image credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) ****

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is not a well-written movie where decisions the characters make have an impact on the outcome of the conflicts they face. Rather, it’s a movie where a filmmaker was allowed to do whatever he wanted as long as the result involved Black Alien and Red Alien fighting each other, and the filmmaker said to himself “whatever I want is real freakin gay.”

Eddie Brock is still living with his alien symbiote after the events of the first movie. They seem to have reached an uncomfortable, sweaty equilibrium, where Eddie is once again working at his job despite constant bickering with Venom. They can’t agree on anything.

Now that Eddie and Venom have gotten past the exciting hookup part of the relationship, Venom still wants to be a party gay wearing light-up jewelry at a college rave, while Eddie wants to be a domestic gay. “Just shut up and be my wifey,” says Eddie. But nay, Venom must party and eat heads. Worse, Eddie doesn’t acknowledge how tenderly Venom cares for him, already fulfilling his role as wifey without appreciation.

Needless to say, they break up. It’s a loud, messy process that victimizes Eddie’s motorcycle and leads to Venom’s many casual hookups with other hosts. But no host is as good as Eddie. The other ones keep dropping dead.

While they’re apart, the movie doesn’t really show that they’re better or worse for the absence. Venom gets to enjoy himself. Eddie gets to focus on his job. But gosh, they miss each other, so they hook back up in a heartbeat once Carnage provides a reason* and Eddie begs thoroughly. Briefly, Eddie and Venom’s ex-girlfriend joins them in another threesome, and she concedes she might do it again because it’s awesome.

* Carnage’s “plot” is “actor chews scenery while Carnage’s girlfriend Shriek enthuses about dating tentacles.”

Red and Black Alien fight each other once peril is appropriately established because of plotty stuffy reasons, serial killing Woody Harrelson, idk. The reason Black Alien succeeds is, apparently, because Eddie and Venom are meant to be, whereas Cletus and Carnage are not. (As proven by Carnage trying repeatedly to kill Shriek.)

Once the Good Gay Couple wins by eating the Bad Gay Couple, Eddie and Venom reach a happy medium in their relationship. They become Vacation Gays together and retire to a beach where Venom finally admits he’s been in love with Eddie the whole time.

Why did I love this movie? Because everything I wrote above is completely true. I can add no other commentary. Andy Serkis et al had a plan and that plan was real freakin gay and I’m happy I got to watch it.

(This review was originally posted on Letterboxd on 17 January 2022.)

(image credit: Sony Pictures)

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