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Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Movie
Director(s): 
In Theatres: 
Oct 01, 2021
Grade:
B
Running Time: 
97 minutes

Sony Pictures’ Venom was a silly, off-the-rails ride that looked like Tom Hardy was having a blast being as ridiculous as possible. Just look to the lobster tank scene for the pinnacle of absurdity. That being said, the dynamic between Eddie Brock and the symbiote Venom was one of the shining aspects of the film. It’s sequel, Let There Be Carnage, leans heavily into their now already established relationship as it reaches almost perfect symbiosis. Once again, the film embraces its absurd nature only this time Tom Hardy isn’t the only one in on the gag with Woody Harrelson joining in on the fun to deliver a wildly over-the-top adventure full of big laughs and explosive action. It’s exactly what you want out of a comic book movie.

 

Despite taking down Carlton Drake and the Life Foundation, Eddie Brock’s (Tom Hardy) life remains quite the mess as he struggles to find work as a journalist while his attempts to get Anne (Michelle Williams) back fall on deaf ears. He’s learned to live with his symbiote pal Venom but the two constantly disagree and argue with each other. An opportunity to reignite his career arises when he’s given the chance to interview serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) and potentially unearth some of the unsolved murders he committed. But after a confrontation where Cletus takes a bite out of Eddie’s hand, he gets a literal taste of Venom and develops his own symbiote, Carnage. Cletus breaks free from prison, leaving a trail of bodies in the process, and embraces his newfound powers by going after those who wronged him. The only ones able to stand even a chance against him are Eddie and Venom, provided they can stop bickering for a minute and work together.

 

Venom: Let There Be Carnage has the benefit of not needing a whole lot of exposition and setup as it immediately jumps into things. The banter between Eddie and Venom is better than ever, with the film being its best when it embraces their weirdness. Let There Be Carnage feels more like a buddy cop movie than anything, except these buddies inhabit a single body. Their dynamic is hilarious as Tom Hardy doesn’t shy away from giving it all as both Eddie and Venom. Venom is mostly blunt and to the point when communicating with Eddie. He wants to eat that person or he thinks so-and-so should shut their mouth. Venom is the running commentary of Let There Be Carnage, and it works so well for the film.

 

The action can be hit or miss. Carnage himself is massive and terrifying, so much so that he even scares Venom. His introduction has some horror elements to it, but then it mostly becomes a CGI action slug-fest. For everything Venom is capable of, Carnage is tenfold. The action sequences are fast, with quick cuts and lots of close ups, so it can be difficult to follow sometimes. There are moments when things do slow down and you can get a glimpse of the intense and brutal nature of these two symbiotes duking it out, but the action plays second fiddle to the humor.

 

The most interesting thing about Venom: Let There Be Carnage is its relationships between its characters, particularly Eddie and Venom, but also Eddie and Cletus. The movie is just plain fun when it leans hard into the weird and obscure dynamics. That is what separates it from all the other superhero movies on the market, and what makes it the most fun and enjoyable. The action and story are okay, but they’re nothing new to the genre. Let There Be Carnage is a sequel that surpass the original, and like any good parasite, I hope to see the franchise continue to grow and get better with age.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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