Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a solid sequel that doubles down on the very few elements that worked in the first Venom film in 2018 (Tom Hardy’s manic, go for broke performance and the buddy romance between Eddie and Venom) to create a far more enjoyable film than the tedious misfire that was the first film.
Picking up a year after the events of the first film, reporter Eddie Brock is still living as the host for the alien symbiote Venom (voiced by Hardy) and the two are having issues with the two constantly bickering as they struggle to live together. To make matters worse, during an interview with the serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), Cletus gets close enough to Eddie to bite him and ingest his blood, becoming the host for the red stymbiote Carnage who despises his “father” Venom.
Tom Hardy’s committed and gonzo performance really holds the film together, really excelling with the physical comedy. The relationship between Eddie and his parasite is both funny and surprisingly touching as the pair acknowledge their flaws and build a stronger relationship as a result. With the pair acting like a couple and a scene after their breakup which sees Venom having a “coming out” moment while attending a rave and making a speech about acceptance, the queer subtext is wonderfully blatant.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s breezy 90 minute runtime results in a breakneck pace that gives the film a frenetic energy that keeps boredom at bay with ease. The action sequences and CGI are vast improvements on the first film, the humour consistently lands and both director Andy Serkis and cinematographer Robert Richardson give us a far more visually exciting and colourful film than the first film.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a breezy watch that just wants to entertain its audience with its goofiness, its zaniness and its excellent characters.
Reviewed by Jordan Ellis