Review: Venom, Let There be Carnage (2021)

After the Venom (2018), I did not have high expectations for this year’s sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage. This movie starts with Eddie Brock living with a symbiote Venom, bickering about how they want to live their shared life. This appears to be the main conflict until another symbiote enters the scene; one that wants both Eddie and Venom dead.

 If you want a good time, go see this movie. It is simple, funny, and entertaining, but that is all that can really be said for it. The acting was extremely dull, with the exception of Tom Hardy (Eddie Brock), and Woody Harrelson (Cletus Kassidy). Hardy was wonderful when it came to his performance with or without his alien friend Venom. As in the last movie, he perfectly portrayed a man coming apart at the seams, but in this film, he got to develop his partnership with Venom even more, making for an amusing, if slightly silly, atmosphere throughout.

Harrelson’s performance was intriguing, but was stinted by the script, which didn’t allow his character many decisions or much room for development. As for any scene without Hardy or Harrelson, these felt like throwaway, made-for-tv movie acting. Somehow any piece of dialogue from Reid Scott (Dr. Dan Lewis) felt forced and managed to interrupt the rhythm of the action in the scene. Naomie Harris (Shriek) may have been the second villain, but she had so little backstory and lines that it was easy to forget she was a character until the main fight scene, where even then she had an extremely small part to play.

As mentioned, the relationship between Venom and Eddie was further developed in this film. Each scene with them was a lot longer than expected, but they never felt boring. The domestic banter between them was always comical and entertaining, and made the film quite whimsical, taking the seriousness out of a lot of the darker scenes. However, the plot was subpar at best, never really getting into anything deeper than surface level characters and backstories. One thing that particularly stood out (and not for good reason) was how quickly every problem was solved, and so the tension never built up until the climactic fight scene at the end of the film.

A silver lining: the CGI and special effects were very good. The symbiotes Venom and Carnage blended seamlessly with their hosts and their surrounding environment, and the action scene was engaging while not being gimmicky.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a very silly movie, and enjoyable to watch, but don’t expect much more than superficial entertainment.

– Katherine Ostroske

Featured Image Source: Still via Youtube // VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE – Trailer 2 (HD) / Sony Pictures Entertainment

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