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Review of Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review: Woody Harrelson Thrives in Blockbuster

After three years, audiences are getting a sequel to the 2018 superhero film, Venom. The sequel called Venom: Let There Be Carnage is directed by Andy Serkis, the motion capture and voice behind Gollum, Snoke, King Kong, Caesar, and he has previously stepped into the Marvel universe with his portrayal of Ulysses Klaue in the MCU. Getting an icon of pop culture to helm a superhero flick was a fantastic idea that worked marvelously. This is a wickedly entertaining movie that moves at a breakneck pace, and it will give fans of the first Venom more of what they loved from the first.

This sequel picks up where the first left off, with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) living with Venom in his body. Their dynamic has always been the best aspect of the character. The first film had moments of excellent banter as Eddie was terrified of his situation, but Venom was always in control, which led to a funny contrast. But this time around, their relationship has strained. The two feel like a couple whose relationship has long departed the honeymoon phase and has weakened over the years. This leads to some quite hilarious scenes where the fact that they are so different and at odds is precisely why they are perfect for each other.

As far as the laughs, this movie delivers. This sequel doubles down on the humorous moments of the first, ramping up the hilarity for a film that never stops being entertaining for a second. The concept of this protagonist is absurd, and this movie takes that and embraces it. The way Eddie and Venom bicker like a married couple while also feeling like two warring sides of Eddie’s brain is effortlessly enjoyable. Hardy’s passion for the project shows not only in his dedicated comedic performance but also in that he helped write the film’s story.

Venom Let There Be Carnage review

Our film has Eddie trying to get his journalism career back on track by interviewing a serial killer named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). However, after Cletus bites Eddie’s hand, he becomes the host of the villainous symbiote known as Carnage. Harrelson does an excellent job in this role. He feels like a better villain casting choice than Riz Ahmed, who played Riot in the first film. While Ahmed is a terrific actor, he felt out of place as the antagonist of a superhero film. But Harrelson chews up every bit of the scenery he has, and he’s mesmerizing in Let There Be Carnage.

The thing with films like Venom: Let There Be Carnage is that they are not trying to be anything more than entertaining. Some blockbusters tend to take themselves seriously, using a mainstream formula to shed light on political issues and mature themes. But this movie doesn’t care about maturity. Instead, it’s a big CGI-fueled romp where two monsters fight each other. The film’s breezy 97-minute runtime allows for a tight, minimal story that can be summed up in one sentence: “the good guy has to fight the bad guy.”

As the supporting characters have nearly nothing interesting to do for the entire narrative, the movie is a straightforward series of scenes leading up to a final battle. There is nothing sophisticated about the film’s writing, nor are there standout action sequences beyond the ending. It has no lofty ambitions besides throwing a bunch of cool stuff at the screen. Essentially, this movie is all killer, no filler, and it doesn’t waste a single second on any character depth that may have made the film better or worse.

Although the villain of the movie is named Carnage, Let There Be Carnage is free of any blood, adhering to the PG-13 nature of a majority of mainstream action movies. The film could have used an R rating which may have helped the action scenes have more staying power. There’s also a police officer character named Mulligan (Stephen Graham), who is quite dull and never gets fleshed out.

With a finale that uses an action movie trope that has been consistently recycled for decades, Venom: Let There Be Carnage ends weakly. It’s disappointing that the film lacked the ingenuity to change up a formula and instead went with what has been seen repeatedly before. Nevertheless, this is a lean, mean action machine that delivers on the laughs and action we expect from a superhero film. The mid-credits scene is one of the best we’ve seen from Marvel yet, and you cannot miss it. This is a ferociously fun movie with great performances and a nonstop sense of entertainment.

SCORE: 7/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good.” It’s a successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.


Disclosure: The critic went to a press screening of the film for our Venom: Let There Be Carnage review.

The post Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review: Woody Harrelson Thrives in Blockbuster appeared first on ComingSoon.net.



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