Star Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Woody Harrelson
Director: Andy Serkis
What’s Good: The problematic relationship between Eddie & Venom has become mature (and fun), by being almost 40 minutes shorter than the prequel it shows how you should end it soon if you know you’re not going to make it
What’s Bad: Makers not only fail to understand the true strength of the film but also keep adding more generic superhero clutter to the mix
Loo Break: It’s just 97 minutes, you’ll hold it!
Watch or Not?: Despite hating the first one, it made $800 million at the box office & even this one is 84% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes so who even am I to suggest anything to you?
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 97 minutes
Venom & Eddie (both Tom Hardy) continue their ‘symbiotic’ relationship after creating the base for it in the first part. Imagine if somehow Charizard goes into Ash calling themselves as ‘lethal protectors’, that’s how Eddie & Venom are. Trying to pick up his scattered life, Eddie approaches to interview the serial-killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), from his prior interview. This, of course, wouldn’t go well because plot point, and also how the hell else will Cletus turn into the Carnage?
That happens and Cletus reunites with his old love interest, who has a superpower to torture people with her screams (nope, we aren’t talking about Dolly Bindra), Frances Barrison AKA Shriek (Naomi Harris). With two threesomes in the story including Venom-Eddie-Anne (Michelle Williams) and Cletus-Carnage-Shriek, we see how they try to end each other just because one psychotic serial killer had the fetish of biting people to taste their blood.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage Movie Review: Script Analysis
So, the makers decide to title the film ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ but the protagonist is on the mission ‘Let There Be No Carnage’ throughout (The above joke is purely for them who understand what sense of humour is. No personal attac.) Tom Hardy & Kelly Marcel’s story offers what every generic sequel pretends to such as a better story, better performances, a better title but are they really worth it? (ahem… Men in Black: International …ahem). This one tries to convert the dumb bromance between Eddie & Venom from part 1 to a Deadpool-Wilson-like (minus the fourth-wall fabulous funk) camaraderie with some at-your-face humour.
Kelly Marcel’s screenplay is more polished this time around with and that’s majorly because of the developed (and improved) relationship between the leading bros. My problem with its prequel was they didn’t develop Eddie-Venom too good too soon, makers heard making the duo extremely likeable in this one along with introducing a new problem. Trying to give Carnage equal importance as Venom appears as a speed-breaker in this one. It’s like having so much fun one moment immediately followed by too much generic ‘superhero movies’ BS.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage Movie Review: Star Performance
This film is that part of the franchise where you start to fall for the leading character as it answers my doubt of “Why Tom Hardy for this?” He’s no more just an adorable loser as he has a venomous friend who now has his back against everyone. Despite being a ‘superhero’, Hardy manages to underplay an underdog with crowning charm. There’s nothing ‘heroic’ about him and that’s his intriguing superpower (apart from a deadly creature living inside him who wants to eat everything it sees).
Michelle Williams’ contribution to the story declines from what she did in the prequel. She’s reduced to being Eddie’s love story and is handled important sequences only to let Eddie emerge as the champion. Michelle’s Anne has left with low to no voice suffering from a weak character sketch.
Give Woody Harrelson any character & he’ll play it like he’s hunting for acting awards. Despite all the flaws, Harrelson rises and shines by just being a psycho killer. His character turns out to be one you’d like to see in another more detailed film. Naomie Harris’s Shriek adds too much noise to the already chaotic narrative. She’s good, character’s not.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage Movie Review: Direction, Music
Andy Serkis has made movies like Breathe (Andrew Garfield) & Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle before but this is the first time he’s stepping in this particular zone. The wobbly narrative does add some hiccups to the direction but Serkis tries to hold his ground using the Eddie-Venom trump card designing at least some things to hold you back.
Marco Beltrami is no ‘Logan‘ or even ‘The Wolverine’ good here but he just gets the work done. Louis Armstrong’s Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off is brutally murdered in a scene that never justifies the use of the song proving why everyone just can’t be When Harry Met Sally.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, this feels like a step in the right direction but the problem is it’s moving too slowly. The post-credit sequence does create enough excitement for the next part but it’ll still need a whole lot of revamping.
Two and a half stars! (Half better than the last one. At this speed, I’ll be rating Venom 5 with 4 stars)
Venom: Let There Be Carnage Trailer
Venom: Let There Be Carnage releases on 14 October, 2021.
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Not interested in superheroes? James Bond fans, check No Time To Die movie review.