color scheme for the three Symbiote users shown in the trailer, Venom, Riot and Toxin, are highly similar. This makes it tough to tell who is actually winning the fight.
The other problem with going with the Venom vs Riot route for this movie is that it takes away the sense of danger in the movie since it will be one big CGI fest. Even with how realistic CGI has been getting viewers will have a tough time investing in a Venom vs Riot fight when it is tough to understand what is going on. That is the same thing that has been a big problem with the Transformers movies since when you have similarly designed characters fighting you get a mash-up of incoherent action sequences.
This is a problem that could’ve been avoided by adding a non-Symbiote character get involved as a secondary antagonist. Someone like Silver Sable and the Wild Pack would’ve been good antagonist for Venom to face off against. It would’ve easily fit into the movie since we see Venom fight off Riz Ahmed character’s nameless grunts during the trailer. By replacing those with Silver Sable and the Wild Pack it would’ve given Spider-Man fans more of a reason to watch the movie. This could’ve also made the climactic Venom vs Riot fight to stand out as being unique rather than just one of the many Symbiote fights we are likely in store for.
Not everything is lost for Venom since it is a movie anchored by two great actors in Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams. These two will at least help elevate material in other hands would not be as good. Unfortunately the villain problem that Venom is running up against will be a big hurdle for the movie to overcome in order for it to build the word-of-mouth it will need to be successful.