This weekend’s box office looks like it’s destined to be summed up in one word: “carnage.” As director Andy Serkis and star Tom Hardy are unveiling Venom: Let There Be Carnage to the world, the MCU-adjacent sequel has been generating some buzz throughout the week. Fans and critics alike have reacted to the film after early screenings took place, but now the embargo for official reviews has lifted. The results, so far, are quite an interesting range of reactions; so let’s see what critics are saying.
We’ll start with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, who gave Venom: Let There Be Carnage a score of two out of five stars. In his opinion of the film, Mr. Eisenberg says that while director Andy Serkis’ sequel is definitely better than 2018’s Venom, it’s not enough difference to score a decisive victory. With that in mind, here’s part of what he had to say:
It’s almost completely unsurprising that the sequel to Venom would still be somewhat of a mixed bag. Director Ruben Fleischer 2018 predecessor ranked in at a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, as critical consensus panned it and audiences flocked to it. At the time of this writing, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is sitting at a 76% rating, with critics like Joey Magidson of Awards Radar pretty much summing up why consensus is so hard to pin down:
Expectations are key with any sort of sequel, though with a movie like Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the burden seems to always be set a bit higher. So if you're looking forward to zany comedic energy, or Woody Harrelson crushing it in his return as Cletus Kasady, it’s your lucky day. Tom Hardy’s matchup against Harrelson’s titular villain seemed to meet the expectations of EW’s Leah Greenblatt, who praised the film for doing exactly what it says on the tin:
Perhaps the greatest surprise with 2018's Venom, and what will ultimately act as its sequel’s most important metric of success, is that first film’s opening box office. Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s opening weekend is being estimated at raking in anywhere between $45 and $65 million, which compared to the first film’s $80.3 million figure, is a bit of a miss. That could change when fans read reviews from critics such as Robert Daniels from The Los Angeles Times, who found himself surprised by the following sweetness in the sequel:
“More Venom” seems to be the message that a couple of critics are leaving with after their screenings of Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Closing our roundup is Kate Erbland at IndieWire, who also mentioned the fact that this potentially continuing franchise in Sony’s MCU adjacent canon is right to bank on Tom Hardy’s bonkers anti-hero. Her sentiments, in a nutshell, were as follows:
More critical reviews will be pouring in by the moment, which will definitely alter the landscape of consensus surrounding Venom: Let There Be Carnage. That probably won't change the minds of fans who are ready to have their minds potentially blown with comedic hijinks, and a mid-credits sequence that’s already got people talking. Audiences will be able to take part in the carnage with Carnage, as Venom: Let There Be Carnage opens this weekend.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.