Words by Gerry Otim
In theory, Venom: Let There Be Carnage had a lot of potential. At the very least, it had the foundations of a decent first film, the star power of the 2011 BAFTA Rising Star Tom Hardy and the intricate origin story of the sociopathic, Cletus Kasady aka Carnage – played by the Primetime Emmy Award-winning Woody Harrelson. However, whilst enjoying some good moments, the film is underwhelming
Venom 2 is directed by Andy Serkis, and he was joined by Kelly Marcel and Hardy who both collaborated to story write and produce the film. Hardy reprises his role as Eddie Brock, who is looking to resurrect his career following his misadventures during Venom (2018). In doing so, Eddie creates complications in his relationship with Venom, which leads him towards an unintended collision course with the incarcerated Kasady who later becomes a host to the alien symbiote, Carnage.
Kasady’s backstory is a troubling one, littered with abusive behaviour. We first encounter a young Kasady at the St. Estes Home for Unwanted Children, where the opening act of the film begins.
From the outset, it is evident that Sarkis, Marcel and Hardy were aiming to get viewers from scene to scene, as quickly as possible to avoid wasted screen time. However, the early scenes don’t feel seamless, and it comes across as a rushed attempt to get viewers to the third act.
The film focuses on the bromance between Brock and Venom, and how they manage having to coexist, following on the first movie. Brock and Venom are both in denial about their dependency on the another, with Eddie happy to ignore the role Venom played in helping to revive his dwindling journalistic career.
Serkis explained his intent in exploring the dynamic between Brock and Venom on Vanity Fair’s ‘Notes On A Scene’ YouTube segment where he explained: “If we don’t believe this relationship between Eddie and Venom, or care, then there is no movie. That’s crucial. That’s sort of base one of the whole task of this movie – to make sure that these creatures feel truly organic, and living and have an emotion.”
Carnage is great once we meet him, largely thanks to the work of CGI expert Serkis who flourished in his endeavours at bringing the Carnage and Venom characters to life. Yet you’re still left with the feeling that the character could have caused more… Carnage. It would have been great to have seen Carnage rampaging around San Francisco, before the inevitable confrontation with Venom in the third act. At a running time of roughly 90 minutes the film is restricted in how far it explores Carnage and Kasady as both joint and separate entities.
The mid-credit scene is thoroughly exciting and certainly ensures that even if you don’t love this movie, you’ll probably be back to watch a third instalment of Venom.