Venom: Let There Be Carnage is still tearing up the box office and most critics seem to have caught up with the franchise’s off-kilter energy and madcap sensibilities. For some industry professionals, this will be a big mea culpa, as 2018’s Venom received a thumping from critics, who called it “infantile,” “maddeningly dull” and “a hot mess,” leaving it at 29% on the Tomatometer. Fortunately, audiences knew better, with the film wildly exceeding expectations and clawing in $856 million at the box office.
Now, presumably due to audiences returning to the original after seeing the sequel, Venom is climbing the Netflix charts, per FlixPatrol. Those checking it out for the first time will find one hell of a ride.
It’s all anchored by Tom Hardy’s all-in performance that neatly captures the weird horror/comedy vibe of the character, action scenes that make creative use of the symbiote, and a focus on the bromance between Venom and Eddie Brock (they even smooch!).
Back in 2019 Venom director Ruben Fleischer said he was surprised and saddened by this critical reception. When asked what he’d change about the movie, he said:
“If anything, I would have changed the critics’ reaction to it. I was really bummed that people didn’t like it because it’s a crowd-pleasing movie and I’m not sure if there was just blowback against Sony or people just worship Marvel. But I was really surprised that the critics [were gunning for it] because audiences really enjoyed the movie. And so many people who’ve seen it just appreciated that it was a fun superhero movie. So I was a little surprised. I don’t know what they were expecting.”
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But Venom‘s continued success is proof that bad reviews aren’t the kiss of death for a movie. It’s also worth remembering that many movies now considered all-time greats opened to dreadful reviews.
Whatever the case, Venom: Let There Be Carnage proves that this franchise has overcome them. We’re undoubtedly getting Venom 3 at some point, though the jaw-dropping credits scene at the end of the last movie is an indication that his next appearance is going to be particularly exciting for long-time fans.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is now in theaters.