At a time when people are making the argument that there too many superhero movies, Venom 2 does very little to prove them wrong. We are still in the “Golden Age” of the superhero movie but with there being so many released every year (often by just Marvel Studios alone) any superhero movie which fails to deliver anything fresh or different is practically destined to fail. Which is the situation Venom 2 finds itself in.
Take a fleeting glance at Venom: Let There Be Carnage and you seem to have the ingredients for a very good movie. For starters, Venom himself is an anti-hero, wanting to kill but persuaded to do good. This dynamic is played out very well in the first movie and continues along the same vein here. In fact, the best moments of the movie are when Venom and his host Eddie Brock bicker, fight and snipe at each other, especially when only one side of the conversation can be heard by anyone else.
Venom himself is realised very well. The alien suit is quite horrific and there is a good chunk of body horror in the movie to set this apart from other superhero films aimed at a more family friendly audience. It also means the action is done well too at times. The movie should also be carried along by the incredible cast. Venom and Eddie are played by Tom Hardy, the villain by Woody Harrelson, Brock’s ex-fiance by Michelle Williams with Naomie Harris and Stephen Graham supporting. This cast alone should make for an amazing film but the script lets the whole movie down.
The script feels very rushed and there is very little meat to any of the bones. Characters and their reasons for doing anything are too simplistic, whole relationships established off-screen are not explained and moments which warrant just a little more development are brushed over. The film clocks in just over 90 minutes which will be a relief for some but could be viewed as a shame if they had just spent some time developing the plot.
It could perhaps have been elevated by the cast if they had not been cruising through. Hardy is on auto-pilot, Harrelson is giving a perfect scene-stealing character half of his effort and Williams seems like she would rather be anywhere else. Considering all three of these are returnees from the first movie, you can’t help but feel their presence fulfils a contractual agreement and little more. This is highlighted further as Harris and Graham are the only actors at the forefront seemingly pulling their weight.
Without any development, and little acting effort, the movie limps along to an uninspired and predictable finale. Venom fought a different coloured version of himself in the first film and although he seems more worried by “a red one,” for reasons never explained, it amounts to the same sort of battle we have already seen. The saving grace is in the post-credit scene which, for Marvel fans alone, is worth the 90 minutes.
Overall, Venom: Let there be Carnage feels rushed and under-developed. The script is poor, the actors cruising and the action too familiar. There are some good moments and the inter-play between Brock and Venom still works but it isn’t enough to save this very dull sequel.
Rating – 2
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)
As always get in touch below with a comment but also like our page on Facebook (Distinct Chatter) or follow us on Twitter – @distinctchat