If my grandmother was still alive and had seen Venom – The Fury of Carnage, he would say to me: «Antonio, this film is really ramshackle». Unfortunately, for some decades my mother’s elderly mother can no longer attend to the deadly activities typical of the kingdom of the living, such as going to the cinema, even though she was passionate about them in her youth.
And if I also imagine her, as I remember her, an elderly lady and therefore “grandmother”, in reality she was a young girl from a small town in Lunigiana (Giucano: and I bet you don’t know where she is) who had a church, a restaurant and three cinemas. He had seen something of the magic of the big screen. But from the sequel to Venom she wouldn’t get caught.
See Antonio, he would have told me, the problem is that it’s a passing film. By “passage” my mother’s elderly mother would have meant that it is a bridge between the first Venom film, all in all enjoyable, and what will come later, which we do not yet know but which will probably put the Klyntar symbiont and the his tattooed guest Eddie Brock – played (and partly written) by Tom Hardy.
The problem with Venom – The Fury of Carnage, which is a noisy and rather mediocre film as well as tangled, is that he does not have a supporting idea. He put it inside Woody Harrelson in the role of the villain, but now the old Woody is weighed down and the part of the pure psychopath does not come as fresh to him as it once was: a “Carnage fury” that does not frighten and intrigue too much. Not all promising young psychopaths then age like Jack Nicholson, so to speak. Let’s not talk about the young woman Naomie Harris (the “flute voice” of the film), essentially wasted with a role that never takes off and actually ends up being isolated under a bell.
The grandmother, who had grown up in an Italy not too different from the current one, impoverished by the First World War and the Spanish pandemic and then ended up in the hands of the twenty years of Fascism and finally planed by the Second World War, was in a certain sense accustomed to linear narratives such as that of Venom – The Fury of Carnage. A film that runs on a single track, without variations but also without flashes or intuitions. Italy in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s loved linear narratives. Except there are linear narratives and linear narratives.
In the case of this film, linearity is reminiscent a kind of flat encephalogram, but, grandmother would say, don’t be impertinent. Judging by the credits, a thousand people worked on the film for a couple of years: it takes respect even if it’s ramshackle.
To make a more positive comparison, by looking Venom – The Fury of Carnage we would have to think back to films of the American tradition of early buddy movies, those with the couple of friends engaged in a kind of quarrel bromance: the strange couple conceived by the playwright Neil Simon, but also most of the films of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis (you know that masterpiece by Some like it hot, with Marilyn Monroe in top form?) or Cary Grant and Randolph Scott off the set.
In any case, it is a Hollywood with films in which the dialogues proceed sparkling between a calambour and a play on words, always on the edge of misunderstanding, at times of ambiguity and always of that very British and very non-sense thread. light that arrived in America thanks to the unjust exile of PG Wodehouse from his native United Kingdom.
We would have to rethink those films, grandmother would say in a conciliatory way, because also Venom and Eddie Brock try and try again the verbal moves of a bromance that this time, however, does not have the right timing and never starts. There are a few more jokes, especially towards the end, which, however, does not excite that much. By comparison, the Deadpool lyrics seem to have been written to him by the Marx brothers. But you know, Ryan Reynolds (who like Tom Hardy with Venom also puts his hands in the production and writing of the anti-hero films), has a genuine and appreciable sense of humor. Hardy just didn’t.
The big advantage of Venom – The Fury of Carnage, Grandma would have said, is that at least it does not last long: 97 minutes, which become 88 with the credits (but the skit – which we do not spoil – is immediately after the first block of titles: there is no need to look at the list pharaonic of 3D and 2D animators and above all: but how many people work on these films? Crazy). It takes 88 minutes and then everything passes: pain and a sense of heaviness.
A bridging film, which leads somewhere else, all in all avoidable. If the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Venom are destined to meet (as it could be for them and Deadpool), this film is just a placeholder for what could happen next. Or a little less.
Enter the Telegram channel of Fumettologica, click here. Or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.