Now that you’ve had some time to process the Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer and let it sink in, let me pop in to remind you that the teaser starts with the alien symbiote making Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock breakfast while singing him a breakfast tune as chickens cluck in the background. Yes, that happened, and given that the scene introduced us to what we’re in for in the Venom sequel, I’m guessing it won’t be the only time Eddie and Venom take on their odd couple dynamic. You know what? I’m actually here for it.
Say what you want about Venom, but it’s doubtful you’ll say you’ve forgotten it, because that movie really went there in 2018. It gave us the inspirational quote “You will be this armless, legless, faceless thing, won't you? Rolling down the street like a turd in the wind,” Tom Hardy’s chaotic lobster bath and quite a few other moments that had people chuckling in our seats for Sony’s big-budget action flick. As we get ready for Let There Be Carnage, the sequel seems to be leaning into those elements. It’s a great idea moving forward, and here’s why:
Venom's Tone Was A Fun Choice
As I’ve alluded to, Venom was packed with funny moments. And yes, many of them were dumb, but sometimes dumb fun is what we want to see. The superhero genre is packed with all kinds of different storytelling, ranging from the cleverly mounted jokes in Thor: Ragnarok to the all-so-seriousness of The Dark Knight. I don’t know when it was decided that every movie that is adapted from comics needs to be a cinematic masterpiece just because a big budget is attached to it. Yes, I very much want to see a well-written and produced superhero movie, but I’m also here for Venom being the drunk uncle of the Marvel franchise.
I think so many people gravitated toward Venom (it made $856 million worldwide) despite its Rotten score on the critic front because we want to be entertained first and foremost. Sometimes that’s in a groundbreaking way, and sometimes it can be like tater tots: not revolutionary but a solid choice and party favorite.
Adding Woody Harrelson In The Mix Leans Into It Better
Another big reason why I’m excited for Let There Be Carnage to do more weird comedy is because Woody Harrelson is playing the main villain, Cletus Kasady, a.k.a. Carnage. Now Cletus is straight up a serial killer, so if they want to retain the good vibes in the Venom franchise, some fun gags almost seem necessary. Does anyone actually want to see an alien symbiote bond with serial killer played by Harrelson and watch him bring this terrifying psychopath to life without some levity? This isn’t Zodiac.
Woody Harrelson is one of the funniest guys in Hollywood, and he has the power to be truly and genuinely hilarious in movies that are not classically a comedy. Let’s take something like the Hunger Games. Those movies can get really downbeat and serious, but Harrelson always brought some lightness just for bringing his presence on screen. Throw Harrelson into the Venom chaos, and I cannot wait to see how he plays along.
The Alternative Is A Brooding Venom Movie
I’ll go back to this point: I do not want to see a gritty Venom movie. Maybe one day, but with the way the 2018 movie was handled, I’m not going to suddenly take these characters ultra seriously. As the first movie set up, Eddie Brock is not a sympathetic antihero. He was very much kind of an asshole journalist before being fused with the Venom symbiote, and we don’t need to feel sorry for him or form some kind of deep emotional bond with his backstory.
In Spider-Man 3, the filmmakers tried to make Venom’s arc have weight to it, but if you look at it closely, it was bad because Eddie Brock was jealous of Peter Parker and wanted to get back at him. That’s part of the reason why he wasn’t a good villain in the movie. So when it comes to Tom Hardy’s Eddie, no, we don’t necessarily like him. That said, we can get attached to the craziness of that character paired up with Venom and how wild his actions continue to be alongside a vast world of very different comic book adaptations.
We’re All Really Here For The Venom/Carnage Fights Anyway, Right?
The draw of Venom has never really been some dark and deep character who needs to embody something bigger than himself. He’s always been this really “cool” character more than anything who totally eats people's heads. The character kind of has this gore factor already, so it only makes sense that Venom would lean into it from a comedic point of view. When it comes down to it, we want to see some badass fight sequences with the antihero, and now that Carnage will be in the mix, we’re excited to see them go head-to-head.
While Venom: Let There Be Carnage is not looking to be another critic favorite, there’s some respect I have for it for making a bold choice with the character and sticking to it. This looks like a good time, and if we can get some more weird laughs in between some awesome fight sequences and character building for Carnage and Shriek, bring it on! Queue in Round 2, Eddie! I almost hope director Andy Serkis leans into it all more with the sequel. Plus, having Cletus as the villain over Carlton Drake already feels like it could be a step up anyway.
What do you think? Are you all in on the comedic bits for Venom: Let There Be Carnage or will you be sitting this one out? Vote in our poll below. The movie also starring Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reed Scott and Sean Delaney is set to hit theaters on September 24. In the meantime, read up on the worst things Carnage has done in the comic books.