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Venom: Let there be Carnage review

Venom 2 or Venom:Let there be Carnage is the long awaited sequel of the 2018 movie of the titular Marvel character. This movie's release took kind of a weird turn since it would initially be delayed to a later scheduled release, but Sony may have seen that movies are actually doing pretty well financially after Covid-19, so they decided to release it in October and the rest is history.



Personally, Venom wasn't one of my favourite superhero movies. Hell, it wasn't even one of my favourite Sony superhero movies. I mean, I did not entirely detest its existence like Mother! from Darren Arronofsky or anyone who unironically liked the new Star Wars trilogy. It was a fun movie but I thought it did not really capture the character of Venom right and I thought the writers went all conformist by following the MCU route of humor and bloodless fights. However, this doesn't mean it was all bad. Tom Hardy was fun and irregardless of my opinion, I know that the first Venom actually gained a niche following from people who genuinely liked the film. Not really comic-book readers, but no corporate overlord expects profit from the miniscule percentage of comic-book readers.


Moreover, the success of the film and the box office of (estimated) $856.1 million intrigued the capitalist spirit or as else known, money hunger of the humble people at Sony and ordered a sequel. And the best thing? It would follow on what in my opinion was, the best scene of the first film. The after credits scene. In the after credits scene, the viewers are introduced to one of the best villains that have ever been drawn on a Marvel comic book; Cletus Kassady or as else known Carnage.



Jesus, thankfully they removed that damn wig. They got my man Woody Harelson looking like the crossbreed of Carrot Top and Jake Peralta from B99.



A brief history of Carnage as a character.

Before we proceed, I need to let you know why the introduction of this character got me hyped out of my head and along with me everyone who knew this character from other media like the comics or video games.


Firstly, I am going to go ahead and say that Carnage is almost the equivalent of the Joker but for the Marvel Universe. No, I know what you think. Is this Carnage, a deep villain with a cause to uncover the dark side of humanity like Heath Ledger's Joker? Or was he also excluded from society and in comparison with his mental issues, decided to go full edgy on society like Joaquin Phoenix?

Well, not really. I kind of meant the Joker and a crazier Joker at that since Carnage is a super-powered sadist and also a serial killer that killed his grandma for some reason. He also follows a kind of nihilistic and lawless approach to life. Here is a look at this sick fuck's comic look from a recent story that I haven't yet read because I am too busy acting like I know what I am doing with my life.






In other words, Carnage to me, looked like the necessary darkness that the Sony Marvel movies required to stand out from the MCU or even the Fox X-men universe. You can imagine my disappointment when I heard that the damn sequel (Venom 2) was given a fucking PG13 rating. That meant , a character that shines in bloodthirst violence, is already restricted in bloodless fights and comedic remarks.






Plot

Let's not kid ourselves. Most of us went here to see Carnage, Tom Hardy being extra cool, some VFX fights between two gooey symbiotes and the postcredit scene. Nobody goes to these movies expecting a Shawshank Redemption kind of story. So, I will keep this short so we can get to the review.


The plot of Venom flash forwards a bit with Eddie struggling to keep Venom under control since his hunger for brains and real human beings is affecting both of them. However, Eddie does not let Venom to cave in and this causes some conflict. Meanwhile, a discovery from Eddie and Venom manage to put Cletus Kassady on deathrow, something that ultimately ends up with the transformation of Carnage through the blood of Eddie. Chaos ensues and Cletus loses no time to reek havoc in town by allying with France Barrison, his only light in this world. Now, it is up to Eddie to stop all the carnage from Carnage.



The good

+Tom Hardy as Eddie

I will say it once. Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock is an amazing casting choice. I think Tom Hardy is one of the most underrated overrated actors. He has done so much and people know him, but it is still not enough. Anyway, the hard thing about transporting a comicbook to live action, is building the fundamentals of a character. Comicbook fans expect to see a faithful adaptation of their favourite characters and Tom Hardy certainly gives the vibe of a funnier, more traumatic version of Eddie Brock.


+The chemistry between the symbiote and Eddie

Furthermore, the bromance between Eddie and the Symbiote is something really refreshing. I quite like Eddie and Venom communicating and not having Venom just being the evil symbiote. While the exclusion of Spiderman from the Venom movies is something that not many fans wanted, his absence left for a new take on the relationship between host and symbiote which is both funny and very sentimental. Let me explain, in the comics, symbiotes are portrayed as simply evil goo that possesses and manipulates the host (This is just an oversimplification. There are so much more behind them but we are talking basic symbiote 101). However, the people at Sony decided to swift apart from this and created a new dynamic that really works for the live action movies in my opinion.


I adored seeing a roomate/bromance relationship between the two, and Venom actually caring about his host was heartful. In addition, the fighting scenes between them because of some disagreements were hilarious, I'll give them that.





+Woody Harrelson as Carnage

Okay, now let's move to one of the best parts of the movie. I found Cletus Kasady to be diabolical and evil in the most tasty way possible. Woody and the writers completely understood the assignment when they were assigned to this character since for first, did not skip around the bush and built him up from the beginning to be a completely out of the loop, psycho, sadist motherfucker. Yeah, we get a glimpse of his supposed traumatic past, but in a really quick and very captivating and innovative way. There is this small animated sequence that quickly explains his backstory that was pretty awesome in my opinion. Props to whoever thought and executed that small sequence.


