Movie Review: Venom, Let There Be Carnage


Theatrical release poster courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

There was a time where Tom Hardy was widely considered to be a decent actor. In the early 2010s, he starred in Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and the particularly great Mad Max: Fury Road. This is what makes it so confusing that he managed to not only star in but write the sequel to probably his weakest work in recent memory.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage sees Tom Hardy reprise his role as Eddie Brock, a failed journalist with an inability to commit to any accent, as well as his symbiotic super-powered alien friend and suit Venom, who comes with another slew of even weirder voices for Hardy to attempt.

Together, Tom Hardy and goo-Tom Hardy must defeat the only character who seems to enjoy being in this movie, Woody Harrelson, a serial killer named Cletus Kasady and his eviler red goo monster Carnage.

Of course, the conflict between the two symbiotes takes a back seat to the apparently more important story of the movie. It is an utterly baffling break-up-coming-out story as goo-Tom Hardy wants to eat more people, and being unable to do so causes a 15-minute arc that goes from splitting up to getting back together, which is resolved about as abruptly as it starts.

Aside from the incomprehensible story, there are some genuinely enjoyable parts of the movie. The CGI isn’t terrible, and the Carnage symbiote especially is as excellently over-designed as you could want. 

The relationship between Harrelson’s character and his longtime love, portrayed by Naomie Harris, is cheesy as anything, but it is so much fun at the same time. Both Harrelson and Harris have great chemistry as psycho lovers and take their roles just as non-seriously as they need to. Their scenes together, especially earlier on, are the highlights of the movie as a whole and kept me going through the rest of it.

Although ultimately, there was not much to sit through, as the movie is exactly 90 minutes long. Still, if you aren’t the kind of person who can enjoy bad movies, this will feel a lot longer.

I’m not one to give a number rating to movies, and I don’t intend to start now. But I will say that unless you are curious to see how low Tom Hardy can go, or are really intent on the lore behind Morbius of all things, go ahead and give this one a pass.