“Venom; Let There Be Carnage” just went over the $106 million mark at the domestic box office. There’s a reason for that; audiences are clamoring for a fun, bizarre and messy time at the movies and “Carnage” indeed delivers.
Director Andy Serkis has directed this Marvel sequel with brisk (it runs 90 minutes) campy flair, Kelly Marcel (“Cruella” “Fifty Shades of Grey”) wrote the script from a story by Tom Hardy. Disgraced journalist Eddie Brock is played super appealing by Hardy, whose career is on the upswing thanks to his superpower symbiote comic book monster buddy Venom sharing his body and mind. Eddie is constantly bickering with Venom’s inner monologue and trying to tame his uncouth ways, like his love of snacking on human brains.
Even though they both are mending each other in way weird ways, their ‘relationship’ quickly turns rocky. The upside is that Venom helps Eddie solve an old unsolved murder case involving Cletus Kasady, in the person of a menacing Woody Harrelson. Cletus grants Eddie his final interview before he is set to be put to death, and well, stuff happens. Cut to Venom and Eddie are still bickering as Cletus escapes death row after he is transformed into Carnage.
First on Cletus’s list is to oust his longtime lost love, Shriek (Oscar nominee Naomie Harris) from her padded psych ward cell. Next on the monstrous menu for the pair is revenge of all kinds. Eddie’s understanding ex fiancée Anne, played by Michelle Williams, comes back into his life to help bail him out once again, although now Anne is set to wed Dr. Dan Lewis, a funny Reid Scott, late of “Veep,” that makes Eddie more nuts than he already is.
The CGI hijinks begin and wow, what a ride. With that said, devotees who are expecting epic battles won’t be fully satisfied. “Carnage” does lack the hugeness of the explosions and battles and violence we’ve seen in other Marvel flicks. But the actors are so appealing, quirky and mean and fun, that in itself worth watching. So, if you are hankering from some wacky, silly, weird goings on, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” as the audience has shown, does the trick.