Venom: Let There Be Carnage: A Ludicrous Game of “Yes, and…” Played With a Lunatic

Dept. of Chicken Brains and Chocolate


The first Venom was weird. A solo outing for a new iteration of a “classic” 90s Spider-Man villain who, due to Sony/Marvel contract issues, had never actually met Spider-Man. It was also an excuse for Tom Hardy to indulge in some his more gonzo acting tendencies (remember the lobster scene).

Naturally it was a massive success.

Do you think Sony Pictures, awed by their success, decided to rein things in a bit for their symbiote’s second outing in Venom: Let There Be Carnage?

Oh hell no!


The script for Venom: Let There Be Carnage feels like a massive game of “yes, and…” played with a lunatic. Seeing as Hardy gets a “story by” credit in the sequel with the returning Kelly Marcel, he may well be that lunatic.

Are Eddie and the Venom symbiote still together?

Yes, and…they are subsisting on a diet of chocolate and chicken brains (Venom needs Phenylethylamine to survive and that’s where you find it).

Does Tom Hardy still act like a meth addict?

Yes, and… the sequel ups the ante by having Eddie Brock and Venom recreate that classic “Odd Couple” chemistry! Only Walther Mathau is a down on his luck shit heel who screws up everything he touches and Jack Lemon is a brain snacking symbiote with impulse control issues! And they’re both played by Tom Hardy, talking to himself!

Did they somehow convince four time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams to return?

Yes, and… they have Venom pine after her for most of the movie! She has about 10 minutes of screen time and engages in one of the most awkward on screen couple’s therapy sessions ever!

Is Woody Harellson any good as Carnage?

Yes and… he’s surprisingly spry for a 60-year-old! Also he does a riff on Natural Born Killers but with increasingly unlikely haircuts and Guy Fieri wardrobe choices!

If it’s doing Natural Born Killers shouldn’t there be someone filling the Juliette Lewis role? 

Yes, and… the movie makes it Naomie Harris, recreating her Tia Dalma look from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, as Shriek! The movie also makes her an actual mutant with absolutely no follow up whatsoever!

Hey Eddie!

Does Mrs. Chen (Peggy Lu) return!?

Yes, and… she’s got a “hilarious” scene with Michelle Wiliams!

Does it reference the comics?

Yes, and… it includes as many instances of Venom saying “Lethal Protector” as they can cram into the runtime (almost as much as he says “Eddie”), but only includes one non-lethal incident of protecting the inhabitants of San Fran! Also it strips Carnage (as opposed to Cletus) of any real motivations apart from causing chaos!

Does any of this matter?

Yes, and… well no, actually. It doesn’t really.

Eddie, We Should Be Out There Snacking on Bad Guys!

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is already a smash hit, before it arrives on Malaysian shores (well apart from that time it crash landed here in the first movie), but I’ve almost forgotten about it already, apart from that mid-credits scene.

The best parts of the movie are the sequences with Hardy freaking out as he tries to rein in Venom: stopping himself from eating people, attacking people, hitting people he’s like a super powered toddler. I found myself laughing out loud at numerous absolutely ludicrous moments in the film, and so did the audience at my public screening. Venom is the weird Jekyll and Hyde of superhero movies. When it sticks to doing that, it’s a great ride. 

Unfortunately, it’s also subject to the law of super hero movies that states that they all must end with two, or more, CGI creations battling it out in a weightless, no stakes fight. The climax feels utterly pointless after Venom initially tries to run away (“That, is a red one!”) as Venom/Eddie is speared over and over again by Carnage, who is, in turn battered over and over again by Venom. All to zero lasting effect. It doesn’t help that the effects at this point are pretty muddy and murky. Carnage’s red colouring also highlights some issues that Venom’s hides.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is worth watching for the laughs it delivers and Hardy’s deranged performance. Even if you want to leave during the climactic battle, stick around for the mid credits sequence that points to some interesting future directions for Sony’s symbiote.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is now showing in Malaysian cinemas

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

Meenakshi Sundareshwar
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