Venom Lacks Potency

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the sequel to the 2018 original starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and his symbiotic companion Venom. While it is a fun continuation that embraces the odd and darkly humorous tones of the original, it fails to properly build on its foundations.

Beginning with a flashback, we get some background on the serial killer we were introduced to in the mid-credits scene of the previous film. Kasady, played by Jack Bandeira as a child and Woody Harrelson in the rest of the film, watches his girlfriend get taken away. Fast-forward to the present day: Kasady is on death row and wants Eddie to tell his story. However, Eddie and Venom are able to uncover more than Kasady intended, leading Kasady to provoke and attack Eddie by biting him. This leads to Kasady ingesting a small piece of Venom that grows inside of him until we see the emergence of the character everyone showed up to see – Carnage.

What follows is the series of heavily CGI-ed fight scenes that we have come to expect from this sort of superhero movie, the ridiculously persistent cliché in which a superhero must lose his powers at some point in the sequel, and a constant stream of bickering between Brock and Venom. Particular emphasis must be placed on the bickering because it is almost constant throughout the film, to the point that the film almost feels like a dark romantic comedy between the two. Hardy should be congratulated for being able to carry off the two roles as well as he did, even if the film does a little too much talking and too little actual doing. Despite this, it is still a decently enjoyable film with an almost B-movie-esque oddity to it that is absent in most modern superhero films. Also, the ending, though somewhat out of nowhere, makes this required viewing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

All in all, 3 out of 5

Not as good as it should have been, but acceptable.