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  • Writer's pictureOli Law

Venom: Let There be Carnage ★★

Andy Serkis

Starring Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Stephen Graham

Tom Hardy returns as Sony's ‘Lethal Protector’ (and only financially successful attempt at a shared film universe) to prove exactly what they don’t want you to think…Spider-Man characters do not work on their own.

The initial warning before the lights went down about turning off your phone, forgot to ask viewers to turn off their brain as well, and this might have improved the overall experience.

2018’s Venom was a bad movie, with an extremely short run time and a goofy premise about a reporter living with a space alien inside of him. Like the parasite itself, viewers clung on to the only thing capable of carrying this premise - Hollywood superstar hard man Tom Hardy, whose dual role as Eddie Brock and the symbiote Venom provide the lazy story with much needed banter and chemistry.

Roll on to 2021, and that is still the only thing to enjoy in its sequel Venom: Let there be Carnage, a rushed cringe-filled splatter painting with ideas and characters fans will regret asking for.

Carnage was always a fan favourite character in the Spider-Man pantheon. After Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, many believed that although his iteration of Venom was butchered, at least the way was now paved for our Cold-Blooded Killer.

Alas, 3 reboots later and opposite Hardy’s Venom, Woody Harrelson is our Cletus Kasady with a rushed backstory and no connection to the character he was always designed to combat.

Harrelson is fine as the movies’ antagonist but you can’t help but feel his casting would be better suited under Raimi’s direction and against Tobey Maguire’s Spidey. Except for one spine-chilling opening scream, Carnage never truly earns his fan-favourite status.

You never sense the conflict between Brock and Kasady either, removing the weight to any battle they have and ultimately making you thankful it’s all resolved within an hour and a half.

Although the supporting cast can be seen sweating through the material they’ve been given, no-one really has a stand out moment to elevate Let there be Carnage above its singular action movie layer.

The dialogue from everyone all round is perhaps the most corny a superhero film has been since the Infamous Fan4stic, with the exception of a few witty jokes delivered by our titular anti-hero.

Although it boasts some scenes of impressive CGI, it never does anything to dabble into the extraordinary and leaves you with a feeling that the movie was made and released in the wrong decade.

Venom: Let there Be Carnage will impress fans of the original and nobody else. The wall-crawler’s absence continues to cast a huge shadow on Sony’s toy box when he’s not in play (like we didn’t already know before).

Venom: Let There be Carnage available in cinemas now

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