Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom, one of MARVEL’s greatest and most complex characters. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage.

Are some individuals innately evil? If not, then for those who become evil, what drives them to do heinous acts? One could argue a multitude of things: environment, upbringing, spankings, video games, television, being bullied, or a combination of all of them. However, what about those from similar upbringings with the same variables and influences that don’t become murderers, mass shooters, or serial killers? Is there a ferocious animalistic nature in us all that just needs the right triggers to manifest itself or are some simply born to start fires? Are the best of us capable of the same acts of depravity? Truth is, I don’t think we’ll ever fully comprehend the complexities and corruption of the human brain. Nevertheless, we all know an act of evil when we see it, now who are going to be the heroes to stop it? That’s a discussion for another time.

“Something wicked this way comes.”

“Fuck this guy!” Venom exclaims as he eagerly bites the head from a torso, very pleased with himself. There will be carnage indeed. Hide your chickens and your chocolate Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a comical and chaotic buddy movie that is sure to excite most. In this sequel, I think you’ll find Venom to be more hero than antihero compared to the Lethal Protector storyline he leads in the comics. Although, he does want the Lethal Protector monicker for himself. Having been attached to Eddie Brock for quite some time, the human sensibilities are beginning to rub off on him. He’s more in touch with his feelings, he wants to travel, and he’s tired of eating the same damn thing every night. The functionally dysfunctional relationship the two have with each other is hilarious, one body but both want very different things. This movie is made up of two stories that form their own symbiotic relationship, and that’s where the carnage and Carnage reside. Without both stories, neither outcome would be possible. I’m not sure if they purposefully did that, but if they did, kudos to them. This film is very easily digestible and very entertaining. There isn’t too much further character development as we mostly know every character from the first film.

The quick pacing and runtime will suit even the most casual comic book movie viewer. I actually see this pacing being used more going forward, depending on the focus character. Director Andy Serkis knew exactly what we wanted to see and gave it to us, tons of symbiote screen time. We get to see transformation after transformation for both Venom and Carnage and Carnage looks super dope. We can actually see what they really look like in great detail. There is tons of action whether it be between the Lethal Protector and the “red one” or Eddie and his pesky amoeba. There are even some touching moments, a malignant love story, and heartfelt speeches. Tom Hardy seems to have been made for this role and Woody Harrelson is one of our best villains as he is bad for the sake of being bad. Now, I know you’ve heard rumors about the mid-credit scene, or perhaps you’ve somehow avoided all the posts. But yes, it is most certainly worth all the hype and I can’t even give you a hint. However, what isn’t being talked about is how we may see Toxin, the offspring of Carnage in the future. I could be trippin’, but if you know, you know. I had a very entertaining time watching Venom: Let There Be Carnage. It looked great, the cast did amazing, and the future is going to be wild. Its rewatchability is high. 

Cletus (Woody Harrelson) safely caged for his interview with Eddie in Columbia Pictures’ VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE.
Shriek (Naomie Harris) inside her sound proof cell at Ravencroft in Columbia Pictures’ VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE.

Pacing & Pop

What popped for me was the screen time we got for our two hulking symbiotes, Venom and Carnage. Unlike, its predecessor which kept the gooey guys in the dark and in shadows, this time around we can clearly see all the details and action. The pacing of the film is incredibly fast compared to what we’re used to out of comic book films. There are no wasted scenes or unnecessary dialogue, it gets to the point and gives you what you want. They may be onto something.

Tom Hardy stars as Eddie Brock/Venom in Columbia Pictures’ VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE.
Carnage from Columbia Pictures’ VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE.

Characters & Chemistry

Tom Hardy’s performance as Eddie Brock/Venom great exceeds his last performance as the pair. I could watch an entire film of just Eddie trying to do normal things as they argue because Venom wants to eat everyone. And the chemistry Brock has with Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) is very Silence of the Lambs and gives the film a horror movie tone, I love it. Once Harrelson becomes one with the murderous symbiote, Carnage, he becomes one of our best Marvel villains. Once I saw the look in Harrelson’s eyes in the first film, I knew we’d be in for a treat. Then add Naomie Harris to the mix as Shriek and nothing but chaos and destruction could ensue. I think we’re going to be seeing more of Stephen Graham as the hard-nosed Detective Mulligan going forward and possibly as someone else.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage releases in theaters on October 1, 2021. Stay safe and enjoy.

Director: Andy Serkis

Writers: Kelly Marcel, Tom Hardy

Producers: Kelly Marcel, p.g.a., Tom Hardy, p.g.a., Hutch Parker, p.g.a.

Executive Producers: Barry Waldman, Jonathan Cavendish, Ruben Fleischer

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1h 30m

Rating: 4 out of 5

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