Venom begins when an exploratory space mission finds alien life forms on a comet. These aliens can exist and survive only in a symbiotic relationship with an oxygen-breathing host. Four samples of the ‘symbiotes’ are transported back to earth for research, but disaster strikes when the ship crashes and one symbiote escapes. The remaining three are taken to a high-security laboratory at the notorious Life Foundation headquarters. Here scientists begin experimental trials to merge the symbiotes with humans.
Meanwhile, investigative reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is sent to interview Life Foundation CEO, Carlton Blake (Rizwan Ahmed). Eddie senses that something very sinister is happening, and he finds some classified documents that accuse the Life Foundation of causing the death of human volunteers. But when he challenges Carlton Blake about this, Eddie is immediately shut down and fired from his job.
With his life in ruins, Eddie has little to lose when a Life Foundation employee tracks him down and leaks the terrible truth about the experimental trials. She begs him to help her expose the atrocities. Together they sneak into the laboratory, and Eddie tries to rescue one of the human volunteers. This is a huge mistake, because one of the symbiotes attaches itself to Eddie as he flees the building. With the alien taking over his body like a parasite, forcing him to behave violently and strangely, Eddie struggles to survive.
When CEO Carlton Blake discovers the security breach and the symbiote’s escape, he does everything in his power to find and capture Eddie. A violent and action-packed pursuit follows.
Aliens; space travel; human ethics violations; superheroes; good versus evil
Venom has extensive and gratuitous violence, including torture. For example:
- The alien symbiotes transform the limbs of their human hosts into knife and blade-like weapons, which they use to stab and maim people.
- In a laboratory, scientists perform experiments in which the symbiotes are allowed to invade the bodies of the human volunteers. This causes immense pain, suffering and death. These scenes are graphic and disturbing.
- Many scenes show extreme fighting, punching, kicking and shooting. There are some deaths on screen and many more are implied off screen. There is also some blood and gore as people are gashed and slashed.
- Carlton Blake’s henchmen capture Eddie. They tie him to a chair and prepare to torture him.
- There are violent verbal threats. For example, one man says to another in a torture situation, ‘I’m going to rip your tongue out of your face’.
Venom has some sexual references. For example, there’s a romantic relationship between Eddie and his fiancée, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams).
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Venom shows some use of substances. For example, adults drink alcohol in bars.
Nudity and sexual activity
Venom has some sexual activity. For example, Eddie and Anne kiss passionately, begin to undress each other, and lie in bed together. Although there’s no sex on screen, it’s implied.
None of concern
Venom has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Venom is a fast-paced, action-packed, science fiction movie.
Although Venom has some funny one-liners and the tone is light, it also has a lot of violence without real consequences, including torture. In fact, some of the scenes are more like something from a horror movie. This movie deserves its M rating and it isn’t recommended for children under 13 years. Also, we strongly recommend parental guidance for younger teenagers.
The main messages from this movie are that human life is valuable and that our planet is worth saving and looking after.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:
- being brave and having integrity
- seeking the truth
- standing up to unethical behaviour from large corporations.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- the use of violence.
- unethical testing and scientific research using humans and animals
- corporate power
- the possible negative consequences of space exploration.