The odd part of this movie is that I feel like despite the first third of it grinding on forever setting up Eddie Brock and his foes that the plot and characters are 2 dimensional and cliche. Near the end, everyone's motivations seemingly come out of nowhere (and don't benefit from all the meandering plot building in the establishing act) and there's zero reason you'd imagine anyone to be doing whatever they're doing. If cut and paced better, maybe this wouldn't annoy me so much and the film would warrant more than one viewing. Others have pointed out that it does feel like a throwback to 90s superhero/action films (for better or worse) and I'll definitely agree with that.
I think all the actors (who are otherwise phenomenal) are wasted in this. Tom Hardy meanders through like an unlikeable drunk which may have been the point. The cast is great, but they presumably did their best with the script they were given.
Overall, I had fun watching this. Venom (the character) was great and when things finally started happening it was a fun ride. Venom interacting with Eddie came off as hokey at first, but was pretty funny once I stopped framing the movie in my head as a "serious" super hero movie.
I'm confused as to why Sony made this film; now that Spider Man is in the other Marvel universe and was very conspicuously absent , it leaves out a big part of Venom's story and origin. Even in the unlikely event that Venom made the jump to that universe, he's coming over more or less fully formed and it would be weird to retcon his origin and hatred of Spider Man to use his character the way comic fans would expect.
Superhero films have come a long way, but I think a lot of us have lost track of the fact that super powered people in costumes and alien symbiotes are pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Maybe Venom could have been a better developed film, but it's an alien parasite that eats people and riffs with Tom Hardy's character. If you aren't expecting The Dark Night or something that is faithful to the comics Venom can be fun.