I really am in two minds about this film. I liked … no, I loved the first one, and I say this as someone who’s never read a single book of the Harry Potter series.
I have to say though, I did struggle a bit with The Crimes of Grindelwald. On paper, this should’ve been a corker of a movie: Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, a massive budget for sets and special effects … this thing should have been stratospheric, and to be honest, the opening sequence was fantastic – like James Bond, but with wizards.
And yes, the special effects were excellent and the sets and the costumes and the acting were spectacular, but the whole adventure was let down by a story that seemed to be suffering a multiple personality disorder.
This was always going to be a tricky one. Bohemian Rhapsody has stumbled and tripped its way to the big screen after one or two well-publicised setbacks (the main one being Sacha Baron Cohen quitting the film over creative differences). I think the glacial gestation has, unfortunately, caused a few problems with the final result: the pacing was uneven, the editing a little strained in places, and I thought that some of the segues used to jump us through time were a little naff in places, and MIA in others.
These days you can split the Marvel super-hero flicks into two camps: the films made by Disney (who own Marvel Comics), and the films made by Sony. Sony has made a nice little niche for itself by snapping up franchises for the movies that are much less family friendly: the likes of our old friend Deadpool, and now, Venom.
The film follows Eddie Brock, ably played by the infinitely versatile (if you don’t mind the mumbling) Tom Hardy. Brock is a down-on-his-luck and somewhat self-centred journalist who, by way of crashed spaceships, mad scientists and poor security at airports, finds himself bonded to an alien parasite/symbiote that grants him superhuman powers. Now, the alien itself seems to get tetchy when you tell it it’s a parasite, but since it starts feeding on its host’s organs if not regular supplied with live prey, then I’m sure it’s a lot closer to a parasite than a symbiote – though should I ever encounter one I’ll probably keep my opinions to myself.