“Venom: Let There Be Carnage”: When Gollum makes a superhero movie

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage”
When Gollum makes a superhero film

In “Venom 2” the title antihero has to deal with the monster Carnage (picture).

© © 2021 Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH

In “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” Tom Hardy throws himself into chaos once more. But it is not only the hero who sometimes appears schizophrenic.

Success proves right. The comic book adaptation “Venom” from 2018 serves as good evidence for this thesis. The flick with Tom Hardy (44) in the lead role was not given rave reviews. But the bright flick about an unwanted human-alien symbiosis brought in over 850 million US dollars worldwide. Instead of Ruben Fleischer, “Lord of the Rings” star Andy Serkis (57) took a seat in the director’s chair for the sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” (theatrical release: October 21). Even if it seems as if Gollum has taken over the scepter for a time …

Pretty much the best symbiotes – that’s what it’s about

The furious and increasingly furious reporter Eddie Brock (Hardy) still has to share his body with an alien life form called Venom. Even the alien is more and more dissatisfied with this carnal purpose flat share: instead of tasty human brain, he is on a chicken and chocolate diet against his will. However, a change of host is not an option, as viewers know from part one – only Eddie’s body does not seem to want to repel Venom immediately.

Speaking of repulsive: the psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson, 60) has been rotting away in jail for decades. However, many of his victims have not yet been found. This is where Eddie comes in. He is supposed to get Cletus behind bars to reveal their graves via an exclusive interview. A pleasant side effect for the investigative journalist: With the deal, he could polish up his badly battered reputation. But the killer also has a plan. With the interview he wants to send a message to his no less manic love Frances Barrison (Naomie Harris, 45). However, Venom intervenes brutally as usual and the chaos takes its course.

Between serious and silly

In part one, it was Hardy’s excessive facial play that made “Venom” so appealing. In fact, he used it to steal the show from some of the computer-generated action scenes from antihero Venom. In “Let There Be Carnage” too, Hardy goes to great lengths, but the situation is far more ungrateful. Much of the comedy that emerged from Hardy’s internal power struggle with Venom could already be seen in the predecessor. Or to be heard in the form of the alien’s numerous online liners. Some of the gags still ignite, many don’t.

As schizophrenic as the main character seems to be for his environment, the whole film sometimes seems at odds. The two antagonists, Cletus and Frances, are given a dark, tragic background story that is captivating. However, she bites herself badly with the gaudy title hero. A similar discrepancy annoyed with “Deadpool 2”, when the title loudmouth (Ryan Reynolds) met the character Cable (Josh Brolin), who was inflicted with one of the most tragic fates in the whole MCU.

It almost seems as if it was not Andy Serkis who wrestled with himself on the director’s chair, but his iconic “Lord of the Rings” figure Gollum. Help the nasty hobbits or cut their throats? Seriously or silly to tell “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”? In the end, the decision was made on the latter at the expense of the opponents.

“Natural Born Killer” with unnatural hair

As long as Woody Harrelson sits behind bars as the comic version of Hannibal Lecter, he does his job convincingly. But as soon as chaos breaks out with him, it becomes cartoonish. As a copy of his “Natural Born Killers” role, Harrelson pulls once more murderously across the screen – only now at the age of 60 and a bad toupee. From then on he no longer appears as a threatening adversary, not even in the rather generic action sequences between Hardy’s Venom and Harrelson’s Carnage.

The biggest omission of the short film with 97 minutes can be found in the female characters. While Michelle Williams (41) was allowed to stand up to Eddie’s ex Anne in part one, she is now only the “damsel in distress” who serves to advance the plot. And Naomie Harris’ character also remains too pale after an initially atmospheric introduction.


Missed the chance? Not quite. Even “Venom” was far from perfect, but it still met the taste of many viewers. First figures from the USA show that this also applies to the sequel. As a silly and entertaining escape from reality, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is again ideally suited. If there wasn’t a special scene that had nothing to do with the actual film, it would have been forgotten when you left the cinema. In this sense: It was seldom more important to stay seated after the credits …


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