Spiderman 3, like Return of the King, is a movie that tried to do far too much. Both were worth the price of the ticket, when worth is measured in entertainment value, but for a deeper satisfaction, they failed to scratch an itch I've had since my child's mind, impressionable and gullible, clung to these works as if the universes therein were my secret fuel. I don't need to defend Spiderman 3, the movie sine Venom, as I think critics were far too harsh on it. It's when we get to Venom that I feel dreadfully disappointed.
So we get it. There were too many themes. Responsibility to a wife, hubris in doing the right thing, revenge, friendship, anger, principles, the immorality of the otherwise impoverished, all are smooshed into this movie. Wasn't well-orchestrated, but it's mature for a comic-movie. That's good. It's thrown at us without plain badass action and funny jokes being forgotten, no easy task, and the Raimi/Stan camp was delightful, if sycophantic to the demographic.
And then they ruined Venom, the only reason I even care about the Marvel universe.
Venom's story is about humiliation, which they hamfistedly alluded to. In the comic, Eddie Brock sought to please his father, an uncompromisingly religious man. Neither his perfect grades, nor his physical prowess moved the patriarch. Finally losing his job by fabricating a story, Brock not only failed to impress his father, but the scandal destroyed their relationship permanently. Devastated, Eddie contemplated suicide.
One night, Eddie goes to the Our Lady of the Saints Church to please for forgiveness. Spiderman happens to dispose of the symbiote there, fearing that it would bond with him. The symbiote, which was essentially a neutral being (unlike the one in the movie) found a match in Brock's hatred for Spiderman, who's alter-ego had exposed the scandal, bonded with Brock. They formed Venom.
Any none of that Venom, other than the black suit and some teeth, made it onto the big-screen. There was none of the gleefully violent and morbidly funny Venom who, having found salvation in the union, hunts an innocent Spiderman while tormenting him by doing laundry for Aunt May by day. There was none of the Venom who refers to himself as "we" and "us" and hungers for Parker's liver with a little chianti. There was none of his desire to "save innocents" from Spiderman, whom he saw as the real evildoer through his twisted mind. The comic Venom was what Spiderman with the same genius and dedication would turn into without Peter Parker's nuturing family and friends.
Instead, we got a simplified alien monster inserted almost like a clip-art into the movie. We are not pleased.