Ruben Fleischer’s opening installment hardly set a bar that was impossibly high to clear, so the bare minimum expected from Venom: Let There Be Carnage is that it turns out vastly superior to its predecessor. The superhero sequel hits theaters tomorrow, and with the embargo now lifted, reviews are rolling in all across the internet.
At the time of writing, Tom Hardy’s second outing as the titular symbiote has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 74% with over 40 critics and counting having weighed in. However, the general consensus seems to be that Let There Be Carnage doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
ComicBook describes the movie as “nothing more than a forgettable 90 minutes” and “a movie you might enjoy if go in with low expectations”, which is hardly encouraging. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter is even more scathing in its assessment by saying “The best thing you can say about the action in Carnage is that it doesn’t stretch the film past the hour-and-a-half mark”.
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The Associated Press thinks that Let There Be Carnage “is best when it’s not trying to be a comic book movie”, with io9 summing up nicely by offering that “your personal feelings on the original are a very good indicator of how you’ll feel about this one”.
Most of the praise is leveled towards another bonkers performance from Hardy and the brisk pace generated by the thrifty 97-minute running time, but the overall feeling is that Venom: Let There Be Carnage requires an appreciation of the first chapter and relatively low expectations to get the most out of the viewing experience.