Let there be garbage

venom2Venom: Let There Be Carnage, 2021, 97 mins, Digital

There’s about one thing going for Andy Serkis’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and that’s its brevity- at just over ninety minutes its over before you know it. Which is something of a mercy. Its interesting, though- its so brisk, reduced to action set-pieces, witty one-liners and without any character beats or drama worth speaking of, its rather a Readers Digest of comicbook movies, an exercise in reducing what makes a Marvel Studios film to its absolute bonkers basics. Spectacle, noise, humour and explosions: the Four Horsemen of the Cinematic Apocalypse.

I can’t understand, really, why it was edited down so much (albeit I’m thankful for the mercy)- it feels overly edited, its so chopped-up and relentlessly paced its reduced to feeling sillier than it should, like a Super 8 version of Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon: did Serkis know it was a turd, and felt the only way to get away with it was to tear it down to its supposed highlights? I do wonder when they write these things, do the stunt and effects guys sketch out the action sequences first, and then the actual writers just link between them, like joining up the dots? There’s no pretension of drama or character arcs, the film simply doesn’t have time for them. There is so much CGI and so little plot, it feels as if the actors, even the nominal stars, are doing cameos, and when they are on the screen, they have alarmingly little to do but spout comicbook dialogue like its important. Mind, that’s likely trickier than it looks.

This film possibly lays bare the cynicism of these superhero films- the film can’t even avoid a tease for a third Venom film, and has the obligatory mid-credits scene to link it to the other superhero films (if you enjoyed this, then may we suggest THIS future presentation/DVD purchase!). But I would imagine most viewers had departed the cinema (or if at home, pressed the ‘stop’ button) as the credits started rolling, if they even made it that far.


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