“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a follow-up movie to the first “Venom” picture released in 2018. The comic book character Venom originated in the Marvel Comics series about Spiderman. But there are few spiders in this web of carnage. Instead, movie leans on investigative reporters and serial killers locked in a battle of symbiote supremacy. If you don’t know what that means, then read on…
In San Francisco, there is a down-on-his-luck investigative reporter named Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy). As seen in the “Venom” movie, Eddie was joined up with an alien life form called a symbiote. These are shape-shifting creatures that can terrify and kill. Brock can become ‘Venom’ when it is required, but Venom is a pushy and aggressive symbiote who wants to eat everybody he sees. Eddie has made Venom agree to only eat the ‘bad guys’, so they can fight crime together and have some tasty snacks.
California serial killer Cletus Kasady (played by Woody Harrelson) is in prison and will be put to death. Nobody knows where his victims are buried, but Cletus wants only to talk to Eddie Brock. Brock hears his story, which he thinks makes no sense. Venom is able to see what Cletus wants. Cletus is looking for his old girlfriend, who is kept in a secret location. Frances Barrison (played by Naomie Harris) is known as Shriek. She can use a super-powered ability to scream and destroy things in her path. She had almost been shot dead as a child by a young policeman named Mulligan (played by Stephen Graham).
Detective Mulligan wants Eddie Brock to get information about Cletus and where he buried his victims. Venom solves the mystery and Eddie goes to the FBI. Mulligan thinks Eddie Brock must be hiding a secret, because he did not tell the Detective everything. Brock’s old girlfriend Anne (played by Michelle Williams) lets him know she will be getting married to Doctor Dan Lewis (played by Reid Scott). Venom takes this news badly, and the symbiote separates by Eddie Brock.
But this is after Brock sees Cletus Kasady one last time, before his execution. Cletus has serious issues, of course, and he bites Eddie. Some of the symbiote blood transfers over to Cletus. Cletus transforms into a symbiote named Carnage. Carnage breaks out of prison and Cletus finds the secret prison that is holding Shriek. Cletus and Carnage break out Shriek, and they become a couple of ‘unnatural born killers’ (so to speak). Brock is now without Venom, and he does not know how to find the symbiote.
Venom is grabbing random hosts to travel around, attend raves, and generally having a good time. Eventually, Venom finds its way back to the corner store run by Mrs. Chen (played by Peggy Lu). Anne and Dr. Dan meet up with Mrs. Chen to find Venom. Brock and Venom are brought together again. Cletus and Shriek are bent on revenge, chaos and murder. Not necessarily in that order. There will be a huge fight that will go down in the final part of the movie, with man against man, and symbiote against symbiote.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a movie mostly for the big Comic Book fans of the Symbiote creatures. The special effects are done very well. That is not surprising, considering the Director (Andy Serkis) is the king of motion-capture CGI characters (think ‘Gollum’ from the “Lord of the Rings” movies). Tom Hardy does a fitting job as the human side of the Eddie Brock/Venom partnership. Woody Harrelson consumes quite large portions of the scenery, crewing away bit-by-bit in a broad portrayal of Cletus/Carnage. Stephen Graham goes out of his way to convince the audience he is actually playing Mark Wahlberg
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a big nod to the Comic fan boys – and does a fine job to amp up the energy to the final act, where it changes to “Let There Be CGI Effects”…
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Directed by: Andy Serkis
Screenplay by: Kelly Marcel
Story by: Tom Hardy, Kelly Marcel
Based on: Marvel Comics characters
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, Woody Harrelson
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date: October 1, 2021
Length: 97 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references
Genre: Comic Book Action