VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE (2021)
Suffering from a frantic pace and underdeveloped story that is ripe with undercooked supporting performances, yet bolstered by doubling-down on the humorous bromance of Tom Hardy and Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a bit of a mess that fails to live up to the enjoyment factor of its predecessor.
When serial Killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) transforms into Carnage, he escapes prison and sets his sights on those who have wronged him and his longtime love Shriek (Naomie Harris), forcing Eddie Brock (Hardy) and Venom into action. Fans of the first film will be pleased to know that the highly-enjoyable back and forth between Brock and Venom is highlighted here with laugh-out-loud moments that again let Hardy shine. There is a limit, though, to how much one can take and the virtually nonstop delivery of sarcastic quips and comments does become tiresome at the expense of the actual plot of the film, one that is severely lacking in all aspects and rushed in such a short outing. Harrelson portrays Kasady as sadistic and insane in such a way that his exaggerated choices overshadow the character itself. Harris, for her part, is given next to nothing to work with in terms of her screaming character save for one-liners that will leave you rolling your eyes. Michelle Williams and Reid Scott return and are delightful, but lost in the fray.
The first Venom was a runaway hit because it was incredibly bonkers and simply a lot of fun, but it also had a fleshed out story. Andy Serkis’ visually-underwhelming CGI-fest of a sequel comes across as a more juvenile entry into the pantheon of comic book films that can’t figure out if it wants to be more Fantastic Four cheesy or Deadpool violent and funny. With such a huge, well-known villain chosen as the antagonist of the film, the filmmakers failed to do him justice and to make this a worthwhile return trip to San Francisco.
Oh, but that mid-credits scene? The hype is real.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits theaters tomorrow.
Photo from Syfy Wire