Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Certificate: 15

Starring: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Stephen Graham

Release date: 2021

3 out of 5


Marvel universe’s funniest double-act is back in the welcome sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Tom Hardy and Venom – that black goo from outer space – co-star in this dip into supernatural crime adventure and welcome silliness which is an improvement over the fun if messy 2018  original.  Part of the Spider-Man Marvel Comic universe, read the Movies4Kids review of the original film to get the duo’s whole backstory.

This time around,  journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is still paired with Venom, a hulking shape-shifting, fang-bearing monster. Having lost his fiancee (Williams) and his job to Venom’s wilful maliciousness, he’s back on top after getting a scoop on serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson). But visiting the killer before his execution accidentally leaves the criminal with a drop of alien blood and suddenly, Cletus has his own all-powerful inner monster.

Carnage is a claret version of Venom – except bigger with more arms, and he’s  definitely nastier, too. Cletus/Carnage sets out to kill Brock/Venom and release his love Frances/Shriek (Naomie Harris), who is imprisoned in a soundproof cell because of her fatal scream.

Director Andy Serkis keeps this story to a trim 97-minutes of action and comedy – with much of the humour coming from Brock and Venom arguing and discussing what is rapidly becoming the weirdest bromance in Marvel history. As for sexual scenes, there is an animated flashback that shows female cartoon buttocks, along with an almost kissing scene and suggestive comments.

Young children may find the unpredictable violence of Venom and Carnage frightening – and they do talk about and actually commit to biting heads off. It’s dark, intense and scary throughout (and clearly aimed at older teens and adults), with human and alien transformations, swirling VFX and a lot of graphic violence. This is tempered by Serkis’ gift for a snappy pace and a surprisingly warm and friendly feeling by the film’s end. 

Is Venom: Let There Be Carnage suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This is a 15 certficate in the UK (and a PG-13 in the US) and is aimed at older teens and adults, as mentioned in the main review.

While Venom and Carnage are supernatural creatures, both are quite scary to look at and will frighten younger children. Carnage can contort his body and has tentacles which could also disturb them.

There is plenty of violence throughout the movie, characters are beaten, hanged, eaten, impaled, gouged strangled and shot, just to list some of their fates.

Let There Be Carnage is more violent than the original Venom movie.


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