"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

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All I ever wanted in this world is carnage.

Venom2Poster.jpg

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Release Date: October 1, 2021 (September 30 advance screenings)
Studio: Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment
Directors: Andy Serkis
MPAA Rating: PG -13 (intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references)
Screenwriters: Tom Hardy and Kelly Marcel (Story) and Kelly Marcel (Screenplay)
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham and Woody Harrelson
Runtime: 90 minutes

Plot Summary: Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom, one of MARVEL’s greatest and most complex characters. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage.

Discuss Venom: Let There Be Carnage right here!

Related Discussion:

-Official Website
-Venom Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
-Venom: Let There Be Carnage News & Discussion (Spoilers)
-Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters Movie News & Discussion (Spoilers)
-Sony's Spider-Man Universe Movie News & Discussion Part 2 (Spoilers)
-Venom (2018) Ongoing Comic Talkback (Spoilers)
-Amazing Spider-Man #361-363 "Carnage" Talkback (Spoilers)
-Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage Classic Comic Talkback (Spoilers)
-Ultimate Spider-Man #60-65 "Carnage" Talkback (Spoilers)
-Venom vs. Carnage #1-4 Comic Talkback (Spoilers)
-Absolute Carnage Comic Talkback (Spoilers)
-Spider-Man: The Animated Series "Venom Returns"/"Carnage" Talkback (Spoilers)
-Ultimate Spider-Man "Carnage" Talkback (Spoilers)
-Ultimate Spider-Man Vs the Sinister Six "The Symbiote Saga, Parts 1-3" Talkback (Spoilers)
 

Neo Ultra Mike

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WARNING: My as per usual long rambly movie review below.

I admit I was one of the few people who when news of the first Venom movie being made was actually excited about the possibilities. Yes let's face facts; this movie is only being made because Sony owns the rights to all Spider Man related characters and with them making a deal to have Spidey in the MCU they also wanted the option of having their own films related to Spider Man characters they would pocket all the money off of they could sort of say maybe connects to Marvel's Cinematic Universe even though it really didn't. Thus seemed like it was money guiding the hand here and yeah money is a big factor for all of these ideas but usually in this day and age it's ideas that fans of the character from the comics for years would still really get and appreciate. I mean no one really cared about Shang Chi's father being a sort of take on the Mandarin because they didn't want to (and couldn't) use Fu Manchu, but people wanted Venom to be done right. And that meant getting that whole beef and focus with Spider Man first with the symbiote first grasping onto Peter Parker and building on that before it seperates and finds Eddie Brock. That's what people really wanted from Venom but that wasn't going to happen in it's own universe without Peter Parker. However I was fine with the idea as I also figured "okay yeah but now that you got Eddie Brock in his own universe you can do this more gritty R rated story really differencing itself from the MCU allowing Venom to be this really brutal lethal protector you couldn't get with a PG-13 Rating. I mean they are going with R right especially since Deadpool and Logan proved how successful those can be?" But yeah Tom Hardy was attached wanted to do this movie for his kids and it became this more sanitized PG-13 project. That quite honestly SHOULD HAVE bombed. Like the original Venom though not Fantastic Four 2015 awful felt like an annoying throw back in this era of comic book movie without a lot of charm and without much purpose to exist other then "We want our own universe money". For some reason that worked, the film became a hit and that tease at the end of Carnage coming would be it's own movie. When I thought this would be more hard R I did want Carnage because even more then Eddie Brock's symbiote, Cletus Kassidy's symbiote getting to wreck havoc with a full R rating IMHO is the reason to not only not do Spider Man but to do just a Venom movie; you just have a movie with this deranged serial killer being able to go and gut people left and right. Which yeah leads to the big problem of this movie I'm going to start talking about; how much better this would be with an R.

