Venom Let There Be Carnage is the big budget, buddy-cop, bromance, alien movie no-one asked for, but many will be glad they got. The pace is supersonic and stays that way throughout the movie. The plot is sparse and completely irrelevant. It only serves as a vehicle for Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson to crank their performances up to 11 as fast as inhumanly possible. Tom Hardy seems to be having as much fun here and he did in the first movie. By far the best parts of 2018’s “Venom” was the dynamic between the titular flamboyant symbiote and his jaded host reporter Eddie Brock. This sequel doubles down on that dynamic and their interactions are the most fun aspects of this movie. The actors all seemed to have fun hamming it up and the tone was absolutely cartoonish, albeit consistent.
One of the things that crippled the first movie for me was incoherent action. The dark cinematography and never-ending grey CGI left me squinting and trying to figure out where we were in a space. Let There Be Carnage improves on that slightly but still falls into those same tendencies. The cinematography is needlessly underexposed. When you have a pitch black protagonist, and a villain that is extremely similar except red, that poses a real problem. The actors were all engaging and the campiness felt very intentional, but they weren’t given much to work with. I didn’t care if any character died because they weren’t given any emotionality in the script. The movie could’ve used a slightly slower pace to flesh out some characters just enough for us to actually care what happens to them in the third act.
This will definitely have its audience. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a paint-by-numbers story that does the bare minimum so that you can see two similar CG aliens, crack one liners, beat the shit out of each other, and destroy stuff. If you are in the mood for that or it sounds like a fun time, then you will love this movie. I appreciated how self aware and tonally consistent it was, but overall I found it visually exhausting and wholly uninteresting.