Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Verdict: Venom has a flimsy plot, messy fight scenes, and plenty of flaws but there's no denying it's a lot of fun

  • Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson
  • October 15th 2021
  • Andy Serkis

Tom Hardy is back for more madness with his alien symbiote Venom in this superhero sequel.

The 2018 original Venom was an unexpected box office success so it was no surprise when a sequel was announced – and Let There Be Carnage has finally arrived.

The sequel, directed by Andy Serkis, follows investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) as he struggles to adjust to life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom. Imprisoned serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) requests to speak with Brock, and during one of his prison visits, he ends up bleeding, accidentally allowing the psychopath to become the host of Venom’s chaotic spawn Carnage, with devastating consequences.

This film works well as a buddy comedy because the relationship between Brock and Venom (voiced by Hardy) is its biggest strength. They have great chemistry, which is impressive considering Hardy is acting against nothing and responding to his own voice, and constantly bicker like an old married couple. Their conversations are laugh-out-loud hilarious and Venom is given so many funny lines of dialogue.

However, the story weakens when it becomes focused on the inevitable action sequences. Venom and Carnage are ugly CGI creatures so their final showdown is visually quite gross. The CGI in these scenes is very messy and it was hard to follow what was happening in the fights.

Despite the short runtime of 97 minutes and its zippy pace, the plot still feels very flimsy but you can almost forgive the storyline as it’s so entertaining and downright silly. The film doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should the audience.

Given that this is his pet project, it’s no surprise that Hardy is in his element and excels at both roles. Stephen Graham was a solid addition to the team as a police detective on Brock’s case and it was fun seeing Peggy Lu being given an upgrade as shopkeeper Mrs Chen.

Michelle Williams isn’t in the film much but she has a couple of cool scenes, Harrelson brings a wacky unhinged energy to his villain role, and Naomie Harris has barely anything to do it as his love interest Frances Barrison/Shriek.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a very flawed film but it’s impossible to deny that it’s a lot of fun and an entertaining watch. Make sure you stay for the mid-credits scene – it’s important.

In cinemas Friday 15th October.

© Cover Media