Venom: Let There Be Carnage (15, 97 Minutes)
In the quest to make a good film, big studio producers keep a list of actors popular enough to draw in the crowds. It’s been that way since the Golden Age. Carey Grant, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart – you could say, for the likes of Leo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, it’s like deja vu. Film after film, franchise after franchise. It’s awfully tedious.
Tom Hardy doesn’t exactly fit into this category. He is that rare breed of actor who only takes the projects he has faith in. As one of the most talented actors of his generation he has the freedom to do that without any issues. So, one could ask why on earth the man has gone from roles like a thuggish, east end, Jewish baker and the most violent prisoner in England, to a parasitic alien?
Answer: because he wants to, and he can, and who can blame him when Gollum himself is sitting in the director’s chair?
Venom: Let There Be Carnage (let’s please just call it Venom 2) reunites us with journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy) who, still infected with the tar-like alien symbiote, is having a bit of a mid-life crisis.
His ex-girlfriend, (Michelle Williams), is with a new man and Eddie’s career needs a boost. He finds some inspiration in the case of serial killer Cletus Cassidy (Woody Harrelson), execution imminent.
But a nip from the nutter unleashes a red, baby symbiote called Carnage.
This film is like a rollercoaster without breaks. Exhilarating in the best of moments and, surprisingly, very funny in others. Plot-wise, it’s totally bonkers. But that doesn’t seem to matter here.
Hardy, as always, is great. Harrelson is a tricky one. You want to believe this is a calculating killer, but personal taste makes that a big ask for me. There’s more of a desire to see his red counterpart than the man himself.
Miss Moneypenny Naomie Harries also has a part here. Why? Beats me.
Perhaps the best thing about this film is that it’s not painfully long. You go in and you come out, hardly changed but definitely satisfied.
Best of all, there’s a very clever move from both Serkis and the studio which will leave fans extremely satisfied. So, stay for the end credits.