'Venom Let Ther Be Carnage' (2021) Review: Symbiote Squabbles
At just over 90 minutes, ‘Venom Let There Be Carnage’ is miniscule compared to your usual comic book blockbuster. The film is content with keeping things brief, something that mostly works to the movie’s advantage. The action is charged and all semblance of fat has been trimmed, but viewers might find themselves out of breath by the end of the first act.
The sequel sprints from the starting line and keeps momentum at a near disorienting speed. It blazes through what feel like important story details, and keeps you from taking stock of them before it moves on to the next scene. Thankfully, once it’s laid down the building blocks with haste, ‘Venom Let There Be Carnage’ has a solid foundation for the main attraction.
Watching Tom Hardy argue with himself is once again a sight to behold. Venom and Eddie Brock might be joined at the hip, but their minds are far from symbiotic in this film. Turns out, an alien being with a hunger for human flesh is a less than ideal roommate. Especially one that you can’t ever get away from. Then again Eddie Brock’s narcissism doesn’t make him an ideal candidate for friendship.
The movie makes you invested in the relationship between host and symbiote much like a bickering couple in a romantic comedy. ‘Venom Let There Be Carnage’ cares more about the relationships with its characters, than the overall plot. A plot that hinges on those exact relationships.
Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Cassidy is the villain of the film; a convicted serial killer who gets a symbiote of his own. He’s driven by his personal vendetta against Eddie Brock, all without the burden of a pesky moral compass. Watching Harrelson revel in villainy is fun, but he’s overshadowed by a genuinely off putting Naomi Watts as Shriek, the film’s secondary foe. Still, what Harrelson lacks in charisma, the film makes up for with some gloriously excessive action when Carnage lets loose.
‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ improves on what worked in the first film, and excels where it faltered. Andy Serkis is no stranger to the necessities of making a digital character feel tactile, and that shows in his direction. The way Venom navigates the world is leaps beyond his 2018 debut. While the film makes short work of its set up, the end result is a brisk and refine action comedy that’s anchored by an ensemble that moves like a well oiled machine.
Rating: Big Screen Watch
Note: With the recent restrictions imposed in the fight against Covid-19, cinemas are suffering now more than ever. While I appreciate you reading this review, movies are still incredibly subjective. If you think you might enjoy yourself, I encourage everyone to support the cinema industry as much as they can, and safely enjoy an evening at the movies. Stay safe, and remember, life’s too short for bad movies.