Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Tom Hardy returns as Eddie Brock and the symbiote protector Venom, as they protect their city and loved ones from Carnage, a spawn symbiote of Venom and the infamous serial killer, Cletus Kasady.
Although I’ve been a fan of Marvel both in comics and in film, I’ve always been more of a casual fan of the Spider-Man universe. I’ve always loved the character but I never fully immersed myself in Peter Parker’s world. I was first introduced to the character Venom when Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007 and that’s been my main source of knowledge of the character. When Venom came out in 2018, I thought it was a mediocre film at best, probably because I was expecting it to be at the same level as the MCU and other Spider-Man films. And truth be told, I probably would have had lowered expectations for Venom: Let There Be Carnage had we not had a year of absence of superhero films. But truth be told, even if my expectations were lowered, I probably would still be disappointed with this film.
The film overall lacks a certain level of depth that makes you appreciate anything with the characters or the story. You see some growth with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom between the films (and it is sincere and heartfelt), but that’s about it. You get an interesting backstory on Cletus Kasady and his love interest, Frances Barrison. In fact, I think that the VFX artists and the cinematographers did a fantastic job of visualizing this in the film in a way that is interesting, different, and stays within the style of the film while telling this in a short, two-minute scene (probably one of the best scenes in the movie). But overall, it feels like the characters’ stories just fell into your lap when you are watching the film.
Although the backstory and character development were shallow, I think it could have done a good job pulling it off if it was done right. I remember thinking, “Would adding more to the character’s story give me more appreciation and insight to the film?” and honestly, the answer would be no. But pair this with the pacing of the film, and it starts to crumble real quick. In most stories, there are usually three or five acts that tend to build up until the climax, but in this film, the acts were over by the time it started to get anywhere. The story kept rushing from one spot or location to another and didn’t stay long enough to really develop anything makes you question if this was also another film that was a victim of studio intervention.
One last thought on what suffered in this film before moving on to the positive. This film was disturbing for a PG-13 film. The villain of the story is centered around a disturbed serial killer where death is enjoyable for him. It almost seemed like had they not wanted to keep it at the movie’s rating, they would have made this into a complete intense horror film. Though it lacked any sort of real gore that would make it a truly disturbing film, there are scenes and depictions that skirt the edges of it.
Although the overall plot suffered, there are pockets of the film that were done very well. The relationship between Venom and Brock was comical, challenging, and emotional. Venom is always hilarious with his witty comebacks, and Tom Hardy did a great job portraying someone that is struggling to live in a reality where a symbiote is talking to him in his mind while trying to look sane to the rest of the world. Woody Harrelson is a terrific actor, and although there were scenes where he nailed it as a murderous psychopath, the writing probably prevented him from being able to reach the peak of his acting for this film. The overall cast did a great job with the film.
So that one last thing…. What everyone’s been talking about; the mid-credits scene. No spoiler here, but you’ll definitely want to stick around to watch it (and if you haven’t been doing that by now for Marvel movies, what are you doing, eh?). It comes after the above-the-line credits, so you don’t have to wait until the end of the entire credits to watch.
Overall, I came out of the movie still not a fan of the Sony Venom franchise. If you are someone that is a die-hard Spiderverse fan, you will probably enjoy this movie. But I still think it missed the mark of being called a good movie since the entire film rushed through the story just to get to the final battle scene. My advice is, unless you loved Venom (2018), you can probably wait until the film comes out on digital/DVD release (or not watch it at all) and read about the mid-credits scene online.
Venom: A Shallow Rush
- Writing - 3/103/10
- Storyline - 3/103/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 7/107/10
- Production - 8/108/10
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