For an October line-up that’s stacked with highly anticipated film releases, this is such a dull way to kick off the month.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” picks up again with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) still trying to establish himself as a writer after the events of “Venom.” His big break appears when known cannibal and serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) requests for Brock specifically to visit him in prison and tell his life story. After speaking with Kasady, Brock — and his symbiotic alien friend Venom — helps the police find the missing bodies of Kasady’s victims, resulting in Kasady being placed on death row. After Kasady requests one more chat with Brock before he’s sentenced to death, they get into an altercation and Kasady bites Brock, transferring some of the symbiote over to himself.
With the help of his newborn alien friend Carnage, Kasady breaks out of prison and seeks revenge on Brock for almost getting him executed, but not before breaking his old lover (Naomie Harris), with her own set of sonic powers, out of an asylum. While Kasady is breaking out, Brock and Venom get into an argument and separate, literally, and Venom goes off to have his own self-discovery journey as he parties his way through the city of San Francisco. Meanwhile, Brock finds out that Kasady has escaped and becomes frantic with the knowledge that Kasady is coming after him. After Kasady kidnaps Brock’s old flame, Anne (Michelle Williams), he has no choice but to team up with Venom again and face Carnage once and for all.
Overall, the film just seemed disjointed. It was as if the writers had ideas for each individual scene, but didn’t know how to connect them, so they just threw them all together and hoped for the best. The pacing gave me whiplash within the first five minutes. Certain plot beats also needed more explanation, like how Kasady got his powers from just biting Brock and how that makes him more powerful than Brock. There’s also a point when Venom and Carnage are about to square off, and Venom shies away and says, “That’s a red one,” as if that’s supposed to mean something to us. I’m sure if you read the comics and know the backstory of Carnage you understood that part, but I was left wanting a bit more explanation.
Another part I wish was more fleshed out was the horror of Carnage. I remember growing up and knowing that Carnage was the most terrifying of the Spider-Man and Venom villains, being a serial killer combined with a homicidal alien symbiote whose only purpose was to wreak havoc on the human race. However, in the film, Carnage just gets absolutely demolished by Venom in every fight except for three occasions where he gets the upper hand, and Kasady comes off as a whiny baby whose only focus is his love interest.
I wanted this film to be a chilling thriller flick where we were genuinely terrified of the monster that had been created and portrayed through Kasady. The only real moment of horror I saw from this movie was when Carnage was first introduced, and I think they did a pretty good job with it considering it was only about 10 seconds of the film.
I feel like if the writers gave a little more explanation for why everything was happening and fleshed out the new characters a bit more, I would’ve really enjoyed this film. The action scenes were decent, and I was invested in the split between Brock and Venom, but it just fell flat in the villains category.
So, if you’re a Marvel fan who’s just looking for more content to fill the time before “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” releases, but isn’t really looking for a stellar flick, this is a perfectly decent option for you to see on the big screen.