Movie Review – ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’

Hello everyone. 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley.

Last Friday, I saw ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ at the Vue cinema in Bedford when I was away for the weekend attending the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’. I’m glad I saw this movie whilst I was away last Friday and it satisfied my curiosity after seeing the two trailers that preceded the film’s release.

So, you may have picked up from my review of the 2018 film called ‘Venom’ that I’m not a fan of it. Whilst I appreciate other people enjoying it, I felt it wasn’t a good film adaptation of one of Spider-Man‘s best villains. The approach of Venom being a good guy and not a bad guy didn’t work for me.

But that’s nothing compared to what the sequel ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ became. Oh my! This film is such a mess! I know people praise it highly compared to the first film and it’s meant to be a continuation of the first film, but that makes it even worse. And it’s such a shame it’s like that. 😦

This film could have been so much better compared to what it ended up being. The film’s director Andy Serkis (Gollum in ‘LOTR’) could have taken advantage of making the film darker and disturbing, making up for all the mistakes made in the first ‘Venom’ film and possibly make it a lot like ‘Joker’. 😦

Sadly, that didn’t happen. I admit; the direction is better than the first film. The editing isn’t as clunky as you would expect. The narrative is a little better; there are some impressive shots of Carnage in the film and there’s an intriguing artistic montage of Cletus Kasady’s backstory in the film.

But then, Venom has to talk! I found it very annoying when he and Eddie Brock were talking to each other in the film. I also don’t like the romantic comedy route they seem to be going for in these films. I cringed at certain moments featured in the film. Eddie and Venom’s relationship is laughable.

The film focuses on Eddie struggling to adjust to life when he’s the host of the alien symbiote Venom. But things become chaotic when serial killer Cletus Kasady escapes from prison after becoming the host of Carnage, a spawn of Venom. And it isn’t exciting enough for me as I would like.

Now here’s the thing. The ‘Venom’ films could have been good if they explored Eddie Brock’s turmoil when being combined with the Venom symbioite. There could have been an intriguing dark story where Eddie/Venom became murderous and were soon on the run in a ‘Dark Knight’-styled tone! 😐

But these films never got Eddie/Venom’s characters right! At all! I’ll just say it; Venom is not a great character in these films. It’s such a shame when people criticise Topher Grace as Venom in ‘Spider-Man 3’, as I feel he did a better job at playing the character compared to how Tom Hardy played him.

Even Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady/Carnage didn’t win me over. Oh certainly he played the character well, but we never got enough time to explore him as a serial killer. Even flashback shots of him actually killing people would have been welcome. But nope! The film doesn’t explore that angle.

‘The Venom Saga’ episodes in the 1990s animated ‘Spider-Man’ TV series, including ‘The Alien Costume’ and ‘Venom Returns’/’Carnage’, are more credible as Venom and Carnage stories compared to what these ‘Venom’ films are. It’s a shame the film versions of these characters aren’t faithful to the comics.

The film also features Michelle Williams back as Anne Weying (her relationship with Eddie went nowhere), and Naomie Harris (who was in ‘No Time to Die’ recently) as Frances Barrison/Shriek, Cletus Kasady’s love interest. Reid Scott is back as Dan Lewis, Anna’s fiancé (who was a bit of a jerk early on before he became useful later in the film), and Stephen Graham as police detective Patrick Mulligan.

The film’s mid-credit scene does look interesting, especially with J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man from the end of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. But I don’t think having Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock/Venom crossing into the ‘MCU’ is going to save the film. 😦

If you liked the first ‘Venom’ film, then I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ at the cinema or when you get to see it on DVD or Blu-ray. But as for me, this film was such a mess. It’s a shame as I truly want Venom to be a darker and complex character than in these films. 😦

By the time I get to do the DVD/Blu-ray review on ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’, I hope to invite Timelord007 to review the film with me. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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