Spider-Man characters have had a strange and complicated history when it comes to cinematic adaptations. There have been a multitude of reboots based on the web-slinging hero and his vast rogue’s gallery. After Spider-Man was rebooted once more to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony was left with only access to the villains and supporting characters from the Spidey mythos.
So, Sony put together a movie based on the most iconic villain/anti-hero in Marvel Comics: Venom. The first “Venom” movie, with Tom Hardy playing the roles of Eddie Brock and Venom, was met with mixed reactions with some raving about how much of a fun thrill-ride it was while others said it was just trying to be a carbon copy of the MCU’s success. The story revolved around Eddie Brock adapting to the symbiote of Venom becoming attached to him as he has to fight against an evil symbiote named Riot who wishes to take over the world.
Even though it had mixed views, the film was popular enough to garner a sequel, which has brought in a new symbiote villain named Carnage. Carnage is a popular villain in the Marvel comics, being controlled by a serial killer named Cletus Kassady, played by Woody Harrelson in the film. Like the first movie, Venom and Eddie must now take down the psychopathic symbiote before it terrorizes their city.
Unfortunately, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” suffers from the same criticisms some have had with the first in this franchise. Kassady’s master plan is never fully explained, or at least it is not expanded upon the basic interest. There is also not a whole lot of relationship building between the two symbiotes in this movie and they don’t really have much of a reason to fight other than that Carnage hates Venom for creating him by accident.
This movie also doesn’t expand on the history of symbiotes at all. The post-credits scene almost alludes to a possible lore reveal but it is cut short before anything can be discussed. Though what they put in is incredibly important to later Sony movies and helps further Sony’s Spider-Verse plans, it would have still been fun to learn about where the symbiotes came from exactly.
The main selling point of this film is the relationship between Eddie Brock and Venom and though their relationship grows exponentially in this movie, it almost focuses too much on these two and nothing on the other interesting characters and antagonists. Carnage & Cletus Kassady would be much more enjoyable villains if they were given a little more screen time and also time to build a relationship with each other like Venom & Eddie. Cletus even has a romantic partner named Shriek (played by Naomie Harris) in the movie and their relationship barely gets any depth added to it other than they want to get married.
Other than these problems, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is an okay film. It isn’t terrible and it does what it set out to do which was advance the relationship of its two main characters. If you enjoyed it, then that’s all that matters. Even though the movie by itself isn’t great, there are still elements that one can be entertained by.
However, the post credit scene does not disappoint. After the movie is over, Eddie is sitting in a hotel room in a Hawaii resort talking to Venom when his entire room glows with energy and turns into a different room. He then looks at the TV to see a news report discussing Spider-Man being revealed as Peter Parker. Eddie transforms into Venom who licks the screen when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man appears on screen before the scene ends.
This ending scene has drastic implications for the later films in not just Sony’s Spider-Verse but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With this scene, Venom has become part of the MCU and will possibly return for “Spider-Man: No Way Home” which has been confirmed to have multiverse implications. The MCU has been teasing the Multiverse a lot this year with “Wandavision” and “Loki” on Disney Plus, and they even have a movie coming in 2022 titled “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
Overall, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is an okay film with good humor and characters. It only falters when it comes to villains, their motivations, and the pacing of the story overall.