Venom movie poster

Director Ruben Fleischer can’t be blamed for making a movie that tracks so closely with one released just a few weeks earlier (the equally clumsy Predator remake from Shane Black): once again, we have an alien invader who decides, for whatever reason, to aid humanity in thwarting a full-scale invasion by his fellow aliens. But he can probably be blamed for the clumsiness — the vacillating tone that pings between lowbrow slapstick and sci-fi horror; the slippery, slip-shod nature of the relationship between the black-goo alien and his host, disgraced reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy, acting like a live-action cartoon); the hacky dialogue, which sports clichés like “You look like shit” and “You and I are not so different;” and the dim, deadly visuals. The Venom symbiote requires a perfect match to bond with its host; otherwise, the host is doomed. The Venom movie plays like a midnight horror feature that has invaded a superhero movie, and while there are some laffs to be had — Hardy’s delivery is excellent, and his discussions with the growly alien voice in his head are suitably zany — it’s far from a perfect match. 2018.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

7:20pm, 10:00pm

AMC Mission Valley

1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

1:00pm, 3:40pm, 6:20pm, 9:00pm

Wednesday, December 12

1:40pm, 4:25pm, 7:10pm, 9:50pm

Regal Oceanside

401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, 760-439-1327 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

12:55pm, 3:30pm

Thursday, December 13

1:10pm, 6:50pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

7:00pm, 9:45pm

Wednesday, December 12

7:00pm, 9:45pm

Thursday, December 13

7:00pm

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