Venom was a huge hit, but critics really did not like the movie. According to Todd McFarlane, one of the creators of the character, that’s not the movie’s fault. McFarlane says that movie critics are too old, and that they needed to unleash their inner 16-year-olds to truly enjoy the story of a giant goo monster who bites off heads. In summation, if all movie critics were 16, there would be no negative Venom criticism.
With the exception of Tom Hardy‘s off-the-wall performance, I was not a fan of Venom. And based on the film’s current 29% Rotten Tomatoes score, I’m not alone in that sentiment. And yet, the Spider-Man spin-off was a mega-blockbuster, exceeding everyone’s expectations (at least at the box office). Usually, when a film has this much staying-power, it suggests great word-of-mouth. Meaning plenty of people saw Venom and loved it enough to recommend it to others, thus increasing its box office. So what happened here? Why the massive disconnect between critics and general audiences?
Todd McFarlane thinks he has the answer. McFarlane, who is probably most famous for his comic Spawn, co-created the character of Venom with David Michelinie, and he was pleased with the way the Venom movie brought his character to life. In McFarlane’s eyes, the reason critics didn’t care for Venom is because movie critics are stuffy old people who have forgotten their inner-child. Basically, they’re like Robin Williams in Hook.
“I think at times … the critics get it wrong in that they forget their age,” McFarlane told Yahoo. “They come in, and they’re 42 years old, and they come in with their attitude and they’re going, ‘Stop it.’ What if you were 16 and you were watching this movie? You would love it.”
While I don’t buy the “critics are too old” excuse, I will say this: if I saw Venom when I was 16, I probably would have enjoyed. But that doesn’t make the movie good. It just makes my 16-year-old taste terrible and underdeveloped. All that said, it’s fine if you enjoyed Venom. McFarlane certainly did. “Venom delivered everything it was supposed to,” he added. “It was gnarly; it was nasty, it has a big cool Venom, which was what I was looking for. [That] was my bias — I just wanted to see the visualness of Venom that I had created 30 years prior.”
Really though, aren’t we all looking for a big cool Venom?
Venom is now available on digital and Blu-ray.
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