A new deadly symbiote arises in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) has been learning to co-exist with the alien symbiote Venom, who lives within him. Eddie is tasked by Detective Mulligan (Stephen Graham) to interview death row inmate Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), in an attempt to get clues to the graves of his victims. However, Cletus ends up biting Eddie, resulting in him swallowing a bit of the symbiote. This spawns into the new monstrous alien Carnage, who helps Cletus escape, so he can reunite with his lifelong love Frances Barrison (Naomie Harris), who has the superhuman ability to attack with an ear-piercing shriek.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a follow-up to the 2018 stand-alone film, which sees actor-turned-filmmaker Andy Serkis take over for Ruben Fleischer in the director's chair. Taking place a few years after the events of the original, Eddie Brock is still struggling to co-exist with Venom, particularly when it comes to suppressing the latter's hunger for the brains of bad guys. Furthermore, Eddie becomes despondent after learning that his ex-girlfriend Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) is now engaged to Dr. Dan Lewis (Reid Scott). This results in Venom leaving Eddie after a huge fight, however, they will have to (literally) come together to face the new threat of Cletus Kasady and Venom's monstrous spawn Carnage.
Continuing Sony's attempts to create a “Spider-Man Universe” concurrently with the web slinger's use as part of Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe, Venom: Let There Be Carnage arrives a few months before the second antihero spin-off Morbius. As per the title of the film, Venom: Let There Be Carnage introduces us to Venom's very red and monstrous archnemesis Carnage, who is spawned directly from Venom's symbiote. Woody Harrelson, sporting a haircut not as bad as his appearance in the previous film's mid-credits scene, but still pretty bad, is hamming it up big time as the psychotic serial killer Cletus Kasady, whose relationship with Frances “Shriek” Barrison hearkens back to Harrelson's role from Natural Born Killers.
As for Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom, he gets a story credit this time around and there is definitely a greater emphasis on the more “zany” aspects of the dynamic between the two. In fact, Venom: Let There Be Carnage leans much more heavily in the comedic Odd Couple dynamic between Eddie Brock and his alien alter-ego Venom and it can almost be argued that the film is much more of a “love story” between Eddie Brock and Venom, which also just happens to feature superhero action scenes. While this might turn off some hardcore fans of the character, who was first introduced in the comics in 1988 as a Spider-Man villain, I actually ended up being quite entertained by this characterization of Venom.
I also can't complete my review of Venom: Let There Be Carnage without alluding to the film's mid-credits scene, which becoming one of the most buzzed-about elements of the film. Now, I am not going to spoil what it entails, but I will say that it opens up a lot of possibilities for future films.
Overall, I found Venom: Let There Be Carnage a fun odd couple love story disguised as a superhero film.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is Now Playing
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