I think Andy Serkis tried spinning some line about "oh isn't it more powerful using your own imagination to see how brutally he mows people down" but... no it isn't. I get Venom and Eddie holding back as it's part of their character and I am glad that unlike say the 90's Spider Man we actually do have scenes actually showing that Carnage does kill people but... man it feels so tame and lame sauce without that gore that you know is such a vital part of the character. The reason James Gunn had The Suicide Squad as an R was because it made sense for those characters to brutally go around shooting and teraing through people and seeing blood splatter all over the screen and that's totally true of Carnage. This big awesome scene of him being unleashed in the prison grabbing guards and then forming ths death Tornado to eat the Warden's head SHOULD be awesome but it just feels very lacking without seeing those tendrils tear through people and blood splatter. Quite honestly the most brtual scene in this movie wsan't even when Cletus HAD the symbiote but rather him detailing his backstory to Eddie showing how he killed his mom and grandmother and father. Which worked for the character and made me think "okay maybe even though this is PG-13 the brutality of Carnage will still be felt" and.... not really. I mean he does kill people randomly like flipping over a car with tendrils and Cletus stomping on some guy but it doesn't have any weight to it. There's this scene that should be awesome of Cletus hanging the neck of his girlfriend's warden at Ravencroft and strangling her as she's taunting Francis Shriek "oh you'll never see you're boyfriend again" and then he breaks her out and and they're being chased and Carnage is making all of these tendrils to tear through cop cars and throwing them into helicopters and that part is cool but not seeing the bodies and not feeling the impact of all of this death and loss really takes away from the character. Same with not showing the bodies of Kassidy's rampage; Woody Harrelson is still good in the role and a lot works about him but man so much of the head chomping being off screen or done in quick succession just feels lame. I get toning down Venom because again at least makes sense with the character but it hurts seeing it done to Kassidy especially right after The Suicide Squad showed how awesome having unleashed killers was. And honestly at this point when it's shown R ratings do well if you have a character that works with it but don't use them it does take away from the experience.

I also thought they didn't dedicate enough time to Cletus and Carnage together honestly. I get Cletus is crazy and am fine with him just accepting "oh hey that's a thing" especially since hey knows his girlfriend has powers so probably just knows strange things exist in this world. But the whole point of Venom and Eddie being able to beat them at the end is the fact that Eddie and Venom can operate on the same level and share the same goal while Cletus and Carnage don't. I get that idea and it makes sense why Cletus wouldn't like Shriek but her sort of turning so quickly on Carnage felt wrong and just there for the two to have a fued Eddie and Venom could take better advantage of. Plus it feels kind of off for the characters IMHO as I kind of feel Cletus and Carnage are much more on the same page then Eddie and Venom and that Venom usually gets an advantage because he either has better back up or isn't as much a lunatic so can think more outside the box instead "our bond is stronger then your bond". It makes sense to me Cletus and Frencis being together and again I could get how that would make issues with Carnage that needed more time to focus on instead of being so rushed through. I get this movie not wanting to waste time but building your characters isn't wasting time. And though this movie did do better showing Eddie and Venom as a couple I think Eddie should of been more useful then just saying to Venom "we're a team they aren't" as otherwise outside of his body being the right fit doesn't feel like Eddie brings much to their relationship. And though I get wanting someone for Francis to hate and props on it not being her being so crazy to think she was in a love triangle with Anne just to give it a case for the main female villain to fight the main female, Mulligan felt pretty tacked on to this movie and his scenes weren't that great. Plus what was up with that ending of him apparently still being alive? Did he somehow get some part of symbiote now too cause when did that happen? Was this the original tease they wanted to go with as a big cliffhanger before the Sony and Disney deal fully went through again so they include a much better hook for the next movie? Cause Muligan isn't even a character of any worth in Marvel at all so why still have him around at the end and not just be offed by Shriek or something? Also though I guess this is another case of equal saving Anne does pretty much just become hostage bait at the end after spending so much of this movie not really doing anything. I get why she's here and do like mostly what they did with her character but it does feel weak she spends so much time as just a hostage honestly that I had to bring it up when talking about this film's issues.

