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VENOM ( Movie Review )

The devil made me do it!

This line never worked on my parents. But it doesn't stop me—or, maybe, most of us—from trying to escape blame by making excuses when we can. I was running late! we'll tell the police officer as he writes out a speeding ticket. You didn't remind me! we'll tell our spouse when we forget to pick up a pie. The dog ate my homework!

But Eddie Brock really has the king of all excuses: I was being controlled by a hungry alien Symbiote at the time!

And he has a point. It's not like he asked to be possessed by the thing. It's not his fault he was an ideal host. He was just minding his own business and doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Well, OK. So maybe he did secretly break into a super-sinister laboratory populated by evil scientists, dead test subjects and sentient piles of alien goo. And maybe he did smash through a lab room where one pile of said goo had possessed a not-yet-dead test subject. But did he actually invite said goo into his body? Ask it to start a running internal dialogue with him? Certainly not. Nope, if anyone lost their heads over this situation—and I mean that quite literally, given that the gooey Symbiote has a thing for biting them off—it's not Eddie's fault. He's just a bystander. Sort of.

But as Eddie and Venom (that's what the Symbiote calls itself, because it apparently studied English before its arrival and perhaps had ambitions of becoming a lead guitarist in a hip metal band) get to know each other, their relationship becomes less one-sided. Eddie suggests that not everyone deserves to be eaten, that Earth itself might be more than a gigantic, disposable buffet table. Venom, for his part, teaches Eddie the finer points of devouring live lobsters and throttling assailants with gooey tentacles.

In short, they become less a blatant example of multiple personality disorder and more of a team.

Good thing, too, because Eddie and Venom are being chased by a villain with a penchant for grand rationalization himself: medical and tech visionary Carlton Drake. Sure, I brought a few Symbiotes to Earth, he'll admit. Yeah, maybe they killed a few people. And OK, so they may want to subjugate, enslave and eventually eat the entire human race. They won't get that far … I don't think. Sure, some folks may be killed and eaten, but it's really for the betterment of all. And hey, if I'm wrong … well, it's not my fault.

The Symbiote made me do it.

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