Art & Life

‘Venom’ sequel lacks strong antagonists

Venom
GRAPHIC BY AMANDA BOLLIG

“Venom Let There Be Carnage” is the sequel to the 2018 film, “Venom” starring Tom Hardy as the lead, Eddie Brock. 

 Eddie’s career has skyrocketed after getting information about the victims of the notorious serial killer, Cletus Kasady, thanks to Venom. Upon discovery of the bodies, Kasady is sentenced to death and sends a postcard to request that Eddie visit him. During the visit, Kasady receives a small bit of a symbiote after Venom attacks him and Cletus biting Eddie. 

 Venom and Eddie separate due to conflicting goals; Venom wanting to be a hero and being discontent with being reduced to eating only chocolate and chickens instead of brains and Eddie wanting to revert back to his normal life.  

This unfortunately happens around the same time, Kasady’s symbiote awakens and breaks the two of them out, wreaking havoc as Carnage. The two team up to achieve their goals, Carnage desires to kill Venom so he can be the only symbiote on the planet and Kasady needs Carnage to find his old flame, Frances Harrison aka the mutant Shriek. 

The film focuses on the relationship between Eddie and Venom. The two start out as dysfunctional with a hint of physical abuse on Venom’s part. However, as the movie progresses, they are shown to need each other emotionally and are able to work well together. Cletus and Carnage’s relationship also helps highlight this. When they first bond, Carnage is a seemingly unstoppable killing machine who kills indiscriminately for no other reason than for their amusement.  

After freeing Shriek, Carnage and Cletus start to butt heads due to how lethal Shriek’s sonic screams are to the symbiote. During that point, Venom and Eddie and more cooperative with each other. 

Venom was pretty enduring, ranging from an annoying but well-meaning roommate to a sassy toddler. Some of the most memorable moments feature the Venom symbiote and lean on the more comedic side. One such example would be when Venom attends a rave, receives a ton of praise for what the partygoers think is a costume and parodies a Keanu Reeves moment. 

The film’s primary weakness would have to be the antagonists. Cletus had a potentially interesting plot point where he feels a deranged kinship with Eddie, but the film puts more focus on his relationship with Shriek. Carnage’s motivation is also a bit muddled. At first, it’s implied that he wanted to kill Venom is just a power move and based on a desire to be on top of the food chain. But near the end of the movie, Carnage calls Venom “father”. This statement comes out of nowhere and doesn’t lead to any interesting dynamics between them and the protagonist. 

Shriek only seems to be in the movie due to her connections with Carnage in the comics. She spends most of the movie in captivity and even after Kasady helps her escape she doesn’t do much. Being a driving force for Cletus is her main purpose in the movie and even then she could be written out of the movie with little change to the story. 

This was a fairly decent film. Although there are problems regarding the story’s villains, people can enjoy the film’s  more buddy cop like feel like dynamic rather than a superhero movie  

Image courtesy of Amanda Bollig | Kirkwood Communiqué

Categories: Art & Life, Movie Reviews

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