If you were a fan of Ruben Flesicher’s “Venom” film from 2018, you most likely will enjoy the entertaining sequel that highlights the beloved duo: Eddie Brock and Venom.
The film was originally supposed to be released in October 2020, yet was postponed due to the pandemic. After a couple subsequent delays and rumors that the film would be delayed until 2022, the Venom sequel, directed by Andy Serkis, was released on Oct. 1.
The film begins with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an exhausted and unkempt journalist at a career low, struggling to coexist with Venom, the alien symbiote using Brock’s body as a host. Together the two live in a small, disorganized apartment that looks like the victim of a tornado. Brock finally gets a scoop and has the chance to interview serial killer Cletus Kasady and, with the help of Venom, discovers where Kasady hid the unfound body of one of his victims — putting Kasady on death row.
Now, with his journalism career on the rise again, Brock is able to do an exclusive interview with Kasady on his final words. But, right after this interaction, Kasady escapes prison with an alien symbiote of his own named Carnage. After wreaking havoc at the prison to escape, Carnage and Kasady swear to take down their enemies Brock and Venom.
Unfortunately, Brock and Venom aren’t exactly getting along at this critical point in time. Over the course of the film, the two have to find a way to work together to take down this new enemy.
At its core, the film builds off of a critical aspect of the first film: the comedic back-and-forth between Brock and Venom. In the “Venom” sequel, their relationship echoes a rom-com plot for a long-term relationship with entertaining bickering and a clear need for couples counseling. This base the film captures the hearts of fans and entertains the average moviegoer throughout.
Unfortunately, the movie’s humor is not always used in the best way. It feels as if Serkis attempted to use comedy to fill the whole movie, forcing the rom-com dynamic to compete with the epic anti-hero plot. There is not enough room in the narrative to truly build the stakes for the battle with Carnage and Kasady, making the final battle scene less impactful. Not to mention, in places the humor feels overdone and cheesy.
While fans loved the comedy and action, some critics called attention to the sub-par CGI and the sometimes-ineffective humor.
In an article for Variety, Peter Debruge wrote, “the set-pieces look sloppy, the visual effects are all over the place, and the laughs come largely at the movie’s expense,” wishing that more time had been put into writing the story.
Despite the drawbacks of the film, it did successfully finish Venom’s backstory in a lighthearted, entertaining way that fans have praised. Perhaps most importantly, the shocking post credit scene tied the iconic anti-hero into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This will certainly not be the last MCU fans see of Brock and Venom.