Venom has done remarkably well at the box office in spite of some quite damning critical reviews. Whilst user reviews have fared slightly better, the majority of responses to Venom have been on the negative to merely ok scale.
I have personally not seen Venom yet, I really cannot find a good reason to watch a movie that messes with Venom’s origin in the way this movie does, and that’s a personal issue I have myself. However, I think it possibly places me in a good place to discuss the comments made by Venom’s co-creator Todd McFarlane in a recent interview with Yahoo. Here’s what McFarlane said.
“It was a big roller coaster ride. Visually, everything was coming at you. I think at times… the critics get it wrong in that they forget their age. They come in, and they’re 42 years old, and they come in with their attitude and they’re going, ‘Stop it.’ What if you were 16, 15, and you were watching this movie? You would love it… Of course you would love it. This thing delivered everything it was supposed to. It was gnarly, it was nasty, it has a big cool Venom, which was what I was looking for, that was my bias – I just wanted to see the visualness of Venom that I had created 30 years prior.”
Ok, so first off I’m happy Todd McFarlane likes Venom, cool for him, but……. Here is my response to this claim by McFarlane about critics in their 40’s as a critic in their 40’s.
The one question I would ask is this, who was Venom aimed at? Was it a pre-adult teen audience the movie was going for? This seems slightly unlikely given some of the themes of this movie and the fact that it had to be trimmed somewhat to hit that PG-13 category. Now if you tell me a movie is aimed at an audience in the 10-17 age category then I will review it accordingly as a movie for that age group.
That being said, I am still going to compare that movie to the best examples of movies designed for that age group. In this way, a 40-something critic can still analyze that Finding Dory is simply not as good a movie as Finding Nemo. I can also say with some certainty that Monsters University is not as good a film as Monsters Inc. Now, I won’t go into why specifically for these movies, but I am sure you follow my point by now.
Who should review movies aimed at a teenage or younger audience? If nothing else 40 something critics have a good chance of being parents (as I am) and this allows me personally to remember what it was like to be a child, not versed in the classics of cinema. Yesterday my daughter (4) was watching The Incredibles as my son did many years prior and myself prior to him being born. The Incredibles as a fantastic movie and it is aimed at a younger audience. Can it be said that age prevents me from reviewing this film?
Venom is a comic book character and in case you were not aware comic book based movies are currently doing pretty well with mainstream audiences. There was nothing from Sony to indicate Venom was being targeted at a younger audience, in fact, one would argue the casting of fan favorite Tom Hardy was proof of the opposite. So should Venom not be able to be reviewed by the same critics who review the MCU movies, or Kick-Ass, or DCEU movies or Star Wars movies? Am I too old now to appreciate Star Wars even though The Empire Strikes Back remains my favorite ever film to this day?
If that is the case, then we all might as retire in expressing our opinions on movies as soon as we turn 40. Personally, I’d rather hear opinions on movies from someone that has had experience of various different eras and time to appreciate some of the classics from even before they were born. Maybe I should let my son start writing for LRM instead of me. I mean he isn’t even in high school yet and his spelling remains atrocious, but maybe bad films will get given more of a chance?
So no, I’m sorry, Mr. McFarlane, I have no opinion on Venom because I have not seen it, but when I do see a movie, I am entitled to express my opinion. If I don’t like a movie, then I say why I don’t like it and if I do like a movie I explain what I liked. Our own review maestro Fox Troilo thought Venom was actually a lot better than he expected it be and so did many other reviewers, but that’s not to say they all thought it was the best comic book movie of the year. Saying that, many of the other LRM staffers quite enjoyed Venom as well.
RELATED: Venom Review: Entertaining Creature Feature With Risk Aversion (Non-Spoiler)
I still maintain that every one of them has a right to their opinion on any movie and I completely refute Todd McFarlane’s statement that bad critical reviews of Venom were down to the age of the reviewers.
What do you think of McFarlane’s comments, does he have a point, or do I? Discuss as you will in the usual place below.
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