Still there is actually a fair amount I liked about this movie. For instance this movie goes beyond the weird super rushed and nonsensical relationship Eddie and Venom had in the first movie and actual does make them a couple with issues. I guess it is banking on you buying that Eddie and Venom found a groove as a couple and that made sense from the first film which... didn't really happen but eh I can be lenient on a sequel for improving over something much more on the original if it does commit to it. And yeah they even give Venom a literal coming out party over it which is funny in itself and I'll get to when talking about how the comedy of this one actual works but I do like how this actually does have the conflict between the two as the driving force. You'd think from the trailer that Eddie finding out about Anne getting married again would send him into this desperate attempt to woo her back or Venom would somehow get the two together but no it's more about Eddie falling apart and Venom trying to built him up which leads to the two's quarrels with each other leading to them breaking up but needing to get back together again. Granted for Eddie's to not die or take out Cletus and for Venom it's because every other host keeps dying on him and can only take them over for so long (one of the few things I did like about the first movie was that the reason Venom formed a bond with Eddie is because as a symbiote he needs a host who can match him which is Eddie which not everyone can do without failing) but it's clear the main couple with issues that they have to work things through and get to a better place is them. Like I appreciate too how Anne isn't an idiot and realizes that Venom's still around but things it might be good for Eddie (since she bonded with Venom for a bit as well so would probably get that connection) so is actually the mediator when the two have to get together. And I think this one does a much better job giving Venom and Eddie an arc more in the first movie. Here it's Venom actually wanting to be this lethal protector who can hunt down villains and just enjoy life but also has to realize Eddie's own limits and human morals and respect that more while getting Eddie to want to shape up and do more with his life then just coast on the decent existance he's made for himself since screwing up and owning his own failures more. I mean it's not like great character work but it is something and I appreciate how it's clear that above everything else is the focus. Like they don't try to turn Dan into a jerk or something (I guess he does seem more annoyed then in the first movie but... that's due to not wanting to deal with crazy alien hijinks which I totally understand but hey he does help out in the end and I think his "how about fire... without the sound" managing to distract Carnage for awhile) just to try and get Anne and Eddie back together. Anne is with Dan and Eddie has to make due with Venom as the two actually do form a bond together and that whole arc about Eddie actually accepting being a lethal protector actually does work. I also really like how the main villain plot is honestly much more personal and interesting then in the last movie; Riot was so generic in his wants and even Carlton Drake wasn't interesting or unique at all. But Cletus Kassidy should be since yeah he's just a serial killer without any big domination goal and just is crazy and looking for excuses for love. And though super rushed him and Frances being a couple totally did click with me. I wish the brutality was better but how they laughed off all the death of Carnage killing these guys and before when Cletus wrapped the carnage tendrils around that booth crushing it as they made out through the glass was great. And I love to the idea that the two's main goal was to get some people together for their wedding they were going to murder as a couple. Like in terms of super hero movies involving weddings, this is easily better use of a marriage then Spider Man 2 or Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer or well any super hero movie that focused on a wedding at all. And I admit that ending teaser was good of Venom and Eddie being transported to the MCU. I have no idea why this version of Venom would be attracted to Spider Man (what did the radioactive spider originally come from that Venom symbiote planet in their universe. Like Spider Man and Venom are connected in the comics and shows because the symbiote but if you don't have that connection in place here you can't do that sony) but I do like the idea it's clear Spider Man messing with the multi verse in no Way Home obviously brought them here. And it's a good way too of saying how can this take on Venom exist in the MCU if he's just warped over thanks to multiversial shennigans. Curious how this will play out too since what does that mean Venom 3 is going to be in the MCU? How will that work? But hey questions for another day I'm fine with that.

