The following review was written by six people who live together and all went to see the movie “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” together.
Jake Dabkowski: “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a fever dream of mediocrity, containing all the terrible writing and bland color scheme of the first movie, only this time with the addition of Carnage, the second most well known Marvel Comics symbiote (next to the titular Venom). This movie is the definition of “fine.” It’s not bad, and I enjoyed my time with it, but nothing from it actually stuck with me. The movie just sort of happens in front of you, set in a universe that is actually a confusing liminal space adjacent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, pretending to and (presumably) eventually forcing its way into one of the largest movie franchises of all time, a franchise that clearly had zero interest in this movie. 3/5 Globes
Krys Baklarz: Having gone into the movie expecting it to be silly and lacking any real tension, it was a fun time! It’s a movie that I feel you can only really enjoy by going with a group of friends to laugh at. The movie retreads old plot points that should have been resolved in the previous film and wastes time on pointless comedic relief scenes that could have been used to make Carnage out to be more of a threat or to push the narrative. It doesn’t help that the final act sorely lacks in comparison to the first, and it’s just as confusing to keep up with the CGI fighting. I’m sure that if I was attached to these characters through the comics, I’d despise both of the Venom movies. Thankfully, I just watched these movies for fun, so they’re just fine. 3/5 Globes
Dan Russo: Easily my favorite part of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was the cameo appearance from one of my favorite women on the planet, Little Simz. I think it’s really funny that she just happened to also have a song titled “Venom,” and they let her be in the movie. I adore her and am looking forward to the inevitable boost in her career that this movie will bring. This has much larger ramifications in the canon as a whole, because it has been established officially that Venom is a Little Simz fan. That sits just fine with me. Something that didn’t sit well with me was Woody Harrelson having a full head of hair. 3/5 Globes
Zack Lawry: Despite the film’s title, the studio behind this movie did not “let there be carnage.” Sure, the character, Carnage ,is in the movie, but there is not much in the way of the violence and brutality that originally earned the character their name. Carnage does a lot of his destruction off-screen, presumably to avoid an R-rating, which keeps the character from coming off as menacing and malicious as is implied. This is very much a case of telling, rather than showing. The film does well to demonstrate Carnage’s power and what he could be capable of, but it doesn’t really show the character using that strength in a particularly malicious way. Carnage comes off as a villain well enough, but never does anything particularly reprehensible to make your skin crawl – something you would really expect from the combination of a serial killer and an evil alien monster. Speaking of the serial killer – this movie does the thing where they provide a backstory that somehow justifies the serial killer’s actions (to some extent) in an attempt to humanize them. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Hollywood romanticizing serial killers, but at least this one is fictional. Complaints aside, the movie itself was entertaining and didn’t take itself too seriously. I had fun, and I think that’s the most important thing. Also, I agree with Dan. Woody Harrelson shouldn’t have hair. 3.5/5 Globes
Zac Wittman: I was worried that this movie would take itself a bit too seriously, as that tends to happen with many superhero sequels. However, this movie genuinely feels like it was written by 8 year-olds in the best possible way. The subplot involving Shriek and Carnage was the most overblown hamfisted attempt at melodrama that alternated between boring me to death and making this film hilariously quotable. I will say, the heightened banter between Venom and Eddie Brock really made this one all the more enjoyable. I have seen people claim that the film has almost rom-com elements thrown into their relationship, and director Andy Serkis has explicitly said that there are LGBTQIA+ undertones to the film. Honestly, while it does lead to some great banter, I am conflicted on Serkis’ handling of this dynamic, as neither characters are confirmed to be a part of the LGBTQIA community. On another note, the action sequences felt rewarding enough, with Venom’s final one liner being a wonderful sendoff to the fight. As others have noted, Woody Harrelson was bonkers and an odd fit, especially with that stupid haircut. The post-credit scene did really get me extremely excited, but I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. I will spoil this though; there is in fact Carnage (the character). 3/5 Globes
Michael Zimmerman: I was really excited to see the sequel to one of the first action rom-coms in the MCU. I was especially looking forward to seeing one of my favorite characters, Carnage, represented on the big screen. Sadly, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” focused a bit too much on the romantic comedy side of the movie. The movie focused too much on Venom and Eddie having issues and the relationship that Woody Harrelson’s character, Cletus Kasady, had with a brand new character called “Shriek.” Seeing as this movie is an hour and thirty-seven minutes long, it has far too many characters to follow and this makes the character development suffer a bit – Thus, Carnage has no personality, Cletus only speaks in poems, and Shriek only screams. I feel that if this movie dropped Shriek and the “Carnage Wedding,” it would benefit greatly by giving it more time for character development. I also feel that (although I am a fan of his work) Woody Harrelson was not the best casting choice for Cletus Kasady. I think that he did a good job with what he was given, but I also feel that there were better options to have played Cletus Kasady. Overall, the movie was entertaining to watch, but with some changes it could have been a lot better. 2.5/5 Globes