Venom opens this Friday. Tom Hardy stars as Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis, in a movie without Spider-Man. It’s a strange state of affairs, but hey, that makes it the perfect movie for 2018. Nothing makes sense anymore.

These first reviews for the film are about what you’d expect. The movie is, by most accounts, a mess. Some critics are more enamored with the mess than others. Some think Tom Hardy’s performance is so deranged that it’s worth watching. Others have no idea what he’s doing. (These two takes do not seem mutually exclusive to me.) Some were impressed at just how close to the original comic book concept of Venom the film got. Others thought the whole thing was a total disaster.

Here’s a healthy sampling of the reactions so far. You’ll find more out there on Twitter if you search the #Venom hashtag, but this gives you a pretty good taste of the range of reviews at the moment:

“Nearly nothing to offer”? Ouch. Well, maybe this will motivate the powers that be to #ReleaseTheHardyCut, and restore the 30-40 minutes of crazy Tom Hardy footage that he says were all his favorite parts of the movie, but were cut prior to release by director Ruben Fleischer. The world must see this genius masterpiece in full!

Venom opens in theaters this Friday. We’ll have our review later this week. (I’m seeing it tonight.)

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