Venom : Let There Be Carnage Review : Simpliotic

The return of the infamous alien and his journalist friend offers up some cheesy laughs and a new direction.

Sony Pictures

Here we are, back again with another installment in the Venom storyline, and after the travesty of the previous film, a film which made Spider-Man 3 look like a masterpiece, Venom: Let There Be Carnage needed a kick of positive reinforcement to make it more appealing, or just watchable will do. The sequel relies heavily on its comedy, focusing on the bromance between Eddie and Venom, like a classic buddy movie of the 80s; very slapstick, a tad cheesy, but doing its best to highlight a genuinely authentic friendship, it just so happens that one of them is an alien symbiote feeding off chicken brains.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage sees Eddie Brock (Hardy) struggling to coexist with the shape-shifting alien Venom. Serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson), who is on death row awaiting trial, soon becomes the host to Venoms offspring after a meeting with Eddie and escapes as the newly formed Carnage. Eddie and Venom must work as a team and foil the evil duos reign of terror. Harrelson was a very welcomed addition; he taps into the mind of sadistic characters so well – is there something you’re not telling us Woody? He was a great foil for Eddie’s nicer demeanour and the contrast between the two is replicated into their own symbiotes.

The film was in safe hands with Andy Serkis directing, with Serkis being involved in one or two Marvel films over the years and an obvious motion capture expert. Although, this did feel different; there wasn’t as much action as you would expect, the film took time in trying to establish a variety of different relationships, it was far more character driven, exploring the depths of Eddie, Cletus, Frances, and even Detective Mulligan’s (Graham) backgrounds. I feel it needed this, something to separate it from its underwhelming predecessor.

As Marvel films go, it is quite unique; extremely odd and cheesy – like a screwball comedy – but this is what grabs your attention. It was also littered with a lot of underlying messages about identity, friendship, and love on a variety of spectrums. Venom and Eddie are struggling with their identities, one trying to get his life back on track and the other wanting to fight crime and eat human brains – they don’t go hand in hand that’s for sure.


Venom: Let There Be Carnage begins with a flashback to Cletus Kasady’s younger days in isolation, as his darling Frances Barrison/Shriek is taken away from him, leading to a scuffle and Barrison being shot in the head and assumed dead. Fast forward and Eddie Brock has been invited to visit Kasady as he awaits his trial. Venom is able to figure out where Kasady has hidden the last of his victims’ bodies that were previously lost thanks to some clues, the discovery gives Eddie a career boost and Kasady the death penalty, much to his anger. After Eddie once again visits Kasady before his due date, Venom attacks Kasady after being provoked by the murderer, with Kasady biting Eddie and ingesting some of the symbiote in the process. The day of the execution arrives, but Kasady transforms into Carnage and escapes, he then heads to the whereabouts of his one true love, Frances Barrison (Naomie Harris) who he learns is alive and being held in a secure unit – over the top explosions incoming.

With Kasady, Carnage, and Frances now on the run, it is up to Eddie and Venom to put aside their squabbles and join forces once again to try and stop this evil alien and his serial killer host. It all accumulates to a feisty showdown and massive CGI fight in a church, with the winner takes all stakes as high as they’ve ever been. Which of these superpowered double acts will take the spoils in this chaotic battle?

The CGI isn’t as heavy as it was in the previous film (there are still two massive aliens and crazy explosions to argue that though), but Venom suffered because of poor special effects and an over reliance on them, whereas this used them as a backup of sorts, still ridiculous, but less prominent. For me though, the biggest downfall the film had was what some think was its biggest strength, and that was its humour. It was such a constant that it was overwhelming and rarely hit the right note. Every situation doesn’t need to be a gag or a goofy back and forth… give it a rest. It would have benefitted from being darker and more violent instead of this light-hearted bromance manifesting as a superhero film.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage does have a simple story though – something that aids it quite well – meaning it didn’t need to be manipulated into something too complicated. The action slipped in and out and left the film to analyse those emotional undercurrents, which is something I will credit it with. However, the best thing about the film was a mid-credits sequence that lasted a mere 120 seconds, a scene where Venom is pretty much confirmed to be a part of the MCU for future projects, but if that is the highlight of the film then it’s been a bit of a dud, all things considered.

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