Some brains could be used in a variety of ways by “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” including
This sequel, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” is a mind-numbingly tedious one with symbiotic monster combat that drags on for what feels like an eternity. Despite the fact that it’s a Sony release,
this is the most toothless Marvel venture since the company’s cinematic march began in 2008.
In this sequel to the 2018 film, Tom Hardy produces, shares story credit, and stars alongside Andy Serkis,
who takes over as director after previously helming the effects-heavy “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.”
Despite Serkis’ expertise in motion-capture acting, it’s difficult to see how it would translate to this project, which hammers the audience for the better part of an hour and a half.
As a result of this expansion, the film’s core is a strange cross between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and a buddy comedy, with Hardy’s Eddie Brock, a journalist,
sharing his body with Venom, an alien symbiote who is perpetually hungry. Brock devises a system to control his ornery guest, who keeps demanding things like “Let me eat him!”
While their weird and tense relationship takes up a significant section of the film (couples counseling is even mentioned), it isn’t what propels the plot forward. For his part, that goes to Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson, setting a new bar for overacting), an imprisoned serial murderer, who manages to bite Brock and inhale just enough fake blood to create his own monster, the red-hued Carnage, during a confrontation with Brock.
Even as Kasady and Carnage go on a killing and vengeance rampage to reconcile with their long-lost love (Naomie Harris), who has her own superpower that’s incompatible with the whole symbiote thing, Brock struggles to suppress his inner demon — and continues to pin for his ex (Michelle Williams).
Even though Sony’s Spider-Man screen management spawned Venom, the character’s horror foundations go into darker areas,
making the film’s PG-13 rating look even more dubious than it did in the first place. It goes without saying that parents who believe that the hilarious big-toothed monster is suitable fare for smaller children should be prepared to have them sleep in their rooms.
Although sharper comic-book fare can be found (see “Deadpool”), “Venom” confuses chaos with thrills. On the other hand, that could explain why the film’s protagonists are so brain-starved, given the film’s dearth of brains.
The US theatrical release of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” takes place on October 1. The film has an MPAA rating of PG-13.