Rob Reviews "Venom: Let There Be Carnage"
My biggest complaint about “Venom” a few years ago is how the story tried to tell itself outside of the “Spider-Man” canon. Given the origin of the character, not having his full story really took me out of the film along with plot holes big enough to drive a semi through. But, when you make almost $900 million worldwide at the box office, you get a sequel released three years later. Directed by Andy Serkis, submitted for your approval: “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”.
With the mid-credits scene tying back to the first film, Cletus Kassady (Woody Harrelson) is on his way to Death Row after a prison interview with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) leads to a discovery Kassady was not necessarily prepared for. When Kassady himself finds himself joined with a symbiote, he escapes his faith and embarks on a mission to reunite with the love of his youth (Naomie Harris) who has a gift of her own and to take revenge on the man who got him to the lethal injection chair.
Was this better than the first film? I can honestly say that I enjoyed it more, yes. With a run time of less than 100 minutes with credits (and yes, there is a mid-credits scene and no, there is not a post-credits scene), “Let There Be Carnage” plays more like a single-issues story than a full arc that we as an audience seem to be getting used to. Venom and Brock now have more of an “Odd Couple” relationship, bickering back and forth which kind of worked for me. The humor factor is turned up here (Hardy actually has co-writing credit here) to go along with the action and the dealing with his own love (Michelle Williams) moving on with her life and all of the character entanglements therein. You also have Stephen Graham as the detective that knows Brock has a secret but can’t quite nail it down doing his best Wahlberg (pick one) impersonation that doesn’t really add much, but he’s there.
The script is a bit all over the place, but it didn’t bother me as much as it bothered some of the other friends that sat around me. Maybe it was because my bar was set so low after the first film (and make no mistake, they set up another one) that it didn’t bother me as much. I put myself in the mind of a quickly paced, fun anti-hero film, and that is what I got here. (Let’s be honest here: my “Spider-Man” bar is pretty low in general, so take that for what you are paying for it.)
I don’t see “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” as a film that would have been better served as a summer release, and perhaps the many changes in release may hurt its performance at the box office, but it is not one that I personally would avoid. Just know what you are in for and go have some fun!