"Venom" is disjointed, supercharged on action, and lacks the narrative cohesion and likability of other Marvel movies. It’s almost as if Michael Bay infiltrated the editing room and left major plot points on the cutting floor.

Narrative gaps are especially problematic when the story is already very straightforward. A space exploration shuttle crashes to Earth after discovering and capturing several extraterrestrial parasites. The corporation responsible for the intergalactic missions, Life Foundation, recovers two of the parasites and begins testing on humans. Obstinate investigative reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) uncovers the unethical tests at Life Foundation and through a freak accident merges with Venom. This begins a haphazard journey through San Francisco, as Venom hopes to leave Earth or get revenge on the Life Foundation or become pals with Eddie — it oscillates scene to scene.

Venom is billed as an anti-hero which audiences are intended to understand as a bad guy that does more good than bad, so maybe he’s not such a bad guy. But, for not being a bad guy, Venom kills a lot of people — and I mean a lot of people. The mixed motives of the anti-hero also confound viewers who likely struggle to identify even what Eddie cares about at any given scene, much less a well-adapted and highly sarcastic alien symbiote.

No one is winning an Oscar in this picture. Hardy does an adequate job, though he never seems to have decided how he wanted to play Eddie. At times, he’s a hard-hitting investigate reporter driving a motorcycle and head-over-heels engaged to his attorney girlfriend. But later, he plays Eddie as a kind simpleton and, even when not melded with Venom, acts slightly schizophrenic. His best stuff comes in the last minute of the film, and it only serves as a reminder of what the film could have been.

The only other major characters, Life Foundation CEO Carleton Drake (Riz Ahmed) and Eddie’s love interest Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) under-deliver. Ahmed struggles to achieve villain status in any convincing way, and the romance between Eddie and Anne plays like two strangers plucked out of a bar to star in a Viagra commercial rather than a failed, prolonged romance.

The main failure of "Venom" is the lack of answers to major plot questions. Venom is not a Spiderman movie and doesn’t offer itself as an extension in that universe. This means there needs to be at least some semblance of a backstory or foundation laid. We get none of that in Venom. Instead, we get a whole lot of explosions, weird drone attacks, prolonged car chases, and a whole lot of Venom eating the faces off of cops and the occasional bad guy. To add insult to injury, at the beginning of the final act, there is such a large narrative misstep that the rest of the film with the exception of a cutesy final two minutes and post-credit scene plays out seemingly without any rational motivation.

Venom is worth seeing and carries some of the charm of a Marvel universe movie. But if they hope to make "Venom 2: The Return of the Goop," there needs to be serious revisions to the cast and narrative arc.

Tyler Grant (@The_Tyler_Grant) is a Young Voices contributor who completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Taiwan.