It almost seems like there was more development between characters that was cut out of the movie, and considering the movie is a brisk 90 minute that is very possible.
One of the more interesting superhero movies to come out in recent years.
By Craig Allan, Business Manager
In 2018, Sony officially began creating their universe with the Marvel characters they owned the film rights to under the Spider-Man banner with Venom. The movie was lambasted by critics, but beloved by fans of the character. After hauling in over $800 million at the box office, a sequel was going to happen. That sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Venom 2)doubles down on the Brock and Venom bromance to hilarious results, and is more competently made than its predecessor. However, its storyline is so densely packed, and characters so detailed, that upon first viewing it may not stand up as well with viewers trying to take in all the symbiote action.
This movie follows in the footsteps of the previous movie’s mid-credit scene, with Brock getting an exclusive interview with serial killer Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson. After a bite transfers Brock’s symbiotic blood into Kasady, he becomes the menacing Carnage. Paired with his lifelong love Frances Barrison (played by Naomi Harris). Barrison has the power to make sonic waves as the scenery-chewing villain Shriek; together, Carnage and Shriek look to end Brock and Venom while taking revenge on the world that wronged them.
Some of the highlights of this film are the performances. The interplay between Tom Hardy’s Brock and Venom, also voiced by Hardy, is amplified from the first movie to become the highlight of the movie. Both characters feel like an old married couple. Bickering over trivial issues like Venom’s desire to eat bad guys’ heads, and Brock’s desire to not have Venom eat anyone. Harrelson and Harris are a great tag team as the villains of the film, looking like they are simply relishing in all the pain they are causing. While Brock’s love interest Anne and her now fiancé Dan had more to do in the first movie, they still contribute to the film’s overall enjoyment.
The one character that does fall flat though is Carnage. The relationship with Kasady feels more Kasady than Carnage, with the red symbiote almost feeling like a background character at times, which is disappointing to me since Carnage was one of my favourite comic book villains as a kid, and I have been waiting for over 20 years for a live-action Carnage appearance.
The humour is also improved from the last film. It’s clear that they lean into the comedy aspects of the film with scenes like Venom going to a rave, and comical fights between Brock and Venom. It feels like director Andy Serkis reflected on what worked in the last film—specifically the unique humour—and added to it without going too far. The CGI is also much better in this film, likely due to Serkis’s proficient use of CGI throughout his career.
This film is difficult to judge. I did enjoy it, but keeping up with the storyline was a bit difficult. It sometimes felt like I was dropped into the action at times, and I had trouble figuring everything out. It almost seems like there was more development between characters that was cut out of the movie, and considering the movie is a brisk 90 minutes, that is very possible. This is a film that may get better on repeat viewings once you know what is going to happen and can follow along with more ease, but the biggest plus of the film may be that I do want to go back and see the movie again. In a way that may be the real connection between Venom 2 and the original Venom. Both movies are loud and kind of dumb but in the most fun way possible. In a way that separates them from the polished, cookie-cutter productions of their Marvel Cinematic Universe cousins.
Venom 2 is not a perfect movie. It’s just a fun time in the theatre, and after a year and a half in which that was very hard to come by, Venom 2 might just be the kind of fun time we need these days.