Today: May 29, 2024

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

2018’s Venom was a decidedly middling entry to the current superhero trend. It had its moments, was far too reliant on CGI and offered nothing new from a plot point of view. What did stand it apart was the presence of Tom Hardy. An actor more widely known for his serious take on acting it was clear he was having a riot of a time playing the split personality of Eddie Brock and his symbiotic partner in crime Venom. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is essentially more of the same but this time the humour is definitely taking a more central role.

While trying to get a scoop on notorious serial killer Cletus Kassidy (Woody Harrelson), Eddie and Venom (Tom Hardy) find themselves accidentally giving Cletus a part of them that allows Cletus to become Carnage. As Carnage and Cletus set out to track down their missing lover Frances Barrison (Naomi Harris) so Eddie tries to avoid death, keep Venom under control and remain friends with his ex Anne (Michelle Williams). 

Directed by king of motion-capture Andy Serkis Venom: Let There Be Carnage is nothing special. The story zips along barely giving you time to engage or question any of it. The set pieces are nothing you haven’t seen a dozen times before and in daylight – a frustrating amount of the film takes place in darkness – and the villains are fairly paint-by-number.

The whole affair would be utterly forgettable were it not for the Lethal Weapon style buddy-comedy that ignites between Eddie and Venom. They hate each other but they need each other, very much a case of “you complete me”.

The dynamic between Hard and Hardy is so fun you forgive the rest of the film a multitude of sins. Watching Eddie trying to endlessly contain his brain-devouring, chicken-loving, alter-ego is often laugh-out-loud entertaining. You’d happily watch a kitchen-sink style comedy of the pair just living their day-to-day lives over some of the nonsense involving giant red aliens.

A drab anti-superhero film that is rescued by a hugely enjoyable double-act from Hardy. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a mindless film with heart-chomping charm.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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