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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Review: Venom 2 is nothing special

The second installment in the Venom franchise does not push the needle or make improvements from its predecessor.

What is the point of making sequels? Is it always necessary? Well folks, let your trusted Eastern Echo movie critic try to shed some light. Sequels should be made to not only retell parts of the original story, but they should also be used in a way to tell a new story with new character arcs, themes, and adventures. Sequels are needed for certain films, and the originals are crafted in a way to lead the audience to be excited about a sequel. 

Now that leads us to Venom: Let There be Carnage. Let me tell you, this sequel was not necessary at all. This film did not add any excitement to the already flat and non-exciting first Venom film. The only way should be up right? This film in my humble opinion was neither up nor down. Nothing special or exciting happened here, the film was basic and frankly boring. Why did this film happen? Let’s try to figure that out and dive in!

Synopsis

Eddie Brock and Venom are struggling to coexist. Their relationship has taken too many bad turns. To make things worse, there is a new villian in the notorious serial killer, Cletus Kassidy, who becomes a host for the symbiote and becomes Carnage. Eddie and Venom must join together again to stop this new fearsome foe. 

Highlights

To me, the biggest highlight of this film does not happen until the post-credit scene. No spoilers will be given, but let's just say a certain someone will meet Venom very soon. Personally, this scene was well done. The scene will set up a lot of interesting storylines for this certain someone and for Venom. It is worth the wait, so stay for the credits. 

Tom Hardy did the best he could here. The writing is not very tight nor is the editing, but Tom Hardy does the best he can. Hardy is definitely having fun with the character and you could tell enjoys the film. You got to wonder though, if this film was made by Marvel Studios would it be more fun? I think that it probably would be.

Lowlights

As stated before, there is truly nothing special about this film. Remember when Shrek said Ogres are like onions? They have many layers right? Well, this film is like an onion in that it gets smellier and smellier the longer you peel. Nothing works in this film. The story does not add any depth to Venom or Eddie's character. There is no plot twist or out-of-your-seat moments. The film basically happened because Sony paid a lot of money for it to happen. 

Sometimes acting performances can be so weird that they’re great, but not so much here. Woody Harrelson as Cletus/Carnage gave off Jared Leto's joker vibes. His performance just felt so off. He was weird to the point that I was almost cringing. The character was too over the top to be believed as a real villain. That is to be said too about Naome Harris' character of Cletus' girlfriend Shriek, as her character was wasted. We were given no context as to how she got her power of screaming loud or why we should care about her. She felt like a side character with no real direction. The editing and writing did her no favors. Overall her character was just like Woody’s, over the top weird.

The main gripe of the film is the Venom character itself. Venom just does not work as an anti-hero. The film tried to turn Venom into a Deadpool-like character. Venom being witty and funny just doesn't work. Venom at the end of the day is a villain. He only cares about Eddie because he needs his body, not because he actually cares for Eddie. We are in this phase of superhero filmmaking where the villain has to have some sort of good side. Why? Let the villains be villains and heroes be heroes. Not every villain has to have a redeemable quality. In the context of Venom, having him serve as a hero doesn't work for me. If Sony stuck to the source material and let Venom be a super villain as we know him to be, then the film may work. 

Verdict

Venom simply does not do enough to make improvements on the first installment. Stick around for the credits, you'll love it. I would give the film 2 out of 5.