Movie Review – Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Time to assemble the Lethal Protectors, 3.5 readers.

This movie is:

  1. Dumb
  2. Fun

It’s rare that dumb movies are fun. Usually, they just stay dumb. This one, like its predecessor is about Venom, an alien symbiote that fused with reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). Together, they are a crime fighting duo with Eddie using his research skills to find out the dirt on the baddies and Venom, well…he beats them into submission and then eats them because like a zombie, he needs to feed on brains. Overall, they’re a dastardly Dexter-like duo. They need to kill. Left to his own devices, Venom would kill and eat anyone, but Eddie is the conscience that demands he only eat those who really, really deserve it.

In this go around, “The Lethal Protectors” as Venom calls them in 1980s action sitcom fashion, fight off Carnage, an alien symbiote attached to Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), a serial killer who has it in for Eddie on account of how our intrepid journalist exposed his crimes and put him on death row.

It all culminates in the ultimate grudge match. Good and bad symbiotes. Who will win?

Yeah, I know. It all sounds horribly stupid and yet, it’s a good time. Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams are such serious, gravitas carrying, Oscar caliber actors that it is surreal to see them let their hair down in this flick that really is among the dumbest of comic book premises. I mean, it’s not Howard the Duck dumb but still, it is pretty dumb. Venom’s scary yet King’s English style, perfectly precise voice where he says serious yet unintentionally hilarious things sells the film.

Adding to the dumbness is that Venom, as a concept, is originally a Spiderman villain, an alien symbiote that took the form of an evil version of Spidey’s suit. For reasons above my brain capacity, Spidey couldn’t be mentioned in the first film (different studios own different characters or whatever) but apparently that got ironed out as our favorite webslinger is mentioned in this one.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. I did feel like I wasted a bit of my life watching it, but the laughs were worth it.

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