An exercise in wonderful chaos

After countless delays, Eddie Brock and his voracious alien symbiote are finally back – and at their best – in the long-awaited sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Following the post-credits scene in the 2018 origin story Venom, this film officially introduces serial killer Cletus Kasady (without the wild curls) and alien symbiote Carnage. It’s a bloodthirsty, tentacle-filled romcom for the ages … essentially.

In the days since its premiere, Venom: Let There Be Carnage has proven to be a controversial topic among critics. A similar response flowed in after the first film, although it was ultimately a hit – according to regular audiences – anyway. With that in mind, Let There Be Carnage wastes no time writing a story to appease the naysayers. Unless you were on board in a lobster tank for Tom Hardy, you don’t deserve Venom in the club covered in glow sticks.

When you were expecting something different from a movie about a guy who spends most of his time arguing with the monster inside him in order to exercise enough self-control not to make innocent onlookers look like an all-you-can-eat buffet I’m not sure what to tell you. This movie is here for glorious mayhem and nothing less.

Sony / Marvel

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In a world where we’ve gotten so used to the upward trend in movies and shows about larger-than-life stories from superheroes, villains, and their cosmically catastrophic battles (which are certainly fun in themselves), Let There Be Carnage carves its own way and begs the audience easy to sit back and have fun. Sure, there’s an underlying storyline with a villain ready to strike, but this only serves as a vehicle for the tangy sweet sauce we’re all here for: the relationship between Eddie and Venom.

To borrow from the original, Let There Be Carnage depends heavily on this relationship and realizes how much it resonated with the audience in the first place. You are the beating heart of the Venom franchise and really the central aspect of this story. Armed with a snappy, hilarious, and downright hilarious script, Tom Hardy continues to deliver an incredibly entertaining and engaging performance as he portrays the ever-unpredictable Eddie while voicing the monstrously insatiable Venom.

In recognition of his time now on Earth and in Eddie’s mind, the film develops Venom’s antihero personality, values, and morals in an intuitive way that works well unlike those of its human host. Unsatisfied with a chocolate and chicken diet, Eddie should surely let him take a foray around town to snack on a few bad guys for the common good, right?

Their interactions have an unfiltered, out of joint edge that plays directly into the absurdity of their symbiotic connection in the best possible way. And I have no doubt that Hardy could easily sell a piece of life’s work by exploring nothing but Eddie and Venom’s angry, bickering married couple dynamics. I need to see Christmas morning with these two.

Still from carnageSony pictures

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As for the villains, Woody Harrelson brings Cletus Kasady to life with an insane, twisted portrayal that is heightened by the unforgiving darkness spawned with Carnage. While Venom has always been intimidating in itself, Carnage is a far more dangerous and brutal character, and this comes across fantastic in the visual effects used to create and animate the alien symbiote. In contrast to the otherwise humorous tone that is scattered through the film, Carnage’s scenes have a terrifying, terrifying touch.

Michelle Williams and Reid Scott are welcome returning players as Eddie’s ex Anne and her new boyfriend Dr. Dan. Amid the destructive, death-defying struggle that builds and unfolds between the symbiotes and their hosts, the film continues to build on the amusing dynamic established between Anne, Dan, Eddie and Venom in the first film.

After all, I would be remiss not to gesture vaguely wildly in the air in response to the bomb that was dropped during the post-credit scene of the film. While it remains to be seen where and when the repercussions of what is happening, it is guaranteed to be a game changer.

Overall, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a deliciously good time to generously reward fans for staying for the second part of the Eddie Brock and Venom odd couple story.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is now in theaters.