Venom: Let There Be Carnage [Grade: A-]

Director: Andy Serkis

Story By: Tom Hardy & Kelly Marcel

Cast: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Stephen Graham, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, and Peggy Lu

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What a nice, superhero-adjacent film to kick off a month like October. I must admit, it was definitely a good time, and the film did a pretty good job following up from the first film. 

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Below are my grades for key components in #VenomLetThereBeCarnage that I find to be key in any story/film/series—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. 

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch/$$$, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), Wait for Streaming, Don’t Rush, & Don’t Watch.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.

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Theme: A

Plot & Story: A-

Pacing: A

Character Arc/Development: A-

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Entertainment Factors

General Public: Worth the $$$

Marvel Fans: Worth the $$$

Venom 1 Lovers: Worth the $$$

Film Enthusiasts: Worth the $$$

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TAKEAWAYS:

1. The plot—A crazed serial killer on death row seeks vengeance and reconnection when the love of his life is taken from him; and his opportunity for pay back is granted when he surprisingly comes in contact with Venom. 

Act 1 provides a pretty clear, albeit quick, set up for this story with Act 3 bringing the story some closure. However, the second half of Act 1 and all of Act 2 is a little foggy, and not necessarily in a bad or irrelevant way, there was just a lot going on from setting up the conflict for our anti-hero; to learning more about our antagonist that wasn’t necessarily connected to the main storyline, BUT was important for an aspect of his character development. I will say that Act 3 did do a pretty decent job of bringing clarity and sense to Act 2 and the second half of Act 1. 👍🏾👍🏾

2. Venom was definitely hilarious this second time around. It was the singing while making breakfast for me. 😂😂😂

3. Woody Harrelson had some really great moments as the villain.👍🏾👍🏾

4. He was SO petty for doing that to the motorcycle! 😂😂

5. Pacing was pretty decent. I didn’t have a moment while watching where I felt scenes dragged for too long, or moved too damn fast. I think having a character like “Venom” really helps with ensuring there isn’t a dull moment. 👍🏾

6. Cletus seemed to have more of the development whereas Venom/Eddie experienced more arc which I think was smart (very similar to Tammy and Jim in The Eyes of Tammy Faye). 

Now was the development for Cletus strong? Not really. I mean, Act 2 does a good job with developing Cletus’ personality, but completely puts aside the love component that seems to be the impetus to his vengeance in exchange for a childhood backstory to “rationalize” his actions which felt a little forced and extreme. 

The arc for Venom and Eddie was pretty strong, though. Their antics pick up where they left off, but more “intimately-Bro.” It was easy to understand how Venom could have the feelings he had which ultimately resulted in the “internalized conflict.” I think my only issue was Venom’s “mic moment” at the party because the issue between them had nothing to do with visibility, to me…it was about the host caring about the needs the symbiote. 🤷🏾‍♂️

7. The post-credits scene!!🙌🏾🙌🏾

8. Chile, I can’t take when Mrs. Chen “got involved.” 😂😂😂

9. The messaging was oddly cute for such a “machismo-esque” film. I walked away with messaging around “team work” / what it means to truly be a partner. Whether we get this through Venom’s constant nagging of feeling neglected about things that are really important to his survival; or Eddie having a hard time with accountability and this individualistic, white male privilege and pride in relationship to this “alien”; Acts 1-3 really gave a solid display of our anti-heroes dealing with their “internalized struggles” to eventually come to the mutual understanding of each one’s purpose/benefit to the other’s overall strength. 👍🏾👍🏾

10. You wanna talk cinematography! Baby, the scene with Francis and Cletus at the Asylum was EVERYTHING! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾

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Overall, #VenomLetThereBeCarnage gives Bride of Chucky – meets Gotham Season 1 – meets Step Brothers – meets Marvel. This film was definitely a fun time, and the action was solid. I am really excited about what’s to come based on the post-credit scene.

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