Venom review

Venom: Let There Be Carnage, released in theaters on Oct. 1, 2021, is a great action-packed antihero sequel to its predecessor, Venom.

The feel-good movie shattered the box office on opening weekend and became the most profitable movie since March 2020, grossing $90 million on opening weekend and a total of $102.1 million as of Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. 

The movie begins with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) trying to redefine his journalistic career by interviewing Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). A serial killer serving time in prison, Cletus promises to tell Eddie his life story if he publishes a quote in his column. Unbeknownst to Eddie, the quote is a love letter to Frances Barrison (Naomie Harris), Cletus’s love interest who was locked away several years before.

In an attempt to make amends with Cletus, they get into a fight and Cletus bites Eddie’s hand. This causes Cletus him to become a more frightful symbiote himself named Carnage, and he escapes prison in a messy fight scene with prison guards.

Movie critics have deemed the movie as a Rom-Com, to which I 100% agree. Eddie and Venom’s humorous and flirtatious dialogue throughout the movie is rather romantic (albeit Venom’s fascination with Anne (Michelle Williams)). They both struggle to give the other what he needs, which translates to the give-and-take of relationships. Venom does not understand Eddie’s aspirations, and he wants to eat humans instead of the chicken brains and chocolate diet Eddie puts him on. Eventually, Venom leaves Eddie and breaks almost everything in his apartment, in particular Eddie’s brand-new flat screen television. This part of their relationship is toxic, and it takes a common enemy for the two to come back together.

After Venom inhabits several other unfortunate people, he attends a rave where everyone is dressed up. He uses this opportunity to stay as his beast-like form, and no one questions it. In fact, they compliment his “costume” and how realistic he looks. He proceeds to take the microphone from a performer and announce to everyone that he feels comfortable in his form, and that he wishes Eddie was there. Although critics have praised this “coming out” scene as LGBTQ+ representation, Eddie’s and Anne’s relationship complicates character development.

At times, Eddie’s and Venom’s relationship feels like queerbaiting (a marketing technique to appeal to the LGBTQ+ community in entertainment). The emphasis on Eddie’s and Anne’s romantic relationship hinders Eddie’s and Venom’s relationship from truly shining as the writers intended. 

After Frances kidnaps Anne, we get a wedding scene in a church. However, Eddie and Venom show up, cutting the wedding short. Venom asserts that they are going to die if they try to fight Carnage, which leads to a prolonged action sequence. During the fighting, Frances has the opportunity to become an ally to Eddie, but she does not have any character development at all. This is extremely disappointing because she has the ability to become a hero and significant, but she throws it away and is ultimately crushed by the church bell.

The movie’s only post-credit scene sets up the plot for Venom to make an appearance in Spider-man: No Way Home. Venom is transported into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and discovers Spider-Man’s (Tom Holland) identity on a television thanks to J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). Marvel fans have been waiting for this crossover for a very long time, and we will finally be able to experience it. 

Although there is a notable lack of plot, many aspects of this movie are enjoyable including Anne’s flirting with Mrs. Chen (Peggy Lu), who was taken over briefly by Venom; Eddie’s and Venom’s hilarious nagging with one another; Anne breaking Eddie out of prison by becoming Venom; and every scene with Dan where he is insulted. 

Overall, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is an action-packed feel-good movie, and I give it a 7/10.

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