Venom: Let There Be Carnage: A Detailed Review

Let There be carnage: And Carnage there Shall

There is no secret that Venom was disliked by many fans of the character and the same goes for its sequel, which isn’t being welcomed with open arms. Many I questioned if they were going to go see it confidently told me if they were it was because of work, unlike myself who just wanted to see this sequel.

If you haven’t noticed in my other articles by now my taste in films are very different than the norm, liking what most people would call “trash.”

I have no problem admitting that this film wasn’t the best, even concluding that it falls under its predecessor, but I can also say that I enjoyed certain aspects of the film.

Overview

Venom: Let There be Carnage is a sequel that was overall disliked before it even came out, there’s no running from a preset destiny. Overall the film’s run time played against it having it feel rushed in certain acts and having the characters not go through a proper growth pattern. Andy Serkis had a good vision having certain scenes feel like a cheesy comic panel, which isn’t bad in my opinion, but having certain characters be too over the top gave out. I honestly can say it wasn’t a good rendition but I also don’t want to say that it wasn’t entertaining, as I enjoyed the overall time I spent watching the film. But it’ll ultimately comes down to you the viewer to decide if you are going because you want an accurate depiction of the characters or if you simply want to be entertained for an hour and a half.

Review

Overall I’ll keep this review short and spoiler free. Serkis from what I saw and understood, wanted to depict Eddie Brock and Venom, played by Tom Hardy, to be a sort of comedic anti hero. Similar to Deadpool they wanted to bring a joking relationship between the two and I don’t mind it at all, but it honestly doesn’t play well with such a short run time being about 30 minutes shorter than the first film. There were many scenes that had great potential showing the characters attachment to each other but the necessary movement forward in the film failed to provide such views into their relationship.

I personally feel if it wasn’t cut short, these characters could have had a greater opportunity to be fleshed out. On the other hand, Cletus Kasady played by Woody Harrelson did a good job at showing the psychopathic killer in a live action atmosphere. We all know how his love for murder and blood is what makes his symbiote attracted to him and Carnage’s hatred feeds off of this satisfaction of chaos and that can be shown in many parts of the film. Not to mention the incredible character design and the sound design which gave me chills when I first heard his screech in theaters. Although in this film there isn’t a bond between the both like in the comics it shows a lot for his character and his actions, which you can clearly see if you watch till the end.

Naomie Harris also does an incredible job at portraying Shriek, now although she doesn’t have a symbiote in this film like the comic counterpart, I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. Although without having spoilers we may be in for a Shriek variant in the next film, although I can’t say for sure if it will happen. Not to mention having the mid credits makes it worth the viewing of the entire film, which was a BIG surprise for fans all around.

Now before I go in a train of confusion, I’ll keep it short. Venom: Let There be Carnage wasn’t a film that will obtain a nomination for an award but it does a good job at keeping me entertained. This is my own opinion though, and I understand majority rules against such expressed opinion but if you enjoyed the first one then you may enjoy this one as well. Granted I want to hear others’ opinions before I would give a full spoiler included talk, but for now check it out if you want, and let me know what you think in the comments. Till next time, peace.

Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings: A Detailed Review

SHang-CHi and Legend of the Ten RIngs: It’s INCREDIBLE!!!

It’s not just a Marvel movie!

Shang – Chi has finally released, and people are running to go see it. Even if I am exaggerating just a bit, if you go check your local theater app you’ll see that the special screenings are pack for tonight and honestly it’s great knowing that this movie is getting the recognition it deserves!

With covid still around and new variants being found it was a dangerous game for Disney not to release it for a home audience, and having them call Shang – Chi an “experiment” is just objectively a disgraceful thing to do, no matter the intention, location, or talking to investors. But seeing the theaters fill up, with precautions of course, it fills my heart with joy for the film getting its deserved spotlight.

As a person that uses the theater experience to get away from certain worries the world brings, I’m glad to report that this film is exactly that, an out of world experience that should be enjoyed in Dolby and/or Imax. Once you begin to watch, you forget it’s even related to the MCU having certain instances that reflect back towards the other films and of course the obvious use of post credit and mid credit scenes of the film that’s used to expand the lore of the world(s). But this isn’t the article you want to read if your only interest is looking through fan theories, no, this will be a different type of review article. I enjoy going a little more beyond than the story and plot, and with this film having incredible Chinese influence and culture, and beautiful choreography I have my hands full, but I promise to make it worth your while.

Overview

Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings is a work of art having everything you want from a superhero film the fighting, the big bads being actually big bads, heroes reflecting, and so much more. I highly recommend this film for anyone contemplating to go see it, or even if you aren’t I still recommend it. Having an amazing cast, it brings everything together as the audience can normally tell if something is off between them, and Simu Liu and Awkwafina’s chemistry on screen is incredible something I never thought I needed in life. Just look at the picture above, it speaks for itself on the energy of the film and not to mention the great performances of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Meng’er Zhang. This is definitely a film you have to experience on the big screen at least once and have it on a special screening too. In addition, I have to mention the incredible martial arts portrait and the stunt/ fight choreography performed in the film coordinated by the recently late Brad Allan. But please, don’t just take my word for it check out the trailer below!

Awkwafina middle, Simu Liu right. Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings

Review

I have to mention there is minor and some major spoilers ahead for the film, so please keep in mind as you read.

