October 8, 2021 – Breaking up with someone can be traumatic, especially if the two people breaking up share the same body. That is one of the many funny, dramatic, odd things that happen in this sequel to the successful 2018 film, “Venom.”
Seeing the original film is important to understanding this sequel, since the original film did all the heavy lifting of developing the movie's key characters, and filling in their back stories.
Journalist Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy) is a loser, and so is the space alien symbiote Venom, who shares his body, but together, they have the potential to be a superhero. Both of them are emotionally volatile, and that leads to their split in this movie, before they each realize they need the other to be complete. This is the sort of (you complete me -- you had me at superpowers) relationship you don't often see in a science fiction action film.
Of course, this sort of relationship only works because the space alien just happens to have a lot of very human emotions, including a longing for unrequited love. Brock's old flame, Anne Weying (played by Michelle Williams) is more assertive in this movie than she was in the original. She has a very nice scene with another character from the first film, Mrs. Chen (Peggy Lu, like all the aforementioned actors, reprising their roles from the first film).
Serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson of “White Men Can't Jump”) who was introduced in a post-credits scene in the original movie becomes Carnage with his own, even more dangerous, alien symbiote. Not only that, but Carnage also has a sidekick, Frances Barrison (AKA Shriek, played by Naomi Harris of “Rampage”) who is also his old flame. Shriek, a mutant, has super vocal powers.
Kasady loves Barrison, but his alien symbiote wants to get rid of her because her vocal powers are very harmful to him. This inner conflict between Kasady and his alien symbiote is happening at the same time that Brock and his symbiote are having their own conflicts. There is a lot going on in this story besides the inevitable battle between two powerful aliens, Venom and Carnage.
In this movie, Michelle Williams gets a meatier role, while Woody Harrelson gets to embody a natural born alien killer who seems more convincing than the overly constrained Venom. Tom Hardy does a good job of playing a character with two clashing minds. Like the first film, this sequel does a good job combining humor and violent action.
A lot of critics rate this sequel more positively than they rated the original movie, which is highly unusual, but to me, the two movies are much the same. I liked both of them, even though the moral problem of Brock's intimate relationship with his cannibalistic symbiote remains unresolved in a convincing way. This film rates a C+.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.