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Venom 2: How Let There Be Carnage Is Fixing The First Movie

Venom: Let There Be Carnage may be no critical darling, but Venom 2 diligently goes about fixing many of the problems that plagued the first movie.

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

The symbiotic sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage is clearly designed to “fix” its first installment by leaning into the strange qualities that made the film a success with domestic audiences. Venom has long been one of the most popular villains in Marvel Comics canon, but his luck on the big screen has at times been sub-par. The alien symbiote made his cinematic debut in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, played by Topher Grace, with this version of Venom failing to strike a chord in the Marvel community.

Venom’s second bite of the cherry in 2018 bore much sweeter fruit, with Venom wielding a high audience rating despite the split critical consensus it continues to engender. Venom‘s success, to this day, is driven primarily through the odd-couple comedy dynamic between Eddie and Venom, which is something the Venom creative team did not initially anticipate as they strove for a darker tone to the symbiote drama. Whether initially intentional or not, Venom‘s self-effacing nature ensures the movie projects as a sentient 80’s action-inspired romp that continues to endear itself to audiences globally.

Related: Venom 2 Trailer Hints The Avengers Are Active In Sony’s Marvel Timeline

Venom: Let There Be Carnage, then, is designed to lean full force into the aspects that made its first foray a hit, doubling down on almost every zany element introduced in Venom. Let There Be Carnage rightly shuns chasing critical acclaim in favor of delivering heapings of slithering symbiote fun for its target audience while also addressing easily righted visual issues from Venom 2018. As a result, here’s every way Venom 2 is fixing the first movie.

Venom 2 Is Embracing The Weirdness

Rules in Venom 2

Venom’s critical reception differs greatly from how audiences welcomed Eddie and the symbiote in 2018. The movie received widespread negative reviews, with some critics adamant on needing Spider-Man’s presence to make sense of Venom’s origin story. Other critical issues with Venom included the film’s pace and tone, with many indicating they felt short-changed by the end product compared to the Venom movie previews in 2018. The trailers for Venom had a dark vibe, suggesting that the movie would be a more sinister proposition than anything from Marvel Comics in recent years, with some early commentary even going as far as to suggest Venom could present as the first true Marvel horror movie.

In contrast, Venom 2 knows exactly what kind of film it wants to be as it leans into the campy and odd love affair between Venom and Eddie. Even before the film’s release, Let There Be Carnage‘s first official trailer doled out helpings of the film’s humor displaying Eddie adjusting to a strange domestic partnership of sorts with Venom. The Venom 2 creative team also changed Venom’s voice to fit the lighter tone that its predecessor engendered, as well as looking continue conforming to the PG-13 rating that cast such a wide audience net for Venom in 2018. While Sony initially took Venom too seriously and made the mistake of not grasping the story’s lighter tone by the nettle, Let There Be Carnage‘s chicken beheadings, cocktail parties, and numerous slapstick moments suggest the studio has settled very comfortably into the strange niche of cinema that the Venom franchise now occupies.

Venom 2 Fixed Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady Wig

Venom 2 Trailer Woody Harrelson Cletus Kasady

Venom‘s post-credits scene was always intended to induce dread as viewers encounter Woody Harrelson’s deranged portrait of serial killer Cletus Kasady. Instead, though, the scene has been endlessly criticized and mocked due to Harrelson’s borderline-comical prop wig. 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 presenting a welcome message for Eddie in his own blood. Venom 2 fixed a potentially big problem by giving Harrelson a much-improved hairpiece. Director Andy Serkis stated that he wanted to “give a sense that he’s been in there for some time and that he’s gone through various changes,” justifying Kasady’s much better hairdo while rightly acknowledging the shocking choice of wig palette used in Venom‘s post-credits scene.

Related: How Venom 2 Can Make Carnage Into Venom’s Son (Despite A Different Origin)

Venom 2‘s Carnage Is An Infinitely Better Villain Than Riot

Carnage goes on the rampage in Venom Let There Be Carnage

Venom 2 certainly ups the ante with its new primary protagonist, Carnage, who aptly delivers an hour and a half or pure mayhem onscreen. One of the charges leveled against Venom‘s narrative was the underwhelming villain Riot, who never appeared a true threat to Venom’s existence despite Venom star Riz Ahmed‘s protestations to the contrary. Carnage’s inclusion certainly fixes this issue, with Venom’s first assessment of the red symbiote confirming that he is indeed more powerful than anything Venom audiences have been subjected to before. Playing into Carnage’s canonical potency is a smart play by the Let There Be Carnage writers, who confirm throughout Venom 2 that Carnage and Kasady’s mutual love for violence is what makes them such a force when bonded. Interestingly, this is also how Casady/Carnage are defeated, with the Venom 2 writers showing a deft turn of irony as Venom uses Shriek’s sound to split the symbiotes from their hosts before killing Casady and Carnage.

Setting up a believable “big bad” for Venom 2 was a priority of the utmost importance given the timid showing by Riot. While Let There Be Carnage may have hastily done away with its new antagonist, Venom 2’s bombshell post-credits scene coupled with Toxin’s birth is further proof that the film has not only learned from its predecessor’s mistakes but has also taken ample steps to fix them. While Venom 2‘s CGI-based scenes featuring Carnage and Venom are no less hectic than its first installment, Carnage’s aura of dread in Venom 2 fixes the narrative conflict issues that plagued Venom back in 2018.

Next: Venom 2 Is Ignoring Carnage’s Perfect Tie-In To MCU Spider-Man’s Story

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