The first trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage gave the audience a taste of the style and sense of humor it will have, and it also showed some simple but effective changes that will fix the first movie. Venom has become one of the most popular villains in Marvel Comics, but its luck on the big screen hasn’t been that good. The alien symbiote made its cinematic debut in 2007 in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, played by Topher Grace, but this version of Venom failed to connect with the audience – luckily, it got a second chance in the 2018 movie simply titled Venom.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Venom tells the origin story of the symbiote’s bonding with journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). During an investigation of the experiments at Life Foundation, Eddie ends up bonding with an alien symbiote, as the lab was experimenting on humans and symbiotic life forms. The symbiote, whose name is Venom, manifests around Eddie’s body as a monstrous creature and grants him special abilities, such as enhanced physical strength. Together, they go after Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), leader of Life Foundation, and Riot, the symbiote he bonded with. The post-credits scene in Venom set up the sequel by introducing Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who becomes Carnage at one point.
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Venom: Let There Be Carnage, then, will follow Eddie as he struggles to adapt to living as the host of Venom over a year after the events of the first movie. Eddie will also try to get back on track with his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, but he also bonds with a symbiote, which helps him escape prison after a botched execution. The first trailer for Venom 2 didn’t reveal any more plot details, but it does show some changes the writers did to the characters and the tone of the story, fixing some of their past mistakes. Here’s every way Venom 2 is fixing the first movie.
Venom 2 Is Embracing The Weirdness
Venom’s critical reception was very different from how the audience welcomed Eddie and the symbiote. The movie received negative reviews for many reasons: some critics didn’t like the lack of Spider-Man and Venom’s “need of attachment” to him was pointed out as a flaw, as well as the story, its pace, and the tone, mostly as the trailers gave a completely different idea. The trailers for Venom had a dark vibe, suggesting that the movie was going to be darker than anything from Marvel Comics in recent years, and even looked a bit like a horror movie. The trailers ended up being very misleading, as Venom had a lot of humor, which took every viewer by surprise. All those things critics didn’t like are what made Venom a success among the audience, who embraced the humor and weirdness of the story and the dynamic between Venom and Eddie.
Now, Venom 2 is learning from those past mistakes and fully embracing the weirdness of its characters, and it’s not doing anything to hide it. The first trailer had a good dose of humor in Eddie trying to adjust to a “normal life” with Venom as part of him and even changed Venom’s voice to better fit this lighter vibe. The studio initially took Venom too seriously and made the mistake of not seizing the story’s humor and tone and instead sell it as something else, but it wasn’t a fatal mistake that ended with the character’s future, but it was big enough for the crew behind Venom 2 to realize there were things that had to be fixed, and that the weirdness of its characters is their most powerful weapon.
Venom 2 Has Fixed Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady Wig
As mentioned above, the post-credits scene in Venom introduced Cletus Kasady, but this first appearance isn’t memorable because of the character, what it means for Venom, nor for its actor. Instead, the scene has been endlessly criticized and mocked due to the terrible wig Harrelson was wearing. The scene takes Eddie (and viewers) to San Quentin prison to interview Kasady, who is kept in a maximum-security cell, wrapped in a straitjacket, and was writing a welcome message for Eddie in his own blood. This was supposed to shock the audience, but the wig was so unconvincing and badly done that all the attention went to that rather than his actions. Venom 2 has already fixed that by giving Harrelson a much better wig, with director Andy Serkis later sharing that they wanted to “give a sense that he’s been in there for some time and that he’s gone through various changes”, further justifying Kasady’s much better hairdo.
Venom 2 Is Already Delivering A Better Villain Than Riot
Another good change in Venom 2 is its villain: Carnage. Venom’s bad guy to defeat was Riot, who as mentioned above bonded with Carlton Drake, but Riot doesn’t have the same impact as Carnage does. In the comics, Riot is one of five symbiotes forcefully spawned from Venom (along with Agony, Phage, Lasher, and Scream), and while it has had its big moments in the comics and has created a lot of chaos by taking over different hosts, it’s still not as memorable as Carnage. This symbiote is also a spawn of Venom, but the circumstances around its origin are different. At one point in the comics, Eddie was sent to prison, where he shared a cell with Cletus Kasady, and Venom returned to bond with Eddie again, allowing them to escape, but the symbiote unknowingly left an offspring in the cell. This symbiote then bonded with Kasady, transforming him into carnage. The bond between these two is stronger than that of Eddie and Venom, and due to Kasady’s violent nature, Carnage is more powerful, deadly, and aggressive than Venom, earning him the fear of other characters and the attention of readers.
Carnage has been a much more popular character than Riot and is one that viewers were waiting to see in action when a Venom movie was announced. The trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage made sure to show a bit more of Kasady’s personality and behavior, as well as bits of his transformation into Carnage, something that the Venom trailers didn’t do with Riot. Carnage is already on its way to becoming a memorable villain from Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, though it’s to be seen if he will be unforgettable for good or bad reasons.
- Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)Release date: Sep 24, 2021
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