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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Venom: Let there be Carnage (2021)

Film Review: Venom: Let there be Carnage (2021)

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The continued adventures of Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote. This time he faces his greatest challenge to date, the offspring of his symbiote, the deadly and demented Carnage.


Anyone that knows me knows that I love Spider-Man. I am also very fond of Venom too, so I was super hyped to see Venom: Let there be Carnage, especially because it marked the cinematic debut of the always cool Carnage. I went into it with extremely lofty expectations and couldn’t wait to see Venom and his arch nemesis battle it out on the big screen. In the end though, even though I liked it for the most part, I still walked away feeling a little underwhelmed overall.

The premise is simple enough. Eddie tries to go about having a normal life despite the fact that he is bonded with an alien being. As tensions between the two build the worst possible thing happens: deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady bonds with the symbiote’s offspring and goes on a murderous rampage as Carnage, and only Venom can stop him. Sounds cool, right? It was, for the most part, and it’s a fun ride for the most part, but there are also several issues that take away from the film that kept me from enjoying it as much as I’d hoped I would before I saw it.

Tom Hardy does a wonderful job as Venom. He gets the character (for the most part) and is similar to the way Eddie/Venom are portrayed in the comic book. Likewise, Woody Harrelson is quite awesome as Cletus/Carnage. Naomie Harris is decent as Frances/Shriek, and Michelle Williams does OK once again as Anne, Eddie’s ex-wife (even though she is totally different in the comic book and is a lot less fond of the alien costume). I think that the cast is the main strength of the movie as everyone really does an excellent job, especially Hardy and Harrelson (though I wish Woody had been a little more demented, more on that later).

I also dug the fight scenes as well. Venom and Carnage really go at each other and are determined to tear the other apart. We also get Venom taking out random, nameless bad guys too before he battles it out with Kasady, and those scenes were fun too. My only complaint when it comes to the fight scenes is that Venom and Carnage only face off once towards the end, and I was hoping they would have crossed paths several times before their inevitable final showdown. Still, their one fight is pretty awesome, and I enjoyed it.

My biggest problem with the movie is that it is way too comedic at times. Venom is a darker character in u it). His comedic interactions with the symbiote get old very quickly in the movie and the whole Odd Couple thing they keep harping on doesn’t quite work. The scene where they fight each other and the suit leaves Eddie was way too hokey for me as well, and I remember rolling my eyes a few times during this bit. If they do another movie (and I am sure they will considering the after credits scene) I am hoping the tone is a little more serious and darker and less cheesy and comedic.

I also thought that Carnage could have been a lot more hardcore as well. He is a total nutcase in the comic book and is scary as hell. He likes tearing people apart and is so brutal and psychotic even Spidey is scared of him. Yes, he kills people in the movie, but the death scenes are nothing special and don’t really feel like anything Carnage would do (what was up with the weird tornado thing he does in the prison when he kills the warden? I have no idea). I think the biggest problem here with Carnage is that the movie was rated PG-13 and should have been R in order to do the character correctly. Don’t get me wrong, I liked what they did with him (though the love story thing was a bit of a stretch even though he is in a relationship of sorts with Shriek in the comics), but I was hoping he was going to be a little more brutal and everything.

In the end, I enjoyed Venom: Let there be Carnage, but not as much as I was hoping I would. It’s a fun brainless movie and could have been a lot worse, but I hope they go in another direction for the next one and make it closer to its comic book roots (I know Toxin is going to show up and really hope that Knull does as well, and they do him correctly). Check it out if you are into the character, you will dig it if you leave your expectations at the door.

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