Sony's Spider-Man Universe just got a teeny bit bigger with the arrival of Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The sequel to 2018's hit superhero film, Venom, which starred Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and his symbiote buddy, the titular Venom, finally hit theaters last October 1, 2021.
Here is what critics have had to say about Hardy's return as Venom:
"This sequel is a violent, very sloppy, yet entertaining battle through couples counseling for Tom Hardy's Eddie and his symbiote." - Meagan Navarro
Wall Street Journal
"To its perverse credit, Venom 2, as it's being called, manipulates its audience with all the tentacles it can deploy, most of them cheerfully ridiculous." - Joe Morgenstern
"Andy Serkis keeps the rambunctious proceedings relatively taut, making room for operatic action and a sneaky emotional undercurrent that pokes through the broad comedy and comic-book grandeur." - Tim Grierson
New York Times
"This is, in essence, a slapstick blood bath about two threesomes both in desperate need of throuples therapy." - Amy Nicholson
"It is mostly noisy and flimsy and without purpose, a hasty response to the original's unexpected success and little else. Naturally a third film is advertised at the end." - Richard Lawson
"The viewing experience is like going to a nightclub and having someone scream the plot in your ear over a thumping bass line -- ironic, given that Venom's biggest weakness is sound waves." - David Sims
Is there going to be a third Venom film?
In Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Tom Hardy reprises his role as Eddie Brock. The sequel also brings in Venom's symbiote offspring, Carnage, into the mix. Just as in the comics, the symbiote infects the serial killer Cletus Kasady, portrayed by none other than Woody Harrelson. Other cast members include Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, as well as Michelle Williams, with Andy Serkis serving as the film's director.
As you can see from our round-up of several review scores from notable critics and websites, the consensus appears to be that the second Venom film is better than the first but isn't a huge improvement. If it's any consolation, the film's commercial success does help guarantee a third film.
Tom Hardy mentioned earlier this year that "a third won't be greenlit until the second is successful." On its opening weekend, Venom 2 pulled in $90.1 million at the domestic box office. This is the biggest weekend take overall since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020. In fact, Venom 2 now ranks just behind another superhero film, Joker, for the best October launch of all time.
With that said, we're definitely hoping that the upcoming third film learns from the shortcomings of the first two. The film is a solid showing thanks to Hardy and Harrelson's performance as Eddie and Kasady, respectively. At the same time, the movie's post-credits scene definitely got people talking. Unfortunately, the film's plot, which was an absolute mess, made it hard to follow.
Ultimately, don't expect Venom: Let There Be Carnage to have you thinking. It's just as silly, messy, and fun as the first film, if not more so. It's a perfect movie to watch if you want to turn your brains off for some good old mindless violence, gore, and entertainment.