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Review: 'Venom' sequel shows improvement, still underwhelms

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Photo: Sony Pictures)

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Andy Serkis
Writer: Kelly Marcel, Tom Hardy
Starring: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: Eddie Brock is struggling to put his life back together while coping with the alien symbiote now living inside of him. Listless and lost, Brock is offered the opportunity of a lifetime when convicted serial killer Cletus Kasady offers to give him an exclusive interview in exchange for a small favor.

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Review: I didn’t care for 2018’s “Venom” and my feelings for the film have only worsened over the years. I haven’t revisited the film; it has something to do with a sense of disappointment festering inside me.

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“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” feels like a much better film. The script feels more cohesive, the direction more interesting (that Andy Serkis is a talented fellow). Unfortunately, there’s still the Cookie Monster voice and an inconsistent tone that oscillates between humorous and horror. The comedy is too goofy for my taste. The big confrontation between Venom and Carnage feels like two people shooting silly string at each other. I prefer the horror bits and there aren’t enough of them.

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I’m also a little bored with Woody Harrelson playing psychopaths. You could argue that Cletus Kasady is a little more cartoonish than some of his other psychos. You could. I wouldn’t. Naomie Harris makes for an interesting Frances Barrison. We could have spent more time with her and Sian Webber’s cruel Dr. the appropriately creepy asylum.

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Michelle Williams is still luminous and underused as Brock’s former flame Anne Weying. Tom Hardy is decent, better than I remember him being in the first.

I think what bothers me the most about the “Venom” films is that I love the talent involved. I don’t love the films they have made. I despise the idea of these films fitting into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe or even a Spider-Verse.

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If you liked the first film, you’ll like this one as well. If you were looking for the franchise to go in a radically different direction, that didn’t happen. Still, better is better. Even if better isn’t quite good enough.