Synopsis: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) further explores the combined character of Eddie Brock/Venom (Tom Hardy). This time, a nightmarish symbiote is accidentally created. So, we see our anti-hero character face off against a seriously dangerous foe indeed . . .
It’s been a long wait for fans to see what was promised at the end of Venom (2018). Furthermore, following the huge success of the first (our review of Venom will recap things for you) installment, there was a good deal of pressure to get this film right. Fortunately, that was the case. The film’s “big bad” was od course Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) and of course, inevitably Carnage . . . And, the way the character was managed really worked well. It was a hard to job to create a worthy adversary, and an interesting one, too. But that’s exactly what was achieved, with skill, in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Strong character writing made sure that that was the case.
On a surface level, the film was Venom against Carnage. However, there was more substance, when you really start to look beneath the fighting and effects. As well as showing us who Eddie Brock really is, we also were given a complex villain, who was very much a product of a brutal environment, and societal failing. The same was also true of Francis Barrison/Shriek (Naomie Harris). The result was a love story that was steeped in tragedy, and one that was compelling to explore. It elevated the story to more than just a romp.
It’s perhaps not obvious just how good Tom Hardy is as Eddie Brock, at first. But when really consider his character exploration, it’s evident in abundance. For example, Hardy draws on his own struggles as a younger man, and uses the experience to truly humanize Brock, and endear him to audiences. To stand toe to toe with Hardy is a tough ask. Yet, Woody Harrelson was superbly cast and managed to provide a multi-faceted depiction of a complicated, terrifying villain. Harrelson showed us the horrors abuse can cause.
The characters who received less screen time also deserve serious praise, too. It doesn’t seem right to simply label Michelle Williams and Naomie Harris as “the support cast”. Both actors put their own stamp on the film, dominating certain scenes they were in. Michelle Williams, returning as Anne Weying showed great range, from funny to fierce. And, Naomi Harris was also very versatile, too.
CGI & Effects
There were some huge fight scenes in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. And, they were wonderfully designed. As well as the clashes between the two symbiotes, there were other standout scenes. One was the fight between Eddie and Venom. The way it was orchestrated incorporated elements of slapstick comedy, which really worked to make the scene what it was intended to be. Great to see some thought behind the “big bucks action”. The movie’s crescendo provided a non-stop, breathtaking sequence, that showed just how dangerous the symbiotes are. The studio really saved the best for last, and pulled out all the stops to create an unforgettable end.
It was important to build on the first installment, and actually get to know the character of Venom some more. This was much more focused on Venom, or, at least more equally. One brilliant way we gained insight into Venom was the chickens. Venom is happy to devour human heads, brains and all, but won’t kill “Sonny and Cher”, the two chickens Eddie bought to feed him. This was a great way to present an anti-hero, and show that he’s really got a big heart, beneath that oily black alien skin. Like Eddie, he struggles in the world, and we saw that. It’s well worth sticking around once the credits start to roll, to see what’s next for our favourite symbiote . . .
- CGI & Effects9.8
- Incidental Music9.1