After “Venom” came out in 2018 earning negative reactions from critics, fans and movie goers alike, Sony commenced development of a Venom sequel and their own cinematic universe based on characters from “Spider-Man” such as “Morbius,” “Kraven The Hunter,” “Nightwatch” & “Madame Web.” Both Morbius & “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” were delayed, due to COVID-19. Sony decided to release them on separate dates. October 1st for Venom & January 28th for Morbius. With the latter film completed, Sony’s next project is Kraven The Hunter with Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver from Avengers: Age Of Ultron) headlining the film.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is currently out in theaters. The sequel earned mixed reviews from critics, fans and movie goers alike. It’s currently making enough money at the box office. Venom will appear in a sequel to Insomniac Games’ “Spider-Man” slated for a 2023 release. One more thing, Venom is my favorite Marvel villain besides Loki.
This review contains no SPOILERS whatsoever. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Is the sequel a hit or miss? Let’s find out shall we?
Empowered & Depowered Qualities
Empowered: Tom Hardy reprises his dual role as Eddie Brock & Venom. He did a fantastic job for his performance. Tom also co-wrote the story with screenwriter Kelly Marcel.
Woody Harrelson reprises his role as Cletus Kassidy from the first film. He did a decent job for his performance as Cletus & Carnage.
Michelle Williams reprises her role Anne. She did a great job for her performance.
Naomi Harris also did a decent job as Cletus’ love interest Frances Barrison/Shriek.
Andy Serkis (Gollum from The Lord Of The Rings) did a good job directing. He has experience director known for “Breathe” & “Mowgoli: Legend Of The Jungle.” Andy also played Ulysses Klue in “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” & “Black Panther.”
Ruben Fleischer served as an executive producer. He couldn’t direct the sequel, because he was busy working on a film adaptation of “Uncharted” & “Zombieland: Double Tap.”
Marco Beltrami (Logan, 3:10 To Yuma) orchestrated the music.
Visual Effects slightly improve Venom’s appearance. Designers made sure Carnage resembles his appearance from the comics.
If you have a keen eye, there’s a stack of magazines with Stan Lee’s face on display. Sony honored his memory. He made a cameo in the last film.
Cinematography is spot on good. Never succumbs to Shaky Cam nor Dutch Angles.
Chemistry between Eddie & Venom served as the main highlight. Andy compares their friendship to Felix & Oscar from “The Odd Couple.”
Humor contains funny moments from Venom. Gotta love his over-the-top bombastic voice. I think Tom is channeling a Tim Curry performance.
The sequel retains Venom’s role as an anti-hero from the first movie taking cues from his comic series “Lethal Protector.” The sequel is also inspired by the storyline and Super NES video game (minus Spider-Man) “Maximum Carnage.”
Cletus & Frances’ chemistry is similar to Mickey & Mallory Knox from “Natural Born Killers.” We know Woody was in it Oliver Stone & Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic. Speaking of which, Robert Downey Jr. played Wayne Gale. The closest thing to see Tony Stark & Carnage sharing a scene onscreen.
Cletus & Frances’ backstories are given context. If you read the comics, you might understand.
Detective Mulligan factors in the story. If you’re a Marvel aficionado, you know who he is.
Like the first movie, Eminem (one of my favorite rappers) made a song for the sequel titled, “Last One Standing.” Eminem mentioned Spider-Man is his favorite superhero. Meaning, he’s a longtime Marvel fan.
A Mid-Credits Scene sets up what’s in store for the future.
Depowered: Without giving anything away, a “We Are Through” cliche occurred. I hate this overused trope in many buddy cop or rom-com movies, because we already know two or more people will put aside their differences and eventually move on. Sony didn’t learn their lesson from the first movie.
In one scene, a crowd of people never react in horror when they witness Venom in person. If this were real life, I would’ve screamed like Homer Simpson.
There’s not enough Action Sequences. The first movie had a lot of good ones like the bike chase, Venom beating a SWAT team and Venom’s battle with Riot.
Running time is an hour and a half. I wanted an extra thirty minutes worth of action.
Like its predecessor, the sequel is PG-13. It’s a darn shame Venom & Carnage couldn’t go all out creating a messy room filled with crimson blood stains and body parts flying all over the place. Sony missed a golden opportunity to crank the violence Up To 11 like “Deadpool,” its sequel, “Logan,” “Joker,” “Birds Of Prey” & “The Suicide Squad.”
The Final Verdict: B-
Despite a few blemishes, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a slight improvement of the last movie. I was this close giving it a C, but thanks to most of the positive things listed and that Post-Credits Scene, it’s definitely an average film as well as a hit. If you have nothing to do over the week, give this movie a chance. I hope someday, Venom can interact with Spider-Man.