Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Following on from the events of the 2018 film, Venom: Let There Be Carnage sees journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) struggling to adapt to his new life with alien symbiote Venom (Tom Hardy). Eddie wants to live as normally as he can, while Venom wants the duo to take to the streets of San Francisco as “lethal protectors”. Their relationship is strained even further when serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) takes an interest in Eddie, which becomes a deadly obsession when he becomes host to Venom’s spawn, Carnage.
The original Venom was an interesting flick, which seemed to be written and directed as a straight but mediocre action film, but accidentally became a very good romantic comedy on the back of Tom Hardy’s excellent performance. This film seems to have been made with an awareness of this, and spends a lot of time exploring the relationship between the duo, leaning into the “romcom” angle.
Tonally, Let There Be Carnage is much sillier than its predecessor, taking itself much less seriously, but there’s a good balance between comedy and character work to ensure the narrative is engaging and satisfying on multiple levels. It’s intelligently written, despite the comedic tone, marrying the two genres together effectively.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a superhero flick without some action, and while this iteration doesn’t do quite as much in this regard as its predecessor, there are still a lot of very creative and kinetic scenes that really make the most of the symbiotes (although, despite the subtitle’s promise, there is not a lot of carnage).
Much like the original Venom, this film is heavily supported by a very talented cast. Tom Hardy is once again fantastic in his dual role, perfectly selling the “old married couple” dynamic between Eddie and Venom. Harrelson is also great as a narrative counterpart to Brock – perhaps a little cheesy, but in a way that works with the overall ambience.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a production that dares to ask the question, “Must a film be, strictly speaking, ‘good?’ Is it not enough to see Tom Hardy, unhinged and dishevelled, having domestic disputes with another Tom Hardy made out of slime?”. It’s not the most sophisticated story but it never pretends to be, delivering a fun and unpretentious cinematic experience with its big alien tongue firmly in its cheek.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is released nationwide on 15th October 2021.
Watch the trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage here: