After the events of the first film, journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is still struggling to coexist with the shape-shifting extraterrestrial Venom. Brock attempts to reignite his reporter career, he interviews deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). While on death row, Kasady also becomes host to an alien red symbiote, known as Carnage. Brock and Venom must put aside their differences, with the help of Brock’s ex-fiancée Anne (Michelle Williams) to stop Carnage’s reign of terror.
The 2018 Venom film was such an odd specimen that started off as a generic superhero origin story ripped straight out of the early 2000s’, but then transformed into a bizarre and hilarious rush of insanity with Tom Hardy doing his best Jim Carrey impression as Brock and Venom. In the case of Venom: Let There Be Carnage… it’s certainly a sequel that plays to what made the first movie memorable and not much else.
At a very brisk hour and a half, the sequel sets up a conflict between the reporter and the alien goo, who are still both entertainingly fun to watch from Hardy, but it then stumbles to a conclusion without much impact. If anything, it feels like director Andy Serkis‘ vision was heavily edited down to rush to the finish line for future installments. And for those who have been waiting to see Cletus Kasady and Carnage on the big screen, you may be disappointed as it’s nowhere near as gory or chaotic as it should be. While the symbiote design is creepy, Harrelson doesn’t get much of a chance to truly play the menacing killer from the comics as he spends more time pining over his lost love. That being said, he’s an absolute delight to watch as he chews the scenery in his Jake Paul wig.
In conclusion, Venom: Let There Be Carnage has moments of fun between Hardy and Harrelson as they crank it to 11 in their respected roles, but the movie flies by without much impact or carnage as the title promises. If you’re a fan of the first movie or the Spider-Man universe, I could slightly recommend the sequel as it’s both better and worst than the first movie. It’s a big ol’ example of “It is what it is.”
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is in Australian Cinemas on November 25th.