Film review: ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’

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Hollywood – California, Gulf Coast States, Movie Theater, Theatrical Performance, Stage Theater

Jacob Baker, Lifestyle Editor

2018’s “Venom” was a poorly made film that still managed to be a ton of fun through captivating action and the remarkable personality behind the character of Venom. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was released Oct. 1 and falls victim to the same flaws but still carries the same positives of the first film. 

Serial killer Cletus Kasady played by Woody Harrelson is obsessed with journalist Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy. Brock is now one with the Venom symbiote as they try to find a happy medium to keep Venom’s bloodthirst at a minimum. After an altercation with Brock, Kasady undergoes his transformation into the deadly Carnage symbiote. 

A huge factor of success for “Venom” was the engrossing banter between Brock and the Venom symbiote. That same banter drives a lot of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” A lot of this banter is hilarious, but there are several points in the film where there is too much humor. “Venom” struck a nice balance between that humor and the more serious aspects of the film. 

The action is still remarkably solid. The Carnage symbiote looks as great as he has ever looked in the comics, grueling and merciless. Director Andy Serkis understands what it takes to make these symbiotes come to life on the big screen, and the action between Carnage and Venom is simply enthralling. 

It has been a long-time coming to see Carnage on the big screen, and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” does the character justice. Harrelson doesn’t turn in any career-defining work in the film, but that’s to be expected since the writing is lackluster in general. Harrelson is still fun to watch and plays well off of Hardy. The one noteworthy performance is Naomie Harris as Shriek. Harris is repeatedly the better of the performers when she is on screen. 

Much like “Venom,” “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is poorly written, doesn’t have a lot of captivating direction behind the camera and the pacing isn’t structured well. It seems like Serkis’ imprint can only be seen during the symbiote action scenes, with the rest feeling like an amateur director running the show. 

There’s a drawn animation sketch to show Kasady’s screwed-up childhood in the lamest way possible. Kasady’s childhood is horrifying, and this drawn animation flashback feels entirely out of place and doesn’t do the character any bit of justice. 

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” does everything its predecessor succeeded at but also did nothing to improve the shortcomings shown in “Venom.” The film is still a fun and mind-numbing time with an excellent post-credits scene, but don’t expect “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” to be anything more than that.