Updated: Oct 9
Film: Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Naomie Harris
Director: Andy Serkis
Review: Klep Napier
Rating: 2X’s out of 5X’s
The much anticipated sequel to the 2018 Sony film based on Marvel comics Venom, has arrived with Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The film is primarily based around another popular comic book foe of Marvel’s Spider-man, Carnage, who’s symbiotic superpowers are much similar to the lead character Venom. The only differences are that the symbiote Carnage has taken over the body of a known serial killer named Cletus Kassidy [Harrelson].
Now if you didn’t know, although Venom is based on a Marvel Comic Book, these films are not produced and filmed by Kevin Fiege’s Disney/ Marvel Studios team. In fact, in all honesty, Venom 2 appears to coattail off the success of Disney’s Marvel Studios with attempt to rush through it’s own narrative in order to get to the premeditated connecting tissue between both studios Sony and Marvel.
Let’s see if we can make this any clearer for you. SONY and Marvel Studios have a joint venture which allows Marvel to borrow Spider-Man and all of its connecting components (Allies and Villains) allowing them to make better stories in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) for fans. Sony loves that idea so much that they began to make solo movies for Spider-Man’s villains in Venom (2018) as well as the more recently announced Kraven The Hunter starring Aaron Taylor Johnson. But the first Venom was a success even without it’s titular hero Spider-Man being involved. Now as we get into the sequel Let There Be Carnage, it appears that there isn’t enough story to be told without the character in which Venom is based from - Spider-Man.
In Venom Let There Be Carnage all you get is more of the original film amplified to the point of annoyance. Eddie Brock [Hardy] banters back and forth with his symbiotic counterpart through most of the film like the “Odd Couple” of comic book movies, insult after insult, until things get so physical they literally break up and go separate ways for a bit of the film. And this is only the Venom arch of the film. Let’s talk about Carnage. The only redeeming quality of the film and the only time you begin to take this movie seriously. Carnage, played by Woody Harrelson who revisits his “Natural Born Killers” Micky mentality in an ehh, good enough to buy performance. It’s not that Harrelson wasn’t any good. He was just the obvious guy for the job, but easily could’ve been anyone’s gig. Never the less with all the CGI in play we don’t really get much from him even during the final battle which is easily one of the highlights of this 90 minute waste of characters.
Speaking of, let’s hear it for the return of Michelle Williams. Hardy’s love interest from the first Venom film who serves absolutely no importance to the progression of this story nor it’s characters. Her character is engaged to another gentleman who also returns from the previous film, and she shows absolutely no “love interest” in Eddie Brock but some how gets used as bait to lure Hardy into a final showdown. Another waste of a character was Shriek played by Naomi Harris. She feels forced into the narrative in order to give Harrelson’s villainous scheme motivation but it just isn’t enough.
Overall the film feels completely rushed and used as a place holder in order to tell the fans “but wait…there’s more”! Then that brings us to the supernova of all post credit scenes. We won’t spoil it but we will say that if you are a true fan of all of the world of Marvel movies then Venom is worth seeing simply for the mid-credit scene. Maybe show up 80 minutes late but as long as you can avoid internet leaks, it’s worth the price of admission alone!