TL;DR – At least everyone is having fun this time around
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review –
The first Venom film was a bit of an odd duck. Like you could see the gears turning in the background, and it was clearly apparent that they found the film’s tone in the editing room and not behind the camera. This led to there being moments of interest in a sea of banal origin faff. Now that they had found their tone, I was interested to see what sort of film they could make, and if nothing else, this is an improvement.
So to set the scene, at the end of Venom, the titular Venom (Tom Hardy) was killed, saving the world from the invasion of other symbionts. However, he is not actually dead but is still hiding inside Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). Still reeling from the news that Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) is engaged, Eddie is invited to hear the final confession of notorious mass-murderer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). However, when Cletus bites Eddie, he takes more than just blood, creating something monstrous.
One of the many issues people had with the first film is that it was tonally all over the place and was quite stuffy in some areas. Here they know what the tone is going in and built the film around it, and this was a good choice. Everyone looks like they are having fun this time around, making the film work so much better. Like, Michelle Williams has some great comedic timing in this film which is great to see. The banter between Venom and Eddie is such a delight, and there was continued laughter from the whole audience whenever they started their back-and-forth. Frankly, I wouldn’t say I liked Woody’s character when we saw it for a few moments at the end of the first film, but here he swaggers through every moment he is on screen, and I would have liked to see more of him and Naomie Harris.
Another interesting part of the film is how they have given up all pretence that Eddie and Venom are a couple. Like at one point during a rave, they have Venom go straight from sub-test to literal text. Which makes the drive of Venom for Eddie to get back with Anne more layers of interesting. It also dives into some aspects of the more expansive Marvel universe that we have not seen before. But this is getting into [SPOILERS] so beware. In this film, we get our first reference to Mutants or, in this case, a mutation that is just thrown out there as if it was not a significant deal. This is expounded on in the mid-credit scene, which most of you have probably seen, but just in case, I won’t discuss that here.
Where the film falls on its face is any of the action scenes. Whenever Venom and Carnage fight, it becomes an amorphous mess on screen that would be difficult to see in the daylight, but every action scene is set at night. You spend the whole time lost in a whirl, waiting for the endpoint to see what happened. As well as this, several plot points fall flat. The main one being anything involving Detective Patrick Mulligan (Stephen Graham).
In the end, do we recommend Venom: Let There Be Carnage? Well, look, a hard maybe. When the film is working, it is a delight to watch. However, a lot of this film still did not work, and you have to make your way through that before getting to the good stuff. If you liked Venom: Let There Be Carnageven, I would recommend to you Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, mostly because there is never a reason not to recommend it.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Directed by – Andy Serkis
Story by – Tom Hardy
Screenplay by – Kelly Marcel
Based on – Characters created by Todd McFarlane
Music by – Marco Beltrami
Cinematography by – Robert Richardson
Edited by – Maryann Brandon & Stan Salfas
Production/Distribution Companies – Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Avi Arad Productions, Matt Tolmach Productions, Pascal Pictures & Sony Pictures
Starring – Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, Peggy Lu, Sian Webber, Scroobius Pip & Larry Olubamiwo with Tom Holland & J. K. Simmons
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: 14A; Germany: 16; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 15; United States: PG-13