I can’t state this enough, as everyone in the cast and crew did an incredible job at telling a story. For those that don’t know the story, it follows the life of Shang-Chi a young man whose father is “The Mandarin” although he goes by many names as he’s lived for thousands of years. His father created an empire and army throughout the years and surprisingly when he met his mother settled down a bit from his darker past. It was only until his mother’s death that his father went back to his old ways and even started brutally training him to the extent of being “unkillable”. That’s where we get Shang-Chi, the greatest martial artist the MCU or Marvel ever had. Although, he didn’t want to be a killer let alone for his father so he left and lived for 10 years without his past catching up. After which, he was brought in by his father, who always had tabs on him and now needed him to bring back his mother. At the end we realize it isn’t their mother and Shang-Chi tries to stop his father and the new evil at hand, of course leading to an epic fight and finale.

Now, Simu Liu playing Shang Chi, or as his new alias states Shaun, was a great casting choice and not surprisingly enough Marvel is a big name to be joining now in days. Although he’s not shy of joining amazing roles like Jung in Kim’s Convenience, or other such as being in the Taken series, a short called The Akira Project and a couple of other names. Not to forget mentioning Awkwafina, who we can all agree has been a growing love to see in films since having roles in Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s Eight, Raya and the Last Dragon, Jumanji: The Next Level, and many more. Both bring an amazing light to the film and their chemistry is outstanding, even to the extent of having a joke about the two characters marrying each other, and with all honesty I wouldn’t see it as a problem. We also have to talk about the other wonderful cast Tony Leung Chiu-Wai playing The Mandarin, Fala Chen playing Leiko Wu (Shang Chi’s mother), Michelle Yeoh playing Jiang Nan (Shang Chi’s aunt), Meng’er Zhang playing Xu Xialing (Shang Chi’s sister).

All great actresses and actor, having Tony’s portrayal of an immortal militant man and father was outstanding seeing what makes him feared by the world and his brutal ways of working to the softer more tame version brought out by his wife. Now Kevin Fiege has mentioned this film would restore the image of who The Mandarin is and that we’d be surprised by it, and with all honesty he’s right. I wasn’t expecting such a character arch for what was portrayed to be the baddest of the bad, don’t get me wrong Tony’s character was deadly but after his wife’s passing it was a matter of grief that drove him rather than a hunger for power. It honestly brought out an amount of sorrow towards the character in my opinion, as I’ve dealt with grief before not the same as his character had but grief nonetheless, and that’s what I loved about Tony’s portrayal! The subtle ways of speech, mannerisms and actions that showed what was really going on through the characters head all up until his last fight. Now Fala’s portrayal of the sweet graceful mother who could still be deadly in combat was great, and really added to why Shang-Chi was who he was, and as we heard in the trailer above he is both of these polar opposites’ son. Although we don’t see a great deal of the mother, her few instances were amazing and sweet, as how one would imagine a loving mother would be. This can also be said about a loving aunt just like Michelle Yeoh’s performance as the kid’s aunt, which showed beautiful choreography and fierce warrior scenes. Next we have Meng’er’s character of Xialing, Shang Chi’s sister, and we see they are more related than ever with her on screen performance being phenomenal in the fight sequences, and her boss energy. Unlike her brother, she was taught to fight but she watched from the shadows and taught herself, making herself into a killing machine if need be. Not to mention like her father, she created her own empire off of a fight club on the dark web, and showing something dope in the post credit scene.

Meng’re Zhang left, Simu Liu middle, Awkwafina right.

Now aside from great performances by these great actors and actresses, I also have to mention two more things without making this article any longer. The stunt and fight choreography in this film is incredible and beautiful taking roots from the old martial arts called wushu. It’s swift and light yet hard impact movements gave way to amazing scene fluidity and with it had me smiling for the entire night, just seeing such actions being portrayed Simu, Tony, Meng’re and everyone else was amazing!!! I have to give props to younger Shang Chi Dallas James Liu, who was a bad ass showing the skills of a young martial artist and even the performance of a young trained killer like Shang-Chi. Not to mention giving props to Brad Allan who work on the film as the fight coordinator before his passing due to an illness. He was an incredible stunt performer and coordinator that’s worked with greats like Edgar Wright and was a part of Jackie Chan’s team. That goes without saying he put his all in what he could before his passing and he will live on through his works. And we also have Andy Cheng to thank for the fight choreography, who was also a team member of Jackie’s stunt crew. It goes without saying but when you add incredible people to your crew you’re going to get incredible results. A lot of it reminded me of older kung fu movies with the swift movements in the air and tip toeing all around yet certain seem so realistic I don’t want to believe they used wires to create such movement.

The second thing I have to mention is the use of Chinese culture such as the imagery and the like, specifically mentioning this because of the hot water brought with viewers in the Eastern Hemisphere. I can’t and will not speak for their part but must mention that the older comics this movie originates from uses stereotypes of Chinese culture and Asian people as a whole. You can find a lot on this matter finding racist villain names and other like items being a big part of it. As I can’t speak for these viewers and their want to accurately depict their culture and life, I will say that the imagery used in this film was beautiful to me, leaving me with a mystical arts to it and with the choice of a small village by the water I found it calming.

All in all, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings was a spectacular time and experience that brought everything it offered in the trailer. As a person that loves hero stories and “perfect” fight choreography, this film brought out whatever serotonin I can scrap inside my head. I only hope as a filmmaker that I get a chance to also work and create similar works in the future. If you have been wanting to go see it and need a reason, I hope I can be that reason to convince you to go as soon as you can. And for those that are still iffy don’t take my word for it just go watch it and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.