This follow-up to 2018’s critically-divisive Venom is stereotypical superhero fare – but it’s thoroughly entertaining.

Let There Be Carnage has notched impressive opening weekend box-office figures with many of the haters obviously willing to give this B-movie superhero action flick another chance – and that decision mostly pays-off.

Sure, there are still narrative issues like with its predecessor, with a very safe and by-the-numbers storyline. However, whereas the first movie experimented with its ‘camp’ humour and silliness – this Andy Serkis-directed sequel at least owns those elements.

For those unfamiliar with the Marvel character, Venom – he is an alien symbiote that landed on Earth as part of a reconnaissance mission. He now shares the body of journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). It’s an unusual pairing, sure, but it’s their chemistry that really carries this movie.

The plot revolves around serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), the subject of one of Brock’s articles. Kasady also becomes infected with a symbiote that goes by the name Carnage. This fearsome duo wreak havoc around San Francisco looking for Kasady’s mutant ex-girlfriend, Frances (played by Bond star Naomie Harris) – whose superpower is an extremely potent ‘scream.’ Hmmmm, I wonder how that could play into the story?!

Overall, I think this Sony-produced blockbuster played it a little too safe. The stakes are low and the story played out exactly how I’d had imagined. I get it though... the bigger the risks, the higher the chances of a ‘flop’ and during these challenging times, no studio can afford to take chances right now. Although I’d personally have liked a few more unexpected twists and turns, does that mean I didn’t enjoy watching Venom: Let There Be Carnage? Not at all. I was thoroughly invested throughout.

Your usual film critic, Gavin Miller, will ‘roll his eyes’ at this phrase that I have used many times in my reviews, but it fits so aptly to this movie: ‘Switch off your brain and you’ll get more out of the viewing experience'.

Finally, it may be worth noting that although most people go into these Marvel comic-book movies not knowing to stick around for the inevitable mid-credit sequence, some left early and by doing so missed out on a great one.

It blew my nerdy little mind!

Rating: 3.5/5

Mikey Clarke

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham & Woody Harrelson

Running Time: 1 Hr 37 Mins

Director: Andy Serkis

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