Moreover, as mentioned, the movie does not beat around the bush with a lot of character development and shit, they just simply go full in after the transformation of Cletus into Carnage which showed Carnage causing - well - carnage in the prison by killing people left and right with almost zero hesitation. It is exactly what a psycho-serial killer would do the second he inherited powers and they executed that perfectly.




I think it is also necessary to give props to some character traits they have given Cletus to actually appear more authentic and "real" as a human and not just a comicbook villain. You see him stealing a car and fucking around so much with his new powers that was actually pretty sweet to see him (even just a little bit) outside of his serial killer persona.

Finally, the cgi transformations were actually top notch. I liked how distinguished the symbiote transformations were from each other, especially with Carnage's transformation being a bit more aggressive, reaching even the level of disgusting.



The subtle details of the transformation are also very fun to explore since you can see Kasadyy literally letting Carnage taking over since he shares the bloodthirst of the symbiote while Eddie's transformation is more in sync which underlies the compatability they share.


While Carnage can be considered one of the biggest strengths of the movie, it can also be considered as its weakest point.


-Maximum Potential

I understand that aside from the artistic integrity and the storytelling intentions, at the core, a movie is a medium that is released to make money for the corporate overlords who play real life monopoly in our world. And this has led to the movie getting a PG13 rating which ultimately means no blood, no swearing, no gore and a lot of no's in exchange for a wider variety of audiences including young kids.


Look , I completely get it.


Making a movie is a big financial risk. Especially a fucking superhero movie and especially a Venom movie without Spiderman. You spend so much money on CGI, casting and marketing and you want to make it back as fast as possible. You are also in risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic and you have no strategy how to combat the unpredictability of your movie's release. Will the audience come out of their home? Will they get out of their comfort zone?


This should not translate in sacrificing the movie's quality for a wider audience.

If your movie is good and true to source material, regardless of the rating it gets, people will come and watch it. Hell, just look at Suicide Squad. That movie was Rated R and it did great. Why wasn't this movie rated R, for fucks sakes?


When I saw the first scene of Carnage where he transformed during Kasady's lethal injection, I could see so much fucking potential for one of the best Rated R superhero scenes ever. The possibilities for some of the most beautiful gore and violence were fucking endless. I swear to god, me and my filmbros watching the movie beside me almost punched the air at how good it could actually be if the great Andy Serkis received some more creative freedom in terms of presenting Carnage at its full potential. The jailbreak scene and its aftermath (when the cops come in to check on the crime scene) would have elevated this movie's quality by a lot. I understand that you do not need blood or gore to make a great movie, but for god's sakes, you do not need coffee to wake up in the morning but it sure fucking helps.


Just take a look by yourself and tell me if this scene did not need gore. I could honestly feel the CGI artists pain since they put so much love into animating all of this. It is an absolute shame when a movie's nature is massively altered due to the current trends or due to having access to an audience of kids.


Hear me out, if this movie came out in Rated R, it would be one of the best superhero movies that came out from Sony. People would give it much more prop. But due to that decision, Venom has been outshined by other releases such as Dune and James Bond. I think they call this Karma.


-Venom the stand up comedian

Look, I'm all in for a good laugh. I love when some movies do not take themselves so seriously. And I liked the humor of Venom. It just in my opinion, there was a bit too much in it. It's like they got a comedian and told him to write a bunch of jokes for internal dialogue for Eddie and the guy went over the movie and did his job. But I guess that the guy who needed to do the check afterwards was a pretty big guy of the supposed comedian, or he grew up with Friends humor (just like half you do, yikes). This led to me imagining the guy watching the film and instead of doing his job and removing some of the jokes, he just left everything in and spend 2 hours just enjoying the fuck out of his life by laughing uncontrollably. I mean props to you guy for loving your job, but goddamn, you got Venom looking like he is Dave Chappelle. How many jokes do you require in a movie about fighting aliens? The thing is, it's not just simple one liners. Things are hepping on screen and the freaking Symbiot is used

for metacommentary which literally drove me crazy.




It's like when you and your buddies get wasted or high and casually sit down to watch a movie and throw away jokes at the screen, but this time, it's in the damn movie. I must admit, I was not the biggest fan of this approach.





Conclusion:

This movie is good. This movie could have been fucking spectacular. However, the bloodless and weightless massacre scenes disengage the viewer from actually feeling the true power of Carnage who was ultimately the selling point of this whole thing. The only thing that we can hope is maybe for a later Rated R release in which we can see the whole thing in its glory. However, the movie's saving graces come firstly in the form of Tom Hardy's performance as Eddie Brock (but it's something we've already seen. We want moooooore) and Woody's performance as Carnage.

However, it just left me wanting more and being disappointed at the enormous amount of potential. This movie could have been something else. It is the debut of Marvel's joker and one of the greatest villains of the whole Marven Universe, but instead of acting like it, the movie is just put together as yet another sequel. Its just a shame man, this movie could have reached very high standards. Thank god for that after credits scene huh? (wink,wink).



Rating: 6.7/10


Should you go and watch it in the cinema?

If you are one of the niche followers of the Venom universe, then go ahead, you will enjoy it just as much as the first one. However, if you are one of the people that wanted something else entirely or expected Carnage to be given some next level treatment, you will be disappointed. You can just sit this one out and watch it at home when it releases on Pirat-coug cough- I meant on streaming services.

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