I love Venom as a character, I’m still hopeful there will be a proper Spider-Man/Venom match-up that gives their history together genuine justice because the use in Spider-Man 3, whilst fun in places, really doesn’t do the Lethal Protector any favours. However, and in the meantime, we’ve got Venom: Let There Be Carnage to escape with, and it’s reasonably like the 2018 film, albeit with a few shifts in setup.
Directed by Andy Serkis, from a story by Tom Hardy (yup!) and Kelly Marcel, we follow Hardy’s Eddie Brock (now complete with Venom) who is hunting down another big story, and this was teased at the end of the last film. You see, Brock’s grabbed an exclusive with convicted murderer and death row prisoner Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), just before his death, as they’ve made some kind of connection. But initially, Cletus doesn’t really know Brock’s big teethy secret, until he grabs him and becomes a host for another alien symbiote, who goes by the name Carnage, and he’s a lot more out of control than Venom would ever be – and far more dangerous!
Of course, the film is all about Eddie and Venom working together to try and take down Carnage, but the flip is that Venom’s aware of how strong his fellow alien is and not always willing to fight. It shifts the special team-up of the two, and all this comes down to Hardy really, who I have enjoyed in the role. As popcorn movies, these are enjoyable with a host of interesting beats and while full of fun, ideas and plenty of action, they both suffer from being rushed in different ways. While 2018’s Venom summarises and finishes before you realise it was the big ‘finale’, Venom: LTBC speeds through the entire setup before actually offering a really exciting finale – it’s weird that they’ve flipped that specifically but also slightly frustrating. Why the sprint, folks?
However, again, despite the speed-show, you forgive a lot because of the core cast and like Riz Ahmed in Venom, this time you’ve got Woody Harrelson (with a terrible wig) and Naomie Harris (who’s brutally underused but enjoying her role) keeping it entertaining. When you throw in Tom Hardy being off his head and giving a masterclass of dual-personalities once again – it’s easy to take it for granted over how good he is as this sweaty, messy and very funny double-role. It’s also always great to see Michelle Williams, and she very much enjoys her moment as #SPOILER#, and the legend who is: Stephen Graham.
So, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is pleasing, but I would have loved a few moments of calm amongst the chaos, I wanted to see Carnage develop a little rather than just explode onto the screen and the early scenes with him are SO fast, you barely have time to keep up with what’s happening. There’s also a post-credit scene that now fits in perfectly with another from Spider-Man: No Way Home – trust me, it’s exciting, so see both!
You’ve also got over an hour of extras and special features on the Blu-ray and 4K UHD releases. There’s always time for the Bloopers, and these are particularly laugh-out-loud, it’s clear there was fun on the set. I also enjoyed the deep dive into the production, progression and creation of the characters, which is captivating, and also more frustrating that we didn’t get to linger in and around the action just a little more. However, you can see how much time and attention went into making everything look so good, which is definitely helped by the mo-cap/digital technical knowhow and team-wizardry of Serkis in the directorial seat.
- Outtakes & Bloopers
- 6 Deleted Scenes
- Eddie & Venom: The Odd Couple: What happens when two beings inhabit one body? A whole lot of chaos. Tom Hardy, Andy Serkis, and the team of filmmakers talk all things Eddie and Venom.
- Sick and Twisted Cletus Kasady: Imagining this iconic and psychotic comic book villain for screen with Woody Harrelson, director Andy Serkis, and the production team.
- Concept to Carnage: Trace the design and animation of Carnage from comic book image to screen symbiotic.
- Let There Be… Action: Go on the set and experience the action of how Venom: Let There Be Carnage takes shape. From concept to stage, from green screen to film screen, follow the making of the film and see the intense stunts that were captured.
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