San Francisco-based journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is experiencing a new turn in his career. It has to do with the fact that Eddie has finally come to terms with the presence of the alien symbiote alien Venom in his body. He has a nasty voice and a flighty disposition, which are offset by his inhuman strength and incredible attentiveness. In the last episode, Eddie and Venom more or less became friends and made a series of agreements: now the monster eats chickens and chocolate instead of human brains. In return, Eddie has a reputation as a successful investigative journalist. It is because of this reputation that he is invited to visit him in prison by the psychopathic killer Cletus Cassidy (Woody Harelson with desperately red hair). The maniac promises an exclusive, but before he does so, he asks for a message to be published in the newspaper from the sweetheart he was separated from as a child. The reason for the separation is that a girl named Frances Barrison (Naomie Harris) has a superpower - a wild, destructive howl, like in a Soviet cartoon about Perepilikha. After recording Cassidy's encrypted poem, Brock discovers drawings on the walls of his cell, which Venom uses to find the burial sites of Cletus' victims. Before the execution, Brock and Cassidy meet again, Cletus bites Eddie and thus acquires his own symbiote, only red and named Carnage. The execution is understandably thwarted, and Eddie and Venom face another battle with the fruits of their own carelessness.
Three years ago Venom was released, with hopes of being the first truly anti-hero comic book. The reason for the expectations was the fact that the plot centered on a well-deserved enemy of Spider-Man (featured in the last film of Sam Raimi's trilogy).
In fact, the film, directed by Ruben Fleischer, turned out to be a dish of an entirely different kind, and as such gathered a pile of ire from critics. The danger of accusations of bad taste did not prevent audiences from loving the Tom Hardy-produced film with all their hearts. This love and paved the way for the sequel. Formally, the main intrigue of the picture is the long-awaited meeting of Venom and Spider-Man - and it is bound to happen, but only in the scene after the credits. In reality, though, Hardy, with the help of director Andy Serkis invited into the director's chair, continues to bend his line somewhat differently from other Marvel productions. In the past three years, the place of the first full-fledged comic-book anti-hero on screen has been taken by the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix.
"Venom, on the other hand, presents itself as a franchise that can afford the luxury of pure fun.
There is no intrusive attempt here to rhyme what happens on screen with a political or social agenda--a fact sure to infuriate critics once again. On the other hand, here is Hardy's smuggled in very different, British view of what a modern comic book movie can be at all. Good old-fashioned postmodern tricks rule the ball here. Venom and Eddie Brock in the finale will be in direct rhyme with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, but in reality they are, of course, Sherlock and Watson. A good-natured dude with a wrestler's complex and a fidgety demon who's always hungry for food but always doing good.
Basically, if "Venom 2" had had even more dialogue from Hardy's character with his toothy head coming out of somewhere in the back, the film would have benefited. And it seems that Andy Serkis was chosen to direct it precisely to make those dialogues look as organic as possible - who better to handle them than the best Gorloom ever?
The stand-alone dish here is, of course, Woody Harrelson, who could not pass up the opportunity to sneak back to his role as Mickey Knox from The Natural Born Killers. This extended allusion in the film is so obvious that it could have ruined its fabric if it had not been woven into the rest of the buffoonery as naturally as possible.
On the surface Venom 2 resembles the reckless comics from the end of the last millennium - like, for example, the stylistically close Spawn. The difference, perhaps, is the old-school irony. There are enough spectacular episodes, but the authors do not hold the viewer for a fool - do not stretch the timing and do not chew up the quotes. On the one hand, we are faced with a fairly typical superhero action movie, on the other hand - a high-budget mouthpiece, in the best moments similar to "Jeeves and Wooster" on anabolics.
If we go back to the inclusion of the film in the Marvel universe, I wish that "Venom" would not turn into a pseudo-agner comic opera about men in tights, but instead that it would keep its non-committal slyness. Because in an era when comic book characters are eager to start quoting Nietzsche, I wish that some of them would not lose their superpower to give the viewer an hour and a half of hilarious thrash-shapito without a single hint of any morality.