As serial killers go, Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) has a lot going for him. An abusive past, a propensity to talk in riddles that sound suitably scripture-ish, a liking for scribbling on walls, a weird hairstyle, and even a girlfriend who can shriek the daylights out of cops. However, when a film can swaddle the handsome Tom Hardy in an alien that is all black goo and yellow teeth, Harrelson has little chance. So, while Harrelson might be able to do devil in his sleep, director Andy Serkis has another alien, in red, ensconced in and over Kasady’s body. Somehow his alien and that inhabiting Brock, played by Hardy, hate each other, somehow, they want to kill each other, and somehow, they fight as only giant aliens, that are endlessly indestructible and endlessly extendable, end up doing. They end up killing a lot of people and destroying a lot of stuff, except those who matter.
The story is largely secondary in this second disappointing film casting Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock-cum-alien Venom. Unlike the first part, there are some attempts at comedy, but even Hardy (credited as co-writer) doesn’t seem thrilled enough to put in a laugh. He sports an unshaven, unclean, almost distant look, that does not augur well for a film asking us to make space in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for it.
Harris is horribly wasted in the role of Kasady’s unfortunate girlfriend who spends the entire film being locked up or being told to shut up. Williams as Brock’s former girlfriend Anne does light up the film for a minute or two, but there is no chemistry to spark any fires between Brock and her — not that the film wants to go there. For a few brief seconds though, Venom inhabits Anne’s body, and you wonder. What if therein lies the road to redeem this mess of a film that clearly has some ideas about Church, fathers, second lives, and, God bless it, another sequel!
Venom Let There Be Carnage movie director: Andy Serkis
Venom Let There Be Carnage movie cast: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris
Venom Let There Be Carnage movie rating: 1 star
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