Tuesday Review – Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

films, reviews

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

After watching the first Venom film in 2018, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea of a sequel. It wasn’t something that I was rushing out to see. However, I had did have enough faith in Andy Serkis to be interested. It’s taken a bit of time but this week I finally got around to seeing it. My friend had already seen it and I’d got them to tell me about the post-credit scene but that’s not a big problem. Although, a lot of the feedback that I’ve seen have said that the post-credit sequence is the best thing about it. Could the second film possibly be as bad or worse than the first one?

One of my least favourite things about the previous Venom film was that the plot was overly-complicated and awkward. That’s certainly not something you can say about the sequel. The overall running time for the film is about 90 minutes, which I think is quite refreshing. The problem with most contemporary filmmakers is that they want to get as much screen time as possible. I say that’s the wrong approach. If you can’t tell your story in under 2 hours then you don’t know what story you’re trying to tell.

Although, saying that, I feel like the sequel went too far in the other direction. There was such a small amount of buildup that you never really got to grips with it. I know that serial killer Cletus Kasady was set up at the end of the previous film but I naively expected there to be a bit of development in this film. I don’t feel as though we really got to know who Kasady or any of the new characters really are. It means that I also don’t really care what happens to everyone.

Instead, the film focuses on the odd couple vibes between Eddie Brock and his symbiote friend. Now, I admit that I was one of the people who enjoyed the dynamic between the two in the first film. I also quite liked it this time around and there are some pretty funny moments. However, Venom: Let There Be Carnage seems to think this is all it needs to do. I do think the stripped-down story is a good thing but it could have done with a bit more substance to it. It seems as though the film is going so far not to be the same as every other comic book movie that it forgets it’s a comic book movie. Yes, you don’t need to fall into the same traps but people do expect a bit more action.

One of the major flaws with this film is that, once again, Venom isn’t given a higher rating. He’s the kind of character that could do with greater freedom for bad language and violence. He deserved the chance to get a Deadpool style outing. It’s also impossible to escape the fact that director Andy Serkis could have done great things with more freedom and a better budget. He does the best that he can and the film is certainly an improvement on the last one. However, it is up against the might of Marvel and it can’t keep up.

Despite everything I’ve said here, I actually enjoyed the sequel to Venom. It’s a lot better than the first one and I had a lot of fun watching it. In terms of actual quality, I definitely think it could be better. Like Deadpool, this character needed more backing from the studio. It’s like nobody ever believed that this could work and just let it happen. Most of the cast is underused, most of the characters are ignored and the action sequences are pretty dull. This film might have been better than the first but it could still have been so much better.

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