Marvel’s ‘Venom’ fails to support lead Tom Hardy in the series’ newest entry

"Tom Hardy" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 Photo credit: "Tom Hardy" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Very few movies have relied on one person as much as “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” does on Tom Hardy. Already switching the positions between portraying Venom himself and performing voice-over for the character, he played an integral role in the production and screenwriting of the film.

Hardy plays the role incredibly well being able to play off the voice in his head for great comedic effect, he holds up his end in trying to make the movie great, After that point, almost everything is downhill.

The film itself debuted at theaters on Oct. 1, directed by Andy Serkis who is known as a voice actor for hit films such as “Black Panther” and “The Lord of the Rings” series.

The first act of the movie is rather comedic, the second and the third are more serious with little pay off to show. While the nonstop dunkfest on Reid Scott’s character Dan Lewis is hilarious, it unfortunately does not make up for the overwhelmingly lackluster end of the movie.

“Venom” is at it’s best when Venom, the alien symbiote living inside of Hardy, and Eddie, Hardy’s human self who is an investigative journalist, are bickering as if it were a rom-com. The moments of Eddie playing detective and Venom body hopping through San Francisco, just leave you ready for the reunion.

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The treatment for the films antagonist on the other hand, is a complete miss and borders on character assassination and the failures here undo the plot for the movie as Woody Harrelson eats too much of the screen time for his character to be this off. This is Cletus Kasady in name and name alone.

Kasady has been Marvel’s closest character to the Joker, but more humanized to try to make audiences relate. This acts similarly to Joaquin Phoenix’s version, from the 2019 film “Joker,” but completely misunderstands Phoenix’s role and how Woody Harrelson’s character should be.

Several times Harrelson drones on about feelings of neglect or how abused he was, how he deserves and wants pity and ultimately how much he just wanted to be Brock’s friend. Not only are these incredibly unlike the characters origin, they’re completely out of place in the movie as it can never figure what it wants anyone outside of Hardy to do.

Shriek, Kasady’s love interest played by Naomie Harris, is also not well done. The decision to portray her and Kasady’s relationship as actual love instead of the abusive nature of the comics falls flat. Shriek can’t fill Harley’s shoes.

Avoiding spoilers, the introduction of Patrick Mulligan, played by “The Irishman” star Stephen Graham, is definitely interesting.

A newer character in comics canon, he has potential that could greatly exceed the results the comics produced, despite a confusing final appearance.

Outside of Hardy’s standout performance, the mid-credit scene will be the only thing most people talk about, as it is already dominating the internet. Hope for the character should still exist despite this entry.

With Hardy in agreement to do another solo “Venom” movie, hopefully more can be done to accentuate the hard work he puts into the film series.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out “Venom” now playing at a theater near you.

Featured image “Tom Hardy” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0