‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

There have been many, many, comic book movies in the past decade. Some follow the same formula, some stick close to the source material, and some reinvent the genre. The reason why Venom is unique is because the movie tries to bend what we already know. Maybe we have been conditioned to enjoy one type of formula but it’s always refreshing to dive into something different. Venom: Let There Be Carnage feels like you’re flipping through the pages of a comic book with it’s quick editing and flashy style. It’s emotional, entertaining and that post credit scene will leave you with so many questions.

In this second instalment we have Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) trying to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). Who eventually becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution. As all this is going on between them, Venom and Eddie’s bromance seems to crumble. They’re constantly bickering with each other because neither of them are allowing themselves to compromise. They are no longer two separate entities, they are stuck for life and that is the bromantic journey Andy Serkis takes us on.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage': If Box Office Recovers, This May Tell |  IndieWire
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

We have Eddie and Venom’s bromance to deal with. We also have Cletus Kasady’s lost love to explore as well. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a flashy comic book movie on the surface. But it deals with two emotional stories about toxic relationships and emotional connections. It has to be said that Tom Hardy is beyond committed to this role and he loves the character so much. Eddie Brock and Venom are being handled in the best way. The filmmakers understand how campy, overemotional, rude, and snappy the character has to be.

Director Andy Serkis was the perfect choice to direct this sequel. He had a different take on Venom and understood what Tom Hardy wanted, since he co-wrote the script. Once you get a director who understands the material it just makes the movie even more fun. Serkis brought so many elements together and really enhanced the visuals. The CGI was so much better and the symbiotes felt like they were fully formed. We didn’t have two blobs fighting each other, we had two different bodies battling.

After 15 years of waiting for Carnage to be on screen, this was a decent way to bring him in. I do feel like Harrelson’s scenes were a bit rushed and cut short, but it worked for what it was. Unfortunately, Shriek (Naomie Harris) was severely underused and used as a plot device. Wish we could have had her worked into the story a bit more. Is Venom: Let There Be Carnage anywhere near perfect? No. But guess what? It nails the comedic beats between Eddie and Venom. It is fast-paced and entertaining. It doesn’t waste any time to bring you back into the action, and that’s why this was a fun moviegoing experience.

‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is an animated film that will heavily resonate with artists everywhere. We have a young aspiring filmmaker Katie Mitchell(Abbi Jacobson) who embarks on a road trip with her parents, Rick (Danny McBride) and Linda (Maya Rudolph), younger brother Aaron (Michael Rianda), and her beloved dog to start her first year at film school. During their family bonding time, things take a turn for the worst, as the world’s electronic devices come to life to stage an uprising. The Mitchells are only ones who can save everyone – and the planet- from the new tech revolution.

What stands out the most in the film is the animation. Sony’s animation is so beautiful and vibrant. They have added their own unique spin to how they create the world for their stories. The almost lifelike animation, combined with the fast-paced action, and fun story, makes this film one of the best of the year, so far. Young Katie has been trying to find out who she is. She expresses herself through her filmmaking but her parents don’t really understand her dream. There are some hard-hitting conversations that happen between Katie and her parents, especially her father.

As a creative, the deeper conversations about choosing the right path in life, are moments we can all relate to. Fortunately for me, my parents have always been supportive but there have been some conversations about my decisions that have hurt me. The road as a creative is a difficult one but it can also be really rewarding. Katie knows all about technology and how to use it, so when the world is overturned by these robots, she works with her father (even though they are at odds) in order to save everyone. The father/daughter relationship is probably my favourite aspect of this film because of how honest and realistic the conversations were.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is very funny, action-packed and heartfelt. It is the family road trip movie we didn’t know we needed and Sony definitely delivered. Lord and Miller never miss. Their films are always fun for the whole family. They have this great balance of kid-friendly flashiness and a solid story that everyone can resonate with. Also need to give a shout out to the two friendly robots, I recognized their voices instantly and they added such great humour to the action scenes. This voice cast was wonderful and the family unit is probably one of the best I’ve seen in awhile.