I was not a fan of Venom (2018). I think it was a pretty lame story with an abundance of cringe-worthy scenes that made it hard to watch. With that in mind, I had no expectations going into its sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage. While I still don’t think it was a particularly great movie, I certainly liked it more than the original. Let me tell you why.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage takes place after the events of the first movie, with Eddie Brock and Venom now being the best of buds, often bickering and taking jabs at each other like an old married couple. After serial killer Cletus Kasady gets a symbiote of his own, he becomes Carnage, one of the most ruthless characters in the Marvel universe. Venom and Eddie will have to work together to take the pair down.
I’ll start with what DOESN’T work about Venom 2. Once again, the story is all over the place. There are storylines that make little to no logical sense, and plot threads that amount to nothing. There’s also several characters that are simply weak. This movie introduces Shriek, and she feels like nothing more than a plot device to further Cletus Kasady’s story whenever necessary. It’s a shame, because that character is actually kind of cool. Even Cletus himself is a bit hit or miss for me. He’s got some good lines, but the character never feels like a merciless killer, just a deranged goofball.
Here’s what DOES work about Venom 2. Venom and Eddie once again have a great relationship. The banter between those two is good enough to carry scenes on its own, and it often does. These movies are likely unwatchable without the Venom and Eddie dynamic. Also, this movie leans heavily into all of the zaniness and corniness that made the first movie so divisive. It feels incredibly self-aware, and you know what? I respected it. There’s a scene in which Venom goes to a rave, puts on a bunch of glowsticks, and talks to an unsuspecting crowd about him becoming his own person and being out of the closet. Wonderful.
The one aspect of this movie that will REALLY have people talking is the post-credit scene. It’s massive. So massive that I’m not even going to talk about it here, even with a spoiler warning. However, Greg and I will likely touch on it later today during Pop! Goes the Culture on Twitch.tv/Shacknews at 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET. See you there ;)