The sequel to the mediocre Venom is an unmitigated disaster of a film...
Three years have passed since Venom got his own movie... The critics hated it, but a large proportion of moviegoers disagreed with them and it was quickly confirmed that there would indeed be a sequel. That time is now here and it's time for Venom to take on an equally nasty symbiote; Carnage.
In Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Eddie Brock continues to live his life with an alien inside him that makes his life both better and worse. Eddie has begun meeting with serial killer Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson, to try and piece together where Kasady's victims are buried. And with Venom inside him, figuring out the locations becomes easier and Eddie is hailed by the media for solving the mystery that the police have been completely useless at solving. Life is playing out for Eddie. However, everything is quickly turned upside down after a meeting with his ex Anne who reveals something that shatters his world, while he accidentally gets a little too close to Kasady which results in him also getting a piece of the symbiote inside him and becoming the dreaded monster Carnage.
The special effects are at least fantastic and both Carnage and Venom look perfect. The 97-minute spectacle makes for the shortest superhero movie since Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and it's very noticeable how much that hurts the film. I certainly never liked Venom (2018) and would have preferred to leave the cinema when I saw it, but in this case, I think the sequel would have benefited from a longer running time. In fact, everything happens way too fast and the new characters like Cletus Kasady, his girlfriend Frances Barrison and Detective Mulligan are all brutally underdeveloped. Some of their motives are even so incomprehensible that Mulligan's role, for example, could have been removed. As a viewer, you also never get a sense of why Kasady is so terribly angry with Eddie, which is, after all, what the film is about.
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Like its predecessor, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is also full of logical gaps. Carnage can, without explanation, create a whirlwind out of nowhere and even slip between millimetre-thin spaces, which makes the script seem a little too idiotic as it appears he can do anything the writers feel like. Things that even Venom couldn't do. Add to that the fact that just like in the case of Venom and Eddie, Carnage and Cletus are separated from each other which is rarely explored and unlike Eddie, it doesn't affect Cletus more than at the end.
Although I think this film is a mess from start to finish, I'm still guessing that many viewers will be amused by the sequel. After all, many loved the humour in the first film and it remains completely unchanged, despite the change in direction. Personally, I never thought it worked and I'm adamant that it won't this time around either. However, if you thought the predecessor was really funny, chances are you will also appreciate the sequel and can turn a blind eye to the otherwise obvious flaws. If you weren't sold on the first go-round, however, you won't appreciate this one either.
In conclusion, I found Venom: Let There Be Carnage to be a disastrously bad film that is about as unbearable as the first film. The characters are both underdeveloped and behave like idiots, the script is crammed with logical gaps and it's far too short to give enough space to all the events and motives. But again, if you dig the first film or simply want to get some background on Venom before he's thrown into Marvel's cinematic universe, it might be worth a trip to the cinema, anyway.