Venom: Let There Be CARNAGE Review


Carnage from Columbia Pictures’ VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE. PHOTO BY: Courtesy of Sony Pictures COPYRIGHT: ©2021 CTMG, Inc. All rights reserved.

Logan Williams, Author

“Venom: Let There Be CARNAGE” is a sequel to the box-office hit Venom (2018). This review will be completely spoiler free. Venom 2 has a very short runtime that comes out to be 90 minutes. The film opens with a down-on-his-luck Eddie Brock who is sent to San Quentin State Prison. His reason for being there is to meet with the serial killer Cletus Kasady to try and help the cops figure out where Cletus hid the bodies of those he murdered. Cletus goes on-and-on about life and offers Eddie a proposition. Report this message to the paper and I’ll tell you everything, is what Cletus offers up. Eddie agrees, as he turns to walk out he notices some pictures on the wall of a cell. Venom takes over his body and memorizes it all. After that opening, the movie truly starts since a similar interaction can be seen in a post-credits scene in the first film. 

When a film has that short of a run time it has to get you hooked into the story almost immediately. That way none of it feels rushed and the audience can leave feeling satisfied. I, for one, did not leave the cinema feeling satisfied. Andy Serkis was the director for this sequel and it shows. The CGI (Computer Generated Image) work is extremely impressive and it shows that this was the main focal point of the filmmakers. It also had some great action for how little of it there was. And don’t even get me started on how stellar of a job that Woody Harrelson does when portraying Cletus Kasady/Carnage. Tom Hardy also does a great job in this film, it’s not his best work but it was still very nice to see. The supporting cast also did pretty well for an extremely poor script. Aside from the CGI work that was done, the other major stand out was the soundtrack. Just like the first film the soundtrack was definitely the best part of the film. Personally I believe that Marco Beltrami(the composer for this film) is seriously underrated, he’s done some great work but will sadly get overshadowed by the likes of some of the greats, such as Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and Howard Shore but he does a stellar job in this film. And that’s not all. “Last One Standing” by Skylar Grey ft. Polo G, Mozzy, & Eminem is definitely a highlight of the soundtrack. “Last One Standing” serves as this film’s “theme song” just like how “Venom” (by Eminem) did for the first film. 

Now that I got the majority of the good things out of the way it’s time to touch on some of the bad. The writing and editing in this film absolutely blows. The writing is the worst thing about this film. The writing suffers from what I dub the “Marvel Effect”.  The “Marvel Effect” is something that, in my opinion, is ruining modern day superhero films. The Effect happens when a film is trying to tackle very dark and serious tones and ideas, but because superhero films are supposed to be light-hearted fun the writers make sure to throw in a joke even if it doesn’t fit. Both “Avengers: Endgame” and now “Venom: Let There Be CARNAGE” are prime examples of this. This is heavily apparent in this film because rather than setting a dark and serious tone for the villain (which is seriously needed for a character like carnage), it feels more like a Venom/Eddie Brock buddy film that would’ve been made in the late 80’s rather than a serious focus on the truly dark tone that Carnage imposes. It’s not only the tone that is messed up by the writers, it’s also the pacing. Like I mentioned before, the film is only an hour and a half long. The first 30-minutes feels like only ten minutes while the middle of the movie feels like 2-hours. The dramatic climax takes roughly 20-minutes to unfurl but feels like only five minutes. The blame doesn’t only fall on the writers, it also lands on the editors. This film has some truly bad editing. I can’t get into details since I don’t want to spoil anything but you can take my word for it. Another downside was the amount of action in this film.  The marketing made it out to be this epic brawl in multiple different sets but in reality it really wasn’t. It was genuinely disappointing. What made it even worse was that it felt like they didn’t get to show off the truly epic CGI that they put so much time and money into making look awesome.

That was the majority of what I thought about the good and bad parts of the film. I could’ve kept going but I’d like to keep this review slightly spoiler free. After thinking about this film more I’d have to say that this film was only fine. At the end of the day I’d give it a 6.5/10. It wasn’t terrible and I wanted to give it a nine-out-of-ten purely for the CGI but all the downsides just withheld it from reaching that height. If you like Woody Harrelson I’d say go see it in theaters, but you wouldn’t be missing much if you just wait for it to eventually come to a streaming service or become available to rent digitally.