Eddie Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution.
‘Venom’ had quite a bit of fanfare when it was announced 3 years ago, being a new Marvel property focusing on a character who was ostensibly a villain. It didn’t really deliver on the promise it had, yet it did well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel and build a bit of a cult following. The sequel has made a few changes to the approach, namely switching director (Andy Serkis for Ruben Fleischer) and amping up the humour in the relationship between Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and ‘Venom’, which mostly works well. It also introduces Woody Harrelson as a serial killer who acts as the primary antagonist of the film, and his manic presence works as a good foil for Brock.
The main thing about ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ is it is incredibly forgettable, much like the first movie (I had to revisit my review of ‘Venom’ to recall what happened!), but in its nice, brief 90 minute runtime it does deliver some laughs and decent creature feature thrills. Hardy’s wrangling with the presence of ‘Venom’ is the strongest part of the film, as is a sequence when ‘Venom’ tries out some other human hosts, but the relationship drama between Brock and his ex-fiancee (Michelle Williams) is a little clunkily handled. Added to the supporting cast are Naomie Harris and Stephen Graham, who are always good value, even if Harris in particular feels somewhat underused.
‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ is a leaner, meaner sequel that has focused on the elements of the first film that worked best, even as it remains a slight and mostly forgettable bit of cinematic escapism.
Directed By: Andy Serkis
Starring: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott and Stephen Graham