VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE
Starring: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, and Reid Scott
Director: Andy Serkis
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is... not good. In fact, it’s so bad that it gains a designation I give very few movies: stupid. It relegates Oscar-nominated actors to one dimensional caricatures spewing awful puns (someone please save Naomie Harris), while portraying two of Marvel's most vicious villains as neutered parasites in nonsensical love stories (one of which is Eddie (Tom Hardy) and Venom (also Hardy)). Andy Serkis’ direction is a hodgepodge of chaos trying to find cohesion in a story without any. Aside from The Spirit, this may be the worst comic book movie I've ever seen.
Though it's not saying much, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is at least better than the first one. It definitely amps up the silliness, making it feel a little more self-aware and, in the process, more enjoyable overall. The main reason is the hilarious back-and-forth between Venom and Eddie Brock (a fully committed Tom Hardy). Still, the movie isn't good. Its terrible script and mismatched tones make the film unjustifiably entertaining, but also very sloppy. To put it simply, the mid-credit scene is better than the movie itself.
Perhaps I’m jaded when it comes to the Venom franchise, but I don't understand why this sequel is getting more love than its predecessor...Or any at all for that matter. Effects-wise, it's nothing special. Direction-wise, it's quite bad. Writing-wise, it often borders on abhorrent. It moves far too quickly with little rhyme or reason, and the good parts are over so quickly and are so inconsequential that it’s as if they were never there. Being self-aware is one thing, but using it in lieu of good storytelling is another thing entirely. Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, and Michelle Williams deserve better.
Let There Be Carnage is bound to be divisive amongst fans of the comic versions of Venom and Carnage. Just so you know, you should go into this movie expecting a black comedy horror experience by way of the superhero genre because it has more in line with The Frighteners than any Marvel movie. Intentional or not, it’s downright hilarious. I laughed out loud at the Venom-Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) repartee more than anything else I saw this year, and you will miss out on the bonkers fun to be had if you’re expecting a pseudo-serious take on the characters.