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Critics and naysayers be damned, the box office success of Venom can't be denied. With a sequel officially green-lit and in development, all that's left for some to do is cross their fingers and hope the franchise delivers a sequel they may like better than the original. With that hope in mind, here are very easy ways Venom 2 could be improved upon and perhaps prevent some of the missteps some felt Venom took.
Ditch That Wig
One of the most positive things going for Venom 2 is that the original's post-credits already revealed an exciting villain who will likely be featured. Marvel fans have begged for Cletus Kasady, a.k.a. Carnage, to be introduced into the Spider-Man cinematic universe for quite a while and Venom was more than happy to oblige. Unfortunately, the uber exciting moment was somewhat lessened after audiences were treated to a scene that featured Woody Harrelson in a bad wig.
In an age where Joel Edgerton can be done up with makeup to pass for an Orc come to life, how did costume and makeup get by with slipping a wig on Harrelson that looked straight from the dollar store? I'm all for comic book realism and understand the intention of recreating Cletus Kasady's red hair, but I also refuse to believe there aren't far better methods that could've been used to recreate that look with Harrelson.
Luckily, this mistake is as simple to fix as a quick prison haircut. Hell, it doesn't even need to be shown, just make sure Cletus has shorter red hair the next time he's seen and the audience will pick up on what happened. Better yet, maybe have him bald and later admit he was wearing a wig during his first meeting with Brock. It's not like he's the most stable of individuals, so it wouldn't be out of character.
Pick A Tone, And Stick To It
The marketing gimmick and fake trailer that portrayed Venom as a romantic comedy was hilarious, but at the same time it calls to attention one of the biggest problems someone may have with Venom. The tone of the film was all over the place, with jokes, romance, decapitations and action sequences all sometimes happening within the same scene.
What's funny is that most of those things work within the average Marvel movie without a problem, but with Venom it felt like the story was floundering trying to find an identity. That's very possible given the seven credited screenwriters that collaborated to make it, and it feels as though the tone got lost in an effort to create moments. It ended up not being a huge deal at the box office, but that could change the second time around.
Venom 2 doesn't have to be all-action and entirely devoid of humor, of course, but it certainly needs to commit to one genre over the other. A joke here and there is fine, but this ain't Deadpool, and Eddie Brock is no Wade Wilson when it comes to comedy. The introduction of the evil Cletus Kasady could darken the tone of this sequel greatly, so here's hoping Sony uses that and gives Venom a more serious direction in the sequel.
Spend A Little More On CGI
Creating a character such as Venom on the big screen is a massive undertaking, mainly because it's nearly impossible to achieve with practical effects. This was especially true with this film, which makes one think Sony would've dropped a bit more on CGI to keep the feature from looking as dated as it did in some areas.
Maybe a little more money would've made a difference and had some effects looking crisper. Or maybe it wouldn't have done a thing. Whatever the case, Venom's box office take domestically and internationally should allow an executive to write a massive check towards improving the special effects budget for the sequel and then sleeping well that night. The special effects budget for Venom should be through the roof, and this is possibly the perfect franchise to flex innovation in CGI technology.
If that's impossible, perhaps the Venom 2 team should work on decreasing the number of scenes the symbiote appears in. Do audiences need another scene of Anne wearing the symbiote or one with a dog for that matter? With Cletus Kasady a likely character, that makes at least two symbiotes that could appear. That's all that's needed, and keeping it to those two may keep the budget low enough to justify a little more time and money on specific scenes.
Strip Away All Unnecessary Characters
Not all characters in Venom are unnecessary, but it can be argued that some characters were added that didn't really need to be a part of the plot. For example, was it really necessary to have the person Eddie stumbled upon in the testing facility be the homeless person who hustled him into paying for a free paper? Venom could've simply removed the newspaper scene and had it be any person for the same effect!
Unnecessary characters who do little more than leave the audience thinking "Wow, what a coincidence!" only detract from the main story and take away precious minutes that could be best spent elsewhere. Perhaps that time could've been utilized to show why Anne and Eddie's relationship fell apart so quickly or how the symbiote seemingly removed all their relationships underlying problems?
The point is Venom left unanswered questions on the table with regard to some of its main characters, but gave a lot of time to show Jenny Slate's Dora had ample justification to inform on Carlton to Eddie. The film is titled after the character for a reason. The audience is there to see Venom. Keep that mantra in mind for Venom 2 and things should be fine.
No Eminem Songs
Songs that are tied to movies can be great. The Ghostbusters theme remains iconic to this day and Post Malone and Swae Lee's "Sunflower" was a perfect way to kick off Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. I can certainly understand why Sony thought a song would be just what Venom needed to get the kids excited. What's harder to understand is why Eminem was enlisted for this theme and why his ridiculous submission was actually played.
For the record, "Venom" literally includes a line in which Eminem says the smell of elephant manure gets him high. He also rhymes "salad bowl" with "Edgar Allen Poe," along with some other questionable rhymes that he may not have dared utter in a song a decade ago. Also, the first actual mention of the character doesn't come until the third verse, which is quite a time to wait on that reference.
This is a world where Marvel opted out on including a majority of Kendrick Lamar's brilliant original soundtrack for Black Panther in the feature, yet Eminem's made the end credits of Venom, and that's disappointing. Venom didn't even need a song that directly tied to it, but now it has one that will live on forever whenever people remember that. Let's not repeat that mistake in Venom 2.
Those with other ideas on how Venom can improve can share them in the comments. Venom is available to own physically and digitally, and as previously mentioned, the sequel is happening. Those wondering if Spider-Man will appear in it can check out what the writer thinks about that possibility.