Tomorrow, Sony Pictures’ new super hero movie, Venom hits UK cinema screens. The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, stars Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams and focuses on the character of Eddie Brock/Venom – a Spider-Man villain who was very popular during the 1990s.

Venom does not feature Spider-Man, but is instead one of the many Spider-Man-related projects currently in development from Sony Pictures. If the film is a financial success it will usher in a new era of Spidey-lite projects, which are movies that aren’t part of the MCU and don’t require Spider-Man as their key selling point – so a lot is riding on this movie being a hit.

Sony has heavily promoted Venom in recent weeks and the hope is that general audiences will buy into this movie. But will it pay off?

Well, the social media review embargo has FINALLY been lifted (mere hours before Venom makes its debut), giving us an indication of what to expect. Brace yourselves, it’s not good…

Here’s what’s being said:

  • Tom Horrorgensen of IGN Movies Podcast, said: “Sorry to say that  is pretty much a complete failure – a tonal mess that feels 15 years old, ignoring the storytelling strides that the superhero genre has made in recent years. A few fun Venom-centric moments aside, it has nearly nothing to offer. Don’t get your hopes up.”
  • Kurtis Smejkal of 3 Angry Nerds called Venom “an outright disaster on so many levels.” He added: “This film is a waste of it’s film’s talent and of the audience’s time. There’s teases for the sequel but you couldn’t pay me to go see it.”
  • Beatrice Verhoeven of The Wrap, said: “ wasn’t as bad as everyone was saying it was going to be. Tom Hardy is and always will be a great actor, and I laughed a lot — but I’m not sure whether that was intentional or not.”
  • Scott Mendelson of Forbes, said: “Tom Hardy’s performance in  is either Johnny Depp in the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN or Chris Klein in STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI. Either way, it’s not boring.”
  • And finally, Brandon Davis of Comicbook.com, said: “Action-sequences and Eddie and Venom’s odd relationship are the highlights of  but if Sony wants to move forward with a universe, it needs to just keep the few parts that work and scrap the large portion which doesn’t.”

So, there you have it – not great, is it?

And these snippets are taken from the social media reviews, which are usually more positive than the main reviews, which arrive during the early hours of tomorrow morning. Expect those reviews (from all the leading movie mags/newspapers) to be worse.

Perhaps the biggest indicator that this film is a misfire are comments that come from Tom Hardy himself.

In a recent interview with ComicsExplained, the actor was asked what his favourite scene to film was.

His response?

“Things that aren’t in this movie.”

Ouch!

The actor went on to say: “There are, like, 30 to 40 minutes’ worth of scenes that aren’t in this movie… all of them. Mad puppeteering scenes, dark comedy scenes. You know what I mean? They just never made it in.”

….ugh

It all sounds like Venom is a bit of a mess and I’ll be honest, I’m in no real rush to see it. I always try to see films on opening weekend (if possible), but the trailers, the debacle over the R-rating, the reviews and even Hardy’s comments have killed any interest for me.

It has put me off seeing this film, but what about you?

For more review round-ups and reactions to recent releases, check out past editions of The Great Stampede which have focused on HalloweenThe PredatorThe MegTeen Titans GO! to the MoviesMamma Mia! Here We Go AgainMission: Impossible – Fallout SkyscraperWhitneyThe First PurgeAnt-Man and the WaspThe Incredibles 2Ocean’s 8Jurassic World: Fallen KingdomHereditarySolo: A Star Wars StoryDeadpool 2Batman NinjaAvengers: Infinity WarRampageA Quiet PlaceIsle of DogsTomb RaiderReady Player OneLove, SimonA Wrinkle in TimeAnnihilationThe Shape of Water and Black Panther.