“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.”

Director: Andy Serkis
Writer: Tom Hardy, Kelly Marcel
Staring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Naomie Harris
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Where To Watch: VUDU Rental

A short review for a short movie.

Watching Venom: Let There Be Carnage is equivalent too being stuck at family party that you don’t want to be at but there is something on the TV that is just keeping enough of your attention to distract you from the murmuring conversations you have heard so many times before. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is not my type of movie, but I understand it’s purpose and its entertainment value. The movie will have eyes glued to it and keeps the viewers’ gaze by propelling itself along at a break-net pace. Speed, chaos and fervor keep Venom: Let There Be Carnage in the “good but bad” category rather than the “bad and boring” hell pit.

Tom Hardy is back as reporter Eddie Brock and accompanying him is the loud-mouthed symbiote Venom. The pair are having some classic couple squabbles about who is eatable and who is not when another wrench gets thrown into the mix. Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrison, is a serial killer who is looking tell his story through Brock’s voice. When his narrative gets a bit twisted, Kasady gets a taste of what a symbiote is and from there….Carnage ensues.

Writers Tom Hardy and Kelly Marcel do not shy away from using the title of the movie in the screenplay. There are so many Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme moments.

So Venom has a new baddie and Brock is trying to deal with the love of his life Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) getting engaged and his alien safety-net abandoning him. There are many variables tossed in the air and by the end its a loud mess of chaos, violence, and one-liners. The plot does not mean a lot, trust me.

You turn into Venom: Let There Be Carnage and you want action, right? Unfortunately, there is no violence that is so unequivocally entertaining as the original. In Venom (2018), that first fight scene with the heavily armed police is the best part of the movie. Like in the original, this sequel suffers when the violence gets too CGI heavy. I know, I know, the entire Venom character is CGI. What I mean is when it is Venom vs. some other symbiote, not versus another human.

There are a more than a few problems with the characters of Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The story is not important and neither are the character arcs. I did not know that Naomie Harris was in this movie as Frances until I looked at the IMDB casting afterwords. She is shunned to the side and most of her scenes (in reality all of them) are forgettable. She is framed as the inspiration for Cletus to be alive and use his new Carnage powers, but she is really just an ineffective speed bump.

The best little part of this movie is the corner store owner Mrs. Chen (Peggy Lu). I love her. She is sassy and delightful. She knows the score. When she is on screen the few seconds at a time, everything is better.

There are two things that happen at the end of Venom: Let There Be Carnage that people are talking about. Detective Mulligan (Stephen Graham) is knocked out by Carnage during the final battle but when he awakes, his eyes are glazed over and they have a symbiote look to them. According to comics lore he is going to become Toxin, another familiar foe to the titular character. They are setting up for a sequel.

More talked about is the post credit scene where Venom and Eddie both see a little friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (the Tom Holland version) on the TV. It is a news report that appears on the TV after their room in the hotel they are staying in changes…AKA showing the changing timelines that is going to take place in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). Venom is intrigued and licks the screen. There is something brewing in the Sony an Marvel agreement and compromising here.

It also should be noted that Venom: Let There Be Carnage is directed by Andy Serkis, who people primarily know as Gollum, Snoke or Caesar. It is his third major directorial attempt and his second at a heavy CGI adventure. In my first viewing of his directing style, he puts entertainment before everything else. There are cool shots here in there, but this movie is a vibe more than anything else.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the ultimate “turn-your-brain-off” movie. I watched it on the train while doing some writing and maintenance stuff and I did not miss a single important part of this movie. If you liked the first, then you will like this sequel. If you want to turn your brain off and just have Tom Hardy wash over you, then rent this 90 minute breeze accept the breeze of perfectly meh-action.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

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