‘Venom: Let there be Carnage’ is more sentimental than expected

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Carnage (Woody Harrelson) prepares to fight with Venom (Tom Hardy). (Photo courtesy of Sony)
By Isabel Whitsett

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is adventurous, comedic and witty.

This movie was a hit, breaking the box office with the biggest turnout since the pandemic started in March 2020. In just three days, the film racked up a record-breaking $90.1 million. 

This film captures the essence of a comic book and displays it well. Some of the conversations between the characters are performed awkwardly from time to time, but it almost feels purposeful.

This sequel portrays a love story not only between Woody Harrelson’s villainous Carnage and misunderstood mutant Shriek (Naomie Harris), but also Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy)  and his sentient alien symbiote dwelling inside him, Venom.

This dynamic duo are always arguing over who’s in charge and how to handle the bad guys. As the plot progresses, Venom and Brock disconnect while the genuine, emotional connection comes into full force, bringing the protagonists to the shared realization that they are truly better together.

Viewers may be surprised to learn this Marvel comic book movie is not just an action-packed killing spree for both Carnage and Venom or a difficult symbiotic relationship between an intrepid reporter and a preening alien. This movie is also about vulnerability, true friendship and love.

The alien inhabiting Brock’s body, Venom, complains he doesn’t get enough nutrients just eating chicken and chocolate and instead, wants to continue eating people, preferably the bad ones. Although this is the silly side of the film, Venom is Brock’s inner conscience most of the time. He is a guide, a cheerful inner voice and even insecurities that reside within.

Anti-hero Venom encourages Brock to rekindle his love with Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) all to find out she’s with more suitable lover Dr. Dan Lewis (Reid Scott). He also aids the journalist on his journey of capturing the essence of Cletus Kasady (Harrelson), a convicted murderer who’s about to be executed in San Quentin State Prison.

Director Andy Serkis balances comedic hues well between action and novelty, rather than the 2018 Venom film directed by Ruben Fleischer, where comedy was the star.

Serkis has been in many CGI movies including “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), “War of the Planets of the Planet of the Apes” (2018), “Lord of the Rings Fellowship of Rings” (2001) as Gollum and more alike. He also directed the CGI movie “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” and played Baloo. 

Marvel is notorious for after-credits teasers, especially for connecting other movies in the Marvel Universe. Dr. Strange and Spider-man “make an appearance” in the after-credits you need to stick around for, but if you aren’t well versed with Marvel movie comics, it might leave you a bit confused.

“Venom” is a stand-alone movie and doesn’t actually connect much between itself and Spider-Man. The alien symbiote resents Peter Parker for cutting ties while reporter Eddie Brock blames Parker for his newfound symbiotic relationship now known as Venom. Their MCU is one in the same, so it’s only logical to speculate why the post-movie credits create such a link.

“Let… There… Be… Carnage”, said Carnage, only after some symbiotic exchange during Brock’s visit with Kasady in prison, catapulting the plot into the action-packed battle viewers anticipate.

Kasady escapes prison, now with his red symbiote, Carnage, residing within him, and is off to save his captive girlfriend, Shirek, and seek revenge.

As Venom tries to defeat Carnage, they notice just how unsynchronized Kassidy and his symbiote are, leading to the end of Carnage, or so we think.

Although this movie is rated rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, the audience begs to differ, me included. Find out yourself about what this film brings to the table.

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