“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” has an absence of true Carnage (Movie Review)


Sony Pictures

First look at Carnage’s amazing design from the official trailer.

The first “Venom” isn’t exactly a beloved superhero film, but it does have its fans. Many enjoyed the odd relationship between Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom (voiced by Tom Hardy).

However, the standard plot, poor dialogue, and underwhelming villain left a lot to be desired. The sequel, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is much of the same, upgrading in some areas while downgrading in others.

In the sequel, Eddie regains his status as a respected journalist and is now interviewing Cletus Kassidy (Woody Harrelson), a convicted serial killer on death row. When Cletus gets a taste of Venom, it leads to his blood becoming infected with the symbiote, unleashing carnage on the world.

Hardy does a great job in the dual role of Venom and Eddie and manages to give both of them a good relationship with one another. Unfortunately, the dialogue he’s working with isn’t great. This movie leans into its goofy nature but doesn’t have the comedic writing to go along with it. Their dynamic can often come across as annoying as Venom and Eddie shouting over each other.

Their dynamic is one we already watched in the first movie; here,Venom once again wants to eat people’s heads but Eddie won’t allow him since he is a relatively good person. The relationship between the two would’ve been better to watch if it was taken in a different direction. The character of Eddie and Venom is still enjoyable but we don’t get a new arc to watch them both evolve as characters.

The one area where this film is improved is in its villain. Cletus isn’t a perfect villain, but he’s much more intimidating than Riz Ahmed’s character as Riot from the first. Woody Harrelson had a blast and went over-the-top with his role and it fits nicely with this movie. However, Cletus did need a bit more development as a character. This film tries to make him sympathetic towards the end but it’s way too late.

The relationship between Cletus and Shriek (Naomie Harris), who plays as Cletus’ love interest is also a fun aspect of the film. Their relationship runs on crime and robberies, which makes them the supervillain equivalent of Bonnie and Clyde.

Since the movie is so quick, we aren’t given enough time to watch their relationship develop. Harrelson and Harris have great chemistry but there should’ve been more time dedicated to discovering why they feel such an attachment to one another.

Carnage himself has an awesome design and goes on a killing spree. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t take full advantage of this. With an R-rating we would be able to see the directors implement the full force of Carnage. The bloodless violence just doesn’t feel as intense as we expected it to be. Carnage only gets two big action sequences and they are never fully delivered with the gory killing intent Carnage has.

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” as a sequel is fast-paced so you are never bored, but it would have benefited from being longer. Everything is thrown at you really quickly and doesn’t give you enough time to process. It gets better in the second half and ends on a solid note with an epic post-credit scene that will have Marvel fans cheering. The movie overall is entertaining enough that you won’t regret your decision to watch it.