Venom: Let There Be Carnage PG-13
Once more Venom returns, but this time with Andy Serkis at the helm directing the Lethal Protector’s sequel. Don’t get me wrong, the first movie was fantastic, especially for an “origin” movie that wasn’t allowed to mention or even implicate the existence of Spider-Man or any other Marvel movies. But when Venom (2018) was slow (my only issue with the film), it was slow.
Let There Be Carnage immediately addresses the titled villain of the show who had been teased during the end credits of Venom, Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). Like most movies or television shows Harrelson is in, he absolutely dominates the screen and draws your attention. He plays the role with his obvious skill at being an unhinged lunatic while managing to come across as oddly vulnerable and, dare I say, almost likable.
How is that possible? Naomie Harris plays Cletus’ true love, Frances Barrison (aka Shriek), a mutant with the ability to control sound with her terrifying screams. Together Harris and Harrelson create a deranged love story that fulfills that pesky requirement for romance in these big budget superhero/action films.
Let There Be Carnage takes us on another ride that is clever, funny as hell, and full of action from beginning to end! Once more Williams and Reid return to play Anne and Dan while Peggy Lu returns as Mrs. Chen, and all three get their moment to shine in the film. Rather than feeling forced and awkward like so many shows that try to give their actors a few extra minutes of screen time, their presence through out the film makes as much sense in the sequel as it did in the first!
While the performances of the supporting cast were intriguing and an absolute blast to watch, Tom Hardy had no problem standing beside the likes of Woody Harrelson or Michelle Williams. Just like the first movie, Hardy is superb with his delivery as Brock, as he manages to have full on arguments with himself that are so perfectly timed we have to wonder how he does it! He manages to be humorous, strong, pathetic, and wise as both of the characters he plays while still keeping them separate. That’s crucial because, if you haven’t seen or read anything about Brock and Venom, they are in fact two very different characters with equally different motivations and plans.
Venom and Eddie were each allowed to thrive and grow in a genre that doesn’t often allow for a lot of character development. The movie was brilliant and is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen in years. While I know that may not be a big seller during the COVID-19 era, I can promise you that this film would have stood against the majority of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has been better than every single live-action “remake” of Disney’s classics.
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I’ll even do you one better. I think both of the Venom films, this one in particular, were better than the Tobey Maguire era Spider-Man films.
And can I just say… That mid-credit scene? I don’t think I’ve ever been so hyped for a third installment in my life.