By Iris Knapman | Review Editor
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the epic sequel to its 2018 predecessor, Venom that sees its titular alien symbiote and journalist Eddie Brock work together to stop bad guys once again. This action-comedy comes with oodles of both action and comedy, making for an exciting watch with friends as you flinch at the gratuitous violence one minute then laugh at Venom’s strange endearment of the earthling chickens now living in Eddie’s apartment. I’d fully recommend seeing this movie while it remains in cinemas as the big-screen experience only serves to better the viewing. Now, onto the review!
We return to San Francisco to find that Eddie Brock has re-established his reputation as a journalist thanks to Venom’s superior abilities. If you remember from the end of the first movie, serial-killer Cletus Kassidy was introduced in an ominous post-credit scene. It’s revealed Cletus is looking to share a message via the papers and will offer Eddie his own life-story to publish in return. Unfortunately for Cletus, the information he offers leads Venom to solving the location of the missing bodies of his victims and as consequence seals his fate on death row. Of course, considering Cletus is the primary antagonist of the movie, it won’t be that simple.
Now that Eddie has his life back (except the love of his ex-fiancée, Annie Weying), he seeks to keep it that way. By contrast, Venom wants to “fight bad guys” (read: EAT bad guys.) The differences in their motivations as two co-existing entities in one body serves to create conflict between them. Venom’s passionate, perhaps reckless, care for Eddie leads to a new symbiote being born into Cletus, a symbiote that becomes known as: Carnage. And naturally, violence ensues.
Without revealing anything further, I will say that while the movie is short compared to other contemporary action superhero movies (cough – Marvel – cough), it’s also sweet. It features a twisted romance between two of the bad guys that makes you go “huh, relationship goals I guess.” If a wedding with a bride in black and a captive priest appeals to you, then you’re in luck.
Also Lil Simz (who produced the credits song) just turns up in the movie which is cool.
I genuinely can’t get enough of Venom. There is something incredibly adorable about this terrifying alien entity that harbours both a deep love and hunger for humanity. At one point in the movie there’s this hilarious scene where Venom attempts to cook breakfast for Eddie and the levels of chaos rival the actual action scenes. Almost every line spoken by Venom is smile-inducing and they’re easily my favourite character in the movie.
Meanwhile, all other characters – new and old – made it an enjoyable watch, not just through their dialogue or role within the story but the acting too. Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kassidy was a superb casting choice; his more recent roles as sinister villains (or at least creepy men) are not unwarranted, as he plays them well. It’s funny considering my first exposure to him was through Cheers, where he plays the dumb but loveable, kind bartender who is a markedly different character to Cletus.
Also, I absolutely adore the relationship between Eddie and his ex-fiancée’s new boyfriend Dan. Typically there is animosity or at least tension between “the ex” and the current partner in movies where such a dynamic exists, but instead they’re perfectly cordial to one another, seemingly in agreement over their desire for Annie to be happy.
Production Value: 5/5
Once again, Columbia Pictures has made a movie with fantastic aesthetic value in all aspects; the camera shots, the effects, the settings, etc. are great and in no way jarring or laughable (in a bad way.) All the fight scenes were well-choreographed, particularly the final encounter between Venom and Carnage, which featured some pretty heavy CGI and so kudos to the graphics team for putting together one of my favourite fight scenes in a movie ever, or maybe I just really like Venom.
Either way, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a cup of tea I’d like to drink again once it releases onto streaming services, and a cup of tea I’d encourage you to take a sip from if you enjoy an action-comedy-action sandwich.