Venom: Let There Be Carnage Official Movie Poster

A cardboard pizza box is duct-taped onto a wall, bold text written on it with a sharpie. The paintjob is either chipping or stained by blood, sauce, or some other mystery liquid, and chickens are clucking in the background. 

Everything is beyond ridiculous. Simultaneously, there has never been a better flaming trashcan.

The first Venom movie was released in 2018, and it propelled the character of Eddie Brock into the superhero world as an antihero and vigilante. Although, one could argue that his alien parasite is the one who truly brings the ‘grey’ into ‘morally-grey’. 

In the saga’s debut film, the journalist is investigating the company known as Life Foundation, headed by Clinton Drake, a known and wealthy man. His exploration leads to the discovery of symbiotes: extraterrestrial life from the planet of Klyntar that the Foundation had been keeping a secret. One of these symbiotes is Venom: an outcast of his planet, and a chocolate enthusiast. The two merge, albeit unwillingly on Eddie’s behalf, but their villain has a trick up his sleeve as well. He fused with an escaped brother of the parasite. Together they defeat him, and the story pans out with the pair getting accustomed to their new life together, much like a newlywed couple. 

The sequel follows in its footsteps, and while Tom Hardy continues to star in his role as Brock, Woody Harrelson is also adopted by Sony as Cletus Kasady. As I’m trying to describe the plot linearly, however, my mind goes blank. All I know is that Eddie interviewed Cletus, Cletus bit Eddie’s hand, and somehow Carnage emerged: a symbiote born from the blood of Venom and his host combined. Details of Cletus’s backstory are revealed, and he gets reunited with his long-lost girlfriend. An epic battle then commences. 

Needless to say, the strength of this movie is not in its storyline. 

But the comedy clearly comes through. 

The classic Eddie and Venom bickering is there, as well as their playful dynamic. This isn’t to say that they don’t have their issues — they definitely should go to couple’s therapy– but there is obvious love between them, even at their lowest point. 

Even though the movie itself is not a cinematic masterpiece, it makes an attempt to tackle some serious issues, specifically, mental health and child abuse, both very sensitive topics (minor spoilers ahead). A scene comes to mind after Eddie’s dinner with his ex-girlfriend, Ann, where he is driving a motorcycle on a highway. Emotional, he steers his bike to face the wrong side of the road and into on-coming traffic. The dark events that would have taken place were stopped by Venom, who momentarily took control of his friend’s body. An extremely serious discussion about men’s mental health is opened by this particular clip, and is rare in the field of action films. Cletus’s backstory as well is riddled with moral dilemmas. He was marked as a sadistic, problem child after he murdered his life-long abusers, and while the questioning of the system as a whole is not talked about in-depth by the characters, it leaves the audience to question if monsters are made rather than born like we were always told.

With everything said, a movie cannot be saved from the sharks just with implications. The Rotten Tomatoes tally has proven this. Despite having an audience score of 84%, the critics did not seem to appreciate the work as much as the fans, plunging down the Tomatoer rating to 59%. 

Now that all the cards are on the table, let me leave you with this thought: what makes a good movie? Is it its cinematographic appeal? Its actors? Its plot? Sure. But does every enjoyable movie have to be good? No. Venom: Let There Be Carnage may not be great from an objective lens, but just watching it is an incredibly fun experience that will have you laughing in your seat, and will leave it wanting more antics from the sleep-deprived human and his viscous solution of goo.