'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' - Movie Review

Tom Hardy is back as both Eddie Brock and the voice of his alien symbiont Venom. Evidently the producers or writers heard from the fans: "Eddie and Venom arguing was the best part of the previous movie" (you'll notice I said something similar) so they decided the right thing to do was to add a lot more of that. As it turns out, there's an upper limit on how much of that is good: "leave them wanting more" definitely doesn't apply this time around.

Eddie gets a couple interviews with serial killer Cletus Kasady (teased in a post-credit scene in the previous movie - the part is played by Woody Harrelson). Cletus is sentenced to death, but having tasted Eddie's blood, he's now infected with his own symbiont called Carnage. Venom is a murderous creature, enjoying destruction. Cletus makes Venom look like a pussy. And Carnage ... well, Carnage makes Cletus look like a pussy. And Carnage is a lot stronger than Venom.

I'm kind of notorious among my friends for never liking sequels (there are exceptions, the most notable among them being the "Kung Fu Panda" series). Unfortunately, this remains true here. The story line is classic: Eddie and Venom have a falling-out, they go their separate ways, they realize they need each other. But they're both such assholes that the adventures they have alone make very uneven story arcs. I'm going against most of the critics here, but as problematic as the first movie was, I prefer it. This one's not bad, just not quite as good.

SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading etc. "Shriek" (Naomie Harris) is okay with Cletus murdering 30 or 40 people throughout the movie. But then in the final act, she's suddenly NOT okay with the killing of Anne (played by Michelle Williams, Eddie's former fiancée that he - and Venom - still loves)? How does that make any sense at all? But the reason is all too obvious: the writers needed a wedge to drive between Carnage and Shriek. As a writer, you're supposed to create a story that's coherent and makes sense: I don't think I've ever in my life seen a moment in film where the writer's need reached out so blatantly through a character to make something happen.