Last night, Jac and I went to see the new Tom Hardy movie, Venom. It’s yet another superhero movie with a slight twist: Venom is a murderous alien parasite and at best can be labeled an anti-hero. The movie topped the box office for its opening weekend, earning $80 million (double the next best movie) and setting a record for October releases. But critics didn’t like the movie. It’s sitting at a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes right now, for instance.
I feel critics didn’t understand Hardy’s performance. Most critics (I almost said “people”) said they thought the movie was a tonal mess, uneven, unintentionally funny. I saw none of that.
Hardy played a regular joe (out of work investigative reporter) with fears and flaws who becomes infected with an alien symbiote hellbent on taking over the planet with its alien buddies. The alien communicates with Hardy and takes over his body from time to time. For his part, Tom Hardy plays this like a guy infected, a guy fighting off an invasion inside his body. He seems drunk. He’s definitely conflicted. Venom is violent and aggressive. Hardy wants to avoid everything.
My point through all this is that the movie made perfect sense to me, was completely fun, and even though some of the CGI effects were a bit silly (as is the general premise), the movie was entertaining and accessible and worth my time and money. Only, critics, many of them, told me I wouldn’t like it.
Do We Need Critics and Gatekeepers?
Why does sports commentary still exist? Are any of the commentators actually more interesting or valuable than your friends who watched the game? Do we need someone to decide for us whether something is worth it?
Companies must strive to get closer to the people they intend to serve. They can’t trust the systems any longer. Without a direct connection, they risk losing their potential customers to the whims of someone who may or may not be qualified to weigh in.
(Oh, and if you like weird superhero movies or Tom Hardy – or the amazing Riz Ahmed for that matter, go see Venom.)