By Jack McLaughlin
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is far and beyond the worst movie I have seen all year.
The film stars Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson, who portray the iconic Marvel characters Venom and Carnage. The central conflict of the movie is Harrelson’s character escaping prison after gaining the abilities of Tom Hardy’s character, who is being controlled by the alien creature Venom.
The first film is also one of the worst movies I’ve seen in this never-ending genre of superhero movies, but it is also one of my all-time favorite “so bad it’s good” movies. There are so many points in the first movie that I will still look back on and find absurdly hilarious. This new film almost completely lacks that.
Tom Hardy continues to give one of the most puzzling performances of his career with his portrayal of journalist Eddy Brock. His line delivery mostly consists of him mumbling things and his presence on screen is so awkward that I am completely unable to enjoy this character.
Most of this film’s incredibly short runtime is focused on the relationship between Eddy Brock and Venom. While this is an interesting concept, the film spends too much time on it, which causes the other story elements to suffer.
Because of the overreliance on this plot, we don’t really get to see Venom and Carnage interact with each other until the very end of the movie. This takes away most of the intrigue of the finale because we’ve barely seen these characters interact with each other.
Woody Harrelson gives the worst performance in this film. His attempt at portraying what is one of the most interesting and terrifying villains in Marvel Comics comes off as this laughably atrocious character and it makes me wonder how everyone filming it took him seriously.
This issue is most apparent with the romantic subplot the filmmakers force into the movie between Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts. These scenes in the movie are the best example of how laughable and bewildering this performance was. I cringed in my seat at every line coming out of Harrelson and it left me questioning how this was let into the film.
The one thing I can give this movie credit for is the special effects. I thought the design of Carnage looked menacing – it’s just a shame that the actor portraying him could not be less menacing.
The action scenes, which I think there were not enough of, also looked great and there were very few moments in the movie where the effects looked bad.
But unfortunately, decent special effects are not enough to carry an entire movie for me.
The writing in “Venon: Let There Be Carnage” is surprisingly worse than the first film, which is saying a lot – especially if you’ve seen that movie.
The writing is very similar to the first movie, where the dialogue feels like it’s catering to a younger audience but also trying to take itself seriously. The attempts at humor in this movie are so lifeless, I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculous lengths the movie was going to try to entertain me.
And then when the film was trying to be serious, it fell flat on its face and came off as either laughable or boring. There is never a point in this movie where I genuinely cared about any of the characters.
It ends by teasing the future of where this character will be next, and it couldn’t concern me anymore. I truly don’t want this portrayal of Venom near any of the other Marvel films, but it looks like that’s where they’re moving toward.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” succeeds at being far worse than the original movie and convincing me that I never want to see this portrayal of Venom in a movie ever again.
An absolute waste of 90 minutes.