Venom Let There Be Carnage Review

by Joe Joe

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Stupid, sloppy, entertaining, and fast-paced.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Stupid, sloppy, entertaining, and fast-paced.

Judging by the box office of Shang Chi and Venom 2, superhero movies are here to stay whether we like it or not. I felt we might have another decade of these movies, but now I’m thinking three more decades. These theme park rides have been all over the place in terms of quality: some good, some excellent, some meh, and some pretty bad. My biggest problem is that most of them have been nothing more than shove popcorn in your face and fart your brain away entertainment. Sometimes that’s okay.

There are exceptions. My all-time favorites would be Watchmen (Snyder version), Logan, Batman (Burton version), Superman (Donner version), Spiderman 1 and 2 (Raimi version). So many goddamned versions. In Raimi’s Spiderman 3, the infamous villain Venom finally showed up to fight against the web-slinger. It wasn’t good. The character gets used poorly. Topher Grace, as Venom, did all he could, but it just didn’t work, in my opinion.

Venom in Spiderman 3 was shoved in there by the studio without enough careful thought and consideration for the character. He’s insanely popular in the comics, and Sony wanted to capitalize off of that. They failed. In 2018, we got a solo Venom movie. Since we saw the black suit spiderman storyline in Spiderman 3, it was a wise decision for Sony to skip that altogether and go to the alien symbiote Venom taking residence in Eddie Brock’s body played by the excellent Tom Hardy.

It was a huge success, and I enjoyed it despite how insanely stupid it was. What worked for me was the relationship between Brock and Venom. Brock’s girlfriend, played by Michelle Williams, couldn’t even come close to being as strong as a companion as Venom was. Tom Hardy plays the role pretty perfectly since he understands the character and doesn’t take it too seriously. It was the highlight of the first movie, and it’s the same thing for the sequel, Let There Be Carnage.

As the title suggests, the famous character Carnage, an alien symbiote that inhabits a serial killer named Cletus Kasady, played by a decent Woody Harrelson, needs to destroy Venom to be more powerful. There is also a conflict between Eddie and Venom that mainly comes off as roommate squabbles. And that’s the entire plot. It’s a movie about nothing. Tom Hardy has story credit, and whenever that happens, it makes me think actors should stick to acting. The writing is serviceable enough, I guess, and the humor works fifty percent of the time. Sony didn’t improve on any of the complaints from the previous movie, but just like that one, it’s still very entertaining.

Michelle Williams comes back, but it essentially plays out exactly like the previous movie. Hopefully, they’re done with her character this time around, aside from Carnage/Cletus, another villain played by Naomi Harris who can banshee scream her head off and deafen whoever is around. She’s underused also, but she is interesting simply because she and Cletus are in love, which complicates the relationship since symbiotes weakness is really loud noises. Harris is okay in the role, but I think it would’ve been more awesome if they got Juliette Lewis for the part. We also have the reliable Stephen Graham playing a detective there as a speed bump for Brock. Graham played Capone in Boardwalk Empire, and Hardy played Capone in Capone, and I don’t think there were any jokes relating to that. Missed opportunity?

Gollum directed this movie, and after seeing this, I feel he should probably stick to acting or mocap acting since it felt pretty standard. It’s not bad, but this is his sophomore effort after the non-Disney Jungle Book, and it’s clear he hasn’t hit his stride yet. Maybe with his next movie. The visual effects are better for the most part. I felt like it was mainly a mixed bag. Some were excellent; some were poor. They certainly perfected Venom’s look, and Carnage especially looks crazy cool. It’s the movements they haven’t quite nailed yet.

Since Sony wants an expanded universe like Marvel or DC, we get a predictable connection with a post-credit scene. It didn’t make me interested in these films anymore, but I’ll watch them like the obedient zombie I am. It was an okay theme park ride. It will get forgotten by the time I finish typing this sentence.
Will I watch it again? I suppose. It’s a quick watch. Stupid, sloppy, entertaining, and fast-paced. It’s right there with the previous one, but it might be slightly lower since it lacks freshness. The movie has a lot in common with a Saturday morning cartoon show that can get done in twenty-two minutes with commercials.

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6
OK

Good

  • Tom Hardy
  • Action

Bad

  • Special Effects Quality Varies
  • Barely There Story
  • Humor Only Works Half the Time
venom
6
OK

Good

  • Tom Hardy
  • Action

Bad

  • Special Effects Quality Varies
  • Barely There Story
  • Humor Only Works Half the Time
venom
6
OK

Good

  • Tom Hardy
  • Action

Bad

  • Special Effects Quality Varies
  • Barely There Story
  • Humor Only Works Half the Time