Why the “Venom” Trailer is Actually Better Than You Think

Matthew Loffhagen
Sony Pictures
(Photo: Sony Pictures)

The first trailer for Tom Hardy’s “Venom” movie is here, and audiences, on the whole, are pretty unimpressed.

This project always seemed like a bad idea, from start to finish. Sony Pictures, the world leader in making dumb movie decisions, hasn’t ever seemed particularly sure on what they’re even trying to accomplish with this movie.

Apparently, it’s going to be kinda sorta part of the MCU, but not really. It might feature a Tom Holland cameo, but otherwise, the story of Venom, a character defined by his connection to Spider-Man, won’t actually involve much in the way of Spider-Man.

It doesn’t help that this trailer seems eager to avoid showing us any actual Venom stuff. This is the most generic action horror nonsense possible: cars rolling over, a lot of screaming, some sciency stuff, and a few guns, but nothing concrete.

Naturally, people aren’t too impressed, but here’s the thing: this is actually one of the better trailers that Sony has put out for a “Spider-Man” related movie in a long time (not including the phenomenal trailer for “Enter the Spider-Verse”, which is still inexplicably the most exciting comic book movie of the year).

What makes this so special? It doesn’t show off everything about the movie. We get very little in terms of spoilers, and considering that this is Sony Pictures we’re talking about, that means that the company is showing tremendous restraint.

Sure, a large part of this is probably because the special effects work isn’t finished yet, but it’s also good news from a narrative and character perspective. Someone at Sony feels that, unlike plenty of their other movies, the character work on display in “Venom” is strong enough that the main character can appear completely without any super powers, and the story will still hold up.

It’d be incredible if Sony actually manages to nail the Eddie Brock part of this movie, considering that generally speaking with their “Amazing Spider-Man” movies, they were always more interested in flashy spectacle and pretty for-the-trailer shots that were disappointing in the final film (we’re looking at you, Rhino scene!).

Venom Car Flip
Source: Sony Pictures

Perhaps the studio has learned something from their time working with Marvel. Maybe they’re genuinely focused on making “Venom” a smart, grounded character piece, to the extent that the super shenanigans serve a greater narrative.

Okay, it’s hugely unlikely, but a comic book fan can dream, right?

Yes, in reality, this movie is probably going to be the suckiest, lamest thing ever; a huge embarrassment that Tom Hardy will regret for the rest of his career, and which Sony will use as justification for racing off in another ridiculous direction with their future films.

Maybe, though, it’s worth just having a tiny bit of optimism, while it’s still possible.

It’s unlikely that this film will turn out any good, but stranger things have happened in the history of cinema.