Venom: Let There be Carnage

70 / 100

Watchable Minutes : 90 minutes is about as much of this as I can stand, any longer and I would have been checking my watch to see how much longer I had to sit through this. 

Trailer Comparison : This trailer is a one to one match for with the actual movie. 

Movie or Film : This bromance between Eddie Brock and Venom (Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy) is hilarious, but it’s no film. Just a fun popcorn movie. 

Info : 

  • Run time : 1 hr 30 minutes
  • Studio : Sony
  • Director : Andy Serkis
  • Where to Watch : In Theaters

Summary : 

After meeting with Cletus Kasady, Eddie Brock attempts to revitalize his stalling career by giving the incarcerated serial killer a chance to reveal what he knows about his victims. During the last interview before his execution, Kasady attacks Eddie and a piece the symbiote inside Edie jumps to Kasady. When his execution begins, the symbiote inside Kasady awakens and the carnage begins. 

Review : 

I really enjoyed the first Venom movie from way back in 2018. I was a little apprehensive going in to watch the first one because the internet was ripping the trailer apart for not sticking with a tone. Was it serious? Was it dark? Was it a comedy? Turns out, it was all three and it worked at times and didn’t work at others, but overall it was a fun way to kill about 2 hours. For all its flaws, the initial Venom earned this sequel from Andy Serkis and Tom Hardy. Much like the original, Venom: Let There be Carnage is a mess of conflicting tones, but it achieves the same end result of being a fun movie.

I’m not a comic book purist so if this origin story for Carnage isn’t quite what the die-hard fans were hoping for, I don’t know what to tell you. As the nonpurist that I am, I think that Cletus Kasady getting a symbiote sample because he just bit Eddie Brock to be incredibly stupid, but then again, how else would this have worked? Another symbiote crash-landed outside the prison? It’s dumb, but who cares? The whole romance between Kasady and Francis Barrison, AKA Shriek, was offputting. Again, I’m not sure how lore-accurate it is, but why not just make Shriek part of the jailbreak after Kasady was supposed to be executed? That’s really where a lot of missed points came from for me. Both of these plot choices seem clunky at best, but once they’re sorted out and got where they were going, it was ok. The subplot about Venom and Eddie (both portrayed by Tom Hardy) breaking up and then getting back together was the real highlight of the movie. It’s such a different depiction from the last big-screen Venom and one that should be continued (and it looks like it will be, spoilers ahead). The second and third acts were very entertaining and only made me enjoy the Venom Eddie combo more. I find it hilarious that the bromance between those two characters is based entirely on Tom Hardy falling in love with the character he voiced.

The mid-credit scene that has set the internet ablaze is without a doubt worth the hype. Fans of the newest interpretation of Venom will be pleased to know that Sony has finally stepped aside and is allowing Marvel Studios to take the reigns for the character and is bringing it to the Multi-verse in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The way it was implemented and shared with the audience was the cherry on top for this moviegoer, and I could not not be more excited because it’s so damn cool that these characters get to be on screen together again for the first time in over 10 years. Just the idea of seeing Tom Holland next to Tom Hardy as Spider-man and Venom is enough to make any casual fan excited. However, I’m not awarding extra points just because of this 3 minute mid credit scene. It’s a neat and fun addition, but it isn’t enough to redeem the thirty points lost the poor story elements and subpar acting.

Aside from the story, the acting of Venom: Let There be Carnage is another mixed bag. Eddie Brock and Venom have great chemistry and the way they interact with each other is hilarious. That’s all thanks to Tom Hardy who continues to impress me in basically every movie I’ve ever seen him in (aside from Lawless). The man can do just about anything well because he gives what feels like 110% in every role. The other actors, not so much. Woody Harrelson has so many great roles and a fair amount of bad ones as well, but this just felt like a paycheck movie for him. He sounded flat and bored at times, no real emotion. He definitely phoned in a few scenes and just didn’t really mesh with Cletus Kasady all that well. Naomie Harris was a good choice for Shriek and has been an underrated performer in my mind since I first saw her in 28 Days Later.

Admittedly, Andy Serkis is not the person I would have initially thought of to direct something like this. I don’t think he did a bad job, quite the opposite in fact. For being relegated to a PG-13 rating, I think that Serkis did a fine job toeing that line and gave up only a minimal amount of blood and gore. The one F bomb was well utilized and it was as close to R as it could have been, but it is an absolute shame that we can’t get an R rated Venom movie. It just makes sense, but maybe we’ll get something further down the line. I hope that Serkis is involved from a directors standpoint or maybe a producer credit on the inevitable third movie because he seems to get the character and the world much more than Rueben Fleischer did on the original movie. I like Fleischer because of his work on Zombieland, but that’s about it.

Venom: Let There be Carnage is a fun popcorn movie that excels where the original failed by leaning into the banter and relationship between Eddie Brock and Venom. The “Lethal Protectors” will return and I’m all for it.

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