Title – Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)
Director – Andy Serkis (Breathe)
Cast – Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Stephen Graham, Naomie Harris
Plot – Reporter Eddie Brock (Hardy) and his hosted alien friend Venom find themselves at odds with one another but needing to act as one if they are too defeat dangerous new foe Cletus Kasady (Harrelson) and his hosted alien symbiote Carnage.
“All I ever wanted in this circus of hell is carnage”
Review by Eddie on 26/11/2021
I don’t believe you will find too many people out there proclaiming the cinematic virtues of the first Venom film from 2018 but if you found the first Tom Hardy starring comic book adaptation a guilty pleasure watch then I’m sure the antics of this surprising box office hit will hit just the right spots with it offering up material very much the same as the first run around as Hardy’s hyperactive and jittering Eddie Brock and his symbiote companion Venom bicker and face dangerous new threat Cletus Kasady and his symbiote Carnage.
With actor/director Andy Serkis taking the reigns behind the scenes from the films first director Ruben Fleischer, there was a chance for Let There Be Carnage to do things a little differently this time around but Serkis and his main man (who also gets credit as one of the films story creators) are content from the get go to ensure their effort plays out much in the same way as before, with the tale of Brock/Venom going head to head with Kasady/Carnage feeling like a rinse and repeat of Fleischer’s mid-tier affair that was watchable, if anything but memorable.
Once more a highlight of proceedings here, in a film that appears to have been edited and trimmed to within an inch of its life in a story that never once pauses for any type of breath, particularly as it races towards a bizarrely out of the blue finale, is the performance of Hardy and the interactions he has with his alien friend.
Almost like some bizarre bromantic comedy hybrid, witnessing Hardy bicker amongst himself and his often painful friend is an odd joy to behold and when the film lets its main attraction steal the spotlight, Let There Be Carnage showcases just what Marvel could have on its hands should it allow its wild character time to properly go about his business and while its fun also to see Woody Harrelson chew up some scenery as Kasady and play off Hardy, their enthusiasm isn’t enough to cover up the films many other various weaknesses.
With its rushed story, CGI infested action scenes that are edited like Michael Bay broke into the editing suite after consuming a slab of Red Bull and a sense that all characters bar Brock are half explored at best, Let There Be Carnage harbors all the disappointing elements of the first film, making one walk away from this ride satisfied in the most basic of ways but wishing that Hardy and his wild-eyed turn could get a Venom film he and the character really deserves.
Final Say –
Put simply if you liked the first Venom, Let There Be Carnage is sure to satisfy your symbiote needs once more but after two outings that have failed to properly hit the mark, the adventures of Eddie Brock and company are running out of chances to make things work in a sustainable way.
2 1/2 man of the cloth out of 5