The newest iteration of the infamous symbiotic Spider-Man villain, Venom, as portrayed by the seasoned Tom Hardy, is one I am definitely now keeping tabs on.
The film, a standalone anti-hero origin story, has gotten a lot of mixed reaction amid seemingly bizarre shifts in tone and clarity, but this comes, I think at a misunderstanding what this movie is supposed to be.
Symbiotes from space? Check.
Unwarranted human testing? Check.
Nosy, down on his luck Eddie Brock? Check!
Brock takes on a lot of flack as an investigative journalist meddling often where he is unwelcome, as one would expect in such a line of work. After covertly snaking information from the Life Corporation via his girlfriend, Anne Weying, Brock sets out to expose the under-handed dealings underway at Life Corp.
It does not go well, as one might expect, or does it?
Losing her job, Weying ditches Brock. Alone and also out of work, Brock eventually finds himself back at Life Corp and this time he does not leave alone.
The symbiote known as Venom latches on, and they slowly become one.
How’s that for a meet-cute?
From here on out, Venom follows Brock as he adjusts to his parasi– er symbiote, never quite getting the hang of it, stumbling around sick and afraid.
Coming to ‘Venom’ I expected what most might, an extra-terrestrial evil come to seek vengeance against those that have displaced it in order to return home, or cause further damage.
What I did not expect was the love story.
If you have not seen Venom, you can stop reading here and go right that wrong.
As Venom wraps up, we see Brock meet with Weying in a post-breakup, post-chaos touching base, he is calm and yearning, they share a kiss and ultimately part ways, leaving the chance for reuniting on the table (sequel fodder, no doubt).
This is not the love story I want you to notice.
Venom, having found a perfect host in Eddie, comes to take a liking for him, a comfort in the knowledge that there is safety and sustenance on this unfamiliar planet in the form of a man.
Eddie too comes to grow an affection for his symbiote, accepting his fate and reveling in the power it brings him.
Venom and Eddie, quite simply, are falling in love. Fans of the comics will see this as no surprise, as it is well documented the characters share an unconventional romance, essentially becoming partners in their time spent together in their symbiotic revelry.
I, not being as familiar, found this delightful and refreshing in an age where sex and gender is finally beginning to be seen for its fluidity and many facets.
I couldn’t help but feel a warmth in my heart as we watch Eddie walk away from Weying down a San Francisco street asking Venom what they would like to do next?
No declaration of love, no wild strange sex encounter (yet), but simply a man asking his symbiote what they might like to see or experience in the expansive, sunny city.
Whether or not they stick to this aspect of the Brock/Venom relationship remains to be seen, but god-damn it I’m rooting for them.
Venom is in theaters now, go see it.