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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In a way, the movie is largely about teamwork, as Eddie and Venom are symbiotic and Cletus and Carnage (it turns out) are not. The characters who work together, including the non-powered civilians, tend to get an upper hand on the villains who can't. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't really talk about the downsides of the symbiosis between Venom and Eddie, instead making a poor attempt at comedy with lots of shouting and arguing.
Positive Role Models
There's more of an attempt in this sequel to turn Venom into a hero; i.e., he wants to kill humans, but he can subsist on chickens and chocolate. Eddie is strict with him about sticking to these rules. They seem to be trying to be better people than they were in the first movie, but they're still involved in tons of destruction and lots of death with few, or no, consequences.
Frances Barrison, a Black woman, is the only central character of color. Her super-power, a destructive shriek, has made her an outcast and a prisoner her whole life. She shows strength, but she's not well developed and is unquestionably a villain; she's also always shown experiencing violence/trauma/harm. The only other person of color in the cast is Mrs. Chen, a convenience store owner who knows about Venom. She shows kindness, but her characterization also leans toward stereotype. Anne doesn't get to do very much at all, just as in the first movie.
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Violence & Scariness
Mass destruction. Many minor characters killed. Violent monsters. Headless body. Someone kicks a store clerk in the head and stomps on their body (offscreen, below counter). Animated flashback sequence depicts a child pushing his grandmother down the stairs, killing his mother with a hairdryer in the bathtub, and being abused by both his father and bullies. Lots of fighting, smashing, mass destruction, pounding, etc. Strangