'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Review
Hope you have your sweatbands ready to go 'cause it's about to be monsoon season in the human form of Tom Hardy who returns as our favourite San Franciscan, accent-rapidly-changing Eddie Brock for Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Following the events of earlier 2018 movie, Eddie is now living in his same old flat with the alien symbiote Venom who's full of banter and chaos for you to enjoy, less for Eddie's enjoyment while he's still hung up on his ex Anne (Michelle Williams). Eddie and Venom's cohabitation gets disturbed when serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) breaks out from a prison using a Venom-like mutated symbiote called Carnage after he bites Eddie, him being the one who got Cletus sentenced to death row. Aggravating Cletus' motivations is his search for his super-powered girlfriend Frances a.k.a Shriek (Naomie Harris) who's also been locked away.
No matter if it's thanks to Hardy's involvement in the story department this time around or hiring of Andy Serkis as a director, the sequel clearly takes itself way less seriously than its predecessor and that's a very good thing for viewers who just want to be entertained for 90 minutes (also something to notice). ''Venom 2'' moves and turns with solid pace in its gooey symbiote limbs, there simply isn't much fat which can often be the case for sequels that properly introduce new villains. In same breath you should mention that the overall story of this specific movie isn't necessarily satisfying as it does lack dynamics, not really offering anything new for Hardy or Williams to chew on despite being gifted actors. Even one scene at a restaurant between Eddie and Anne could've been filmed for the first film and you wouldn't think twice about it here.
A big reason why Venom 2 works better than the first and when the entertainment meter is off the charts are the scenes that only involve Eddie and Venom. Serkis, Hardy as well as editors Maryann Brandon and Stan Salfas approach them from a rom-com perspective which just offers a buffet table of chocolate and brains when it comes to comedic material and timing. There are plenty of smartly built-up, laugh-out-loud jokes and even few physical moments that deliver on all fronts. Where the film falls apart is anytime we switch over to see what's going on with Cletus/Carnage and Frances/Shriek because both actors are rather awful in their respective roles and the possible saving grace, which could be their on-screen romantic chemistry, is buried about 600 feet below in two different continents. Real friends we made along the way are our now favourite married fellas, Eddie and Venom.
Smileys: Humour, pacing
Frowneys: Woody Harrelson, Naomie Harris, story
Should've made the symbiote animal Chernage, you chickens.