It sadly has been months since I’ve been to the cinema; the late-summer offerings didn’t remotely pique my interest, so I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

And then the heavens opened and once again cast a warm, welcoming glow on the big screen: Tom Hardy was starring in a new movie.

God bless!

But as the opening date approached there were hints that “Venom” wasn’t very good; those who attended early screenings slammed it, and social media spread that negativity like a soul-killing plague.

Did I care? Nope. Wasn’t listening.

I love Tom Hardy, so I was seeing this paranormal superhero flick regardless.

I’m not sure what audiences were expecting. And maybe it was beneficial that expectations were low going into it, but I enjoyed the hell out of this movie.

“Venom” does start out a bit of a mess, but that’s because there are a lot of pieces that must be put into place before the parts we care about can get rolling and make sense.

Former and semi-famous (you’ll see) investigative reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy – meow) gets a tip from an insider that the super-secret laboratory run by space-and-science whiz Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed, at his smarmiest) is into some shady – and scary – practices.

And though Eddie has vowed to be “done with this ‘saving my fellow man’ shit,” he decides to do some poking around – and winds up finding far more than he bargained for.

What’s happened? Well, through sickly and dazed glances he states, “I have a parasite.”

Boy, does he!

This malady leads to shrieks of confusion, looks of paranoia and inexplicable impulses from our reluctant hero. And watching Eddie fight against, converse with and ultimately oblige this alien alter ego is pure gold.

It’s like Jekyll and Hyde on a crazy cosmic level.

Hardy masterfully – and hilariously – shows a range of physical reactions and facial expressions and unexpected humor never before seen from the Academy Award nominee, but it’s what makes “Venom” such a delight.

And probably what saved the movie from being a bust.

The neighbor confrontation and the frozen tater tots and the lobster tank scenes were unexpected and so completely absurd that I was laughing out loud. They’re prime examples that this flick doesn’t take itself seriously – and neither should you.

“Venom” packs plenty of quick and exciting, albeit predictable, action into that motorcycle chase as well as the climactic symbiote boxing match.

Conversely, there are some adorably sweet moments between Eddie and Anne (Michelle Williams) that continue to tease us throughout while pretty much cementing Eddie’s liability factor.

I mean, c’mon!

And because this is Marvel, you already know to be on the lookout for the patented Stan Lee cameo. You’ll also want to sit through the ridiculously lengthy (not kidding) end credits for two (yes, two) extras.

“Venom” is no “Avengers” or “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

It is, however, campy fun with a bit of an “X-Files” vibe – and it’s certainly not the unwatchable dreck you’ve been reading about on the Interwebs.

With everything seemingly stacked against “Venom” before it even hit theaters, it was almost safe to assume it can’t be any good.

But, to steal a line from Eddie Brock: “There’s no such thing as ‘can’t’.”

You have just enjoyed the insights of Movie Addict Mel, a cinema dork and conversational writer. Follow her on Twitter @movieaddictmel, and “like” her Facebook page You also can email her at

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