Thursday, January 20, 2022

Venom- Let Me See Carnage

 The short form:
I have been a Venom fan for a long time. 
I liked the first Venom film and I liked this one.  WOO!

It had the same action/ comedy/ relationship beats as the original movie. They were built upon, the story progressed and the bond between Eddie and the Symbiote to become one as Venom was expanded.  

Similarly it was also a shorter, old style (pre- giant shared universes) comic book film. 

Andy Serkis certainly knows how to direct this kind of thing and did a smashing job, pulling in top notch  AD's and cinematographers he's worked with before helped.

As a fan of the Venom comics I found some key points really weird, however.
Since this review is so late, I will talk about them.

Spoilers on.

The main focus of the story was the bond between Eddie and the (amusingly endearing) Symbiote.

Venom's glowstick covered "coming-out" party showed that the alien is a sensitive and sentient being (who eats people, lets not forget that) and his bond with Eddie becomes much more of an actual relationship involving interactions and conversations than in the comics.

Giving Cletus Kasady any redeeming values was odd to me.  He's a complete psychopath in the source material whose charisma attracts other psychos.  Shriek follows him, and creates a "family" around them, but he never shows any caring for her at all. Everyone else is a plaything in his world. 

This played into another bit of weirdness. I'm used to Carnage being a single entity with the personality of Cletus. They did show the symbiote physically incorporated into his blood, (cool!) and as a much more chaotic and shape shifting entity than Venom. (And pointy, lets not forget that either.) His feelings for Shriek causing a rift between Kasady and the Carnage symbiote was key to the main point of the movie.  

The "thesis" of this film was that Eddie and Venom's bond is unique and by consciously working together within it , they can win the day against impossible odds. 

A) It's a different universe in the movie and this relationship is important in allowing cinematic Venom continue to provide good stories, 
B) There isn't the comic book requirement of the bad guy coming back over and over (and over and over) again.

The change from the source material fit perfectly into this universe. 

And that change led to the biggest bit of weirdness at the end, which, however, also fit perfectly into this universe.

Venom started as an extreme 90's villain, and then became a "Lethal Protector" anti-hero, with Carnage being even an more extreme 90's villain.  Maximum Carnage is one of my favorite Spidey stories.  The whole point of Maximum Carnage was that the wave of those 90's, violent, criminal killing "heroes" were wrong, and the classic superhero mentality espoused by Spider-Man was right. (This was also shown excellently in Spider-man No Way Home.)

That's the biggest weird part about this film.  Carnage is a psychotic murderer, with no visible hope of redemption. His presence allows comic stories that deeply pick at Spidey's moral center, question it, and show why it is important.

Without Spidey in the mix to ask those questions...we get the climax of: 
"F*** this guy!" *CHOMP*

Satisfying and appropriate for the film, but very different from how I'm used to the character being handled.

Oh, and please give me more Venomized Mrs. Chang.  
You hinted at Toxin, there's other symbiotes around. 
Come on, it'll be fun!

That is all.

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