What sold me the most on this one was the comedy. The opening exposition about Shriek and Cletus was rushed and I still don't think they ever gave a real reason why Cletus chose Eddie (the whole "we could be friends" I guess is the closest we got cause Cletus is crazy which fair enough but still makes for a weak opening) but once we got to Eddie and Venom just intereacting the movie clicked. I loved Venom using Eddie's body to draw these images and Eddie unable to guess at what he's talking about and then we find out that Venom actually likes chickens which is why there's two in the apartment and then pointing out "I like brains because of this certain piece only in chickens and chocolate" and him calling the chickens stupid and then going out to try and be a lethal protector and attacking this guy threatening this woman and about to kill him but Eddie constantly saying not to bugging Venom so he didn't that was all great stuff. I also like how the only other person who knows about Venom is Miss Cheng and Eddie admitting to her about Venom wanting to eat her if she didn't have chocolate and her trying to bluff out of it but having nothing. I also like how Venom was the one who thought Anne was trying to get back together with Eddie (I still have no idea why Venom likes her but that was in the first movie so yeah just rolling with that) and then Venom trying to make all of this food and even get the mail for Eddie while he's in this funk leading to them arguing and Venom throwing out Eddie's expensive TV and then jumping out his body and having the next person he passes just someone he took over to wreck Eddie's bike. And then cutting to Eddie putting the chicken away while Venom wound up at a rave making this speech about being glad he's free to be himself and everyone liking that and him liking random people at a crowd. Again this is super weird and goofy which honestly for this movie actually works a lot better then the first as I feel this one better embraces the insanity of the situation. I really like too Cletus singing that song to himself after offing the warden and in his wedding with Framces kidnapping that priest leading to that "father" confusion due to Carnage being Venom's off spring and all that was great. And I admit the idea of Anne trying to flirt with Venom when he was in Miss Cheng to get him out and then her saving Eddie by breaking him out of the holding cell and her hearing Venom want an apology from Eddie that he had to make sincere was actually funny because again I buy it with their off relationship. And I admit though Deadpool probably did this joke funnier Cletus trying to appease to Eddie and Venom going "oh f*** that" and eating him was still funny as was Venom wanting to have a mask and cape as lethal protector and Eddie pointing out "uh we don't really need that". Again a lot of their banter back and forth worked and oddly was charming.

So yeah better then the first. It does feel disappointing we couldn't see full on R rated Carnage this movie was practically begging to have and some cliches were annoying but focusing on the actual relationship between the two was a unique an good idea that worked way more in this movie and yeah this does make me sort of glad they took the franchise in this direction. Still has problems and probably the weakest super hero movie I've seen this year as yeah Black Widow, The Suicide Squad and Shang Chi are all better but not terrible and worth seeing even if you didn't care that much for the first movie.
 

Spider-Man

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A very fun but also very stupid movie which I will admit I enjoyed. The plot is barely there because it seems like this movie was just down to the bone and then some. Still the special effects were good but not great. Maybe a bit better than the first one but still underwhelming. I did like how they really leaned into the relationship between Eddie and the symbiote but there were times when they were overdoing it to the point where it was getting kind of annoying. It was very nice to see how queer-friendly this movie was especially the scene with Venom in the nightclub. It's a fun movie but a really slight one and honestly I can't say it it's worth going out to see while were in a pandemic but if you can absolutely safely than it might make for a fun matiness to escape for everything going on right now. These movies arent how I'd expect a Venom movie to be but there is definitely a charm about it.

The theater also erupted during the end credit scene with Spider-Man appearing. Sony would be crazy not to make Venom 3 be Venom vs Spider-Man. That will be such a huge event.
 

Stu

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This was nothing massively offensive or as utterly tedious as the first Venom movie, but calling it good would be a stretch.

The plot moves along too quickly but in fairness, this also acts as something of a mercy. Cletus isn’t nearly developed enough and there is sadly no spark between Venom and Carnage, but this is to be expected when they only clash once, in the final battle.

I found the best part of the movie to be the Carnage jail break scene, the rest of it was the same mid 2000s superhero film junk of trying to be cool rather than being good. With Cletus now dead one would assume Venom 3 will be Spider-Man Vs Venom?

If they are going to include these Venom films into the MCU I really hope they start making them better…
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Can't wait to see it this Saturday.

26/10: I saw it on Saturday and I quite enjoyed it. I'm curious to see how Eddie and Venom's roles in No Way Home will play out after the mid-credits scene.
 
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