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It’s an improvement on the atrocious first instalment but not by much, as sloppy editing, generic action and an annoying villain sap all the potential fun from the film.

I was not a fan of 2018's Venom, to say the least: the picture easily made my worst-of-year top ten. So I was fully prepared to dislike sequel Let There Be Carnage in equal amounts. But the truth is that - though I still wouldn't call it a good film in any way - there is much more to like in the second feature.

For starters, the oddball dynamic between Tom Hardy and the alien symbiote he's attached to displays more depth and wit this time, perhaps due to director Andy Serkis, who famously exploited a similar duality in the Lord of the Rings films.

The brisk pace handily glosses over the many plot holes and with cinematographer Robert Richardson on board, the movie also looks a lot better than the first Venom. Of course this is counterbalanced by sloppy editing, generic action set-pieces and a villain who is both woefully underused and gratingly overplayed by Woody Harrelson.

But if there's one thing I take away from Venom: Let There Be Carnage, it's a magnificently dark one-minute animated sequence that's better than the rest of the film combined.

release: 2021

director: Andy Serkis

starring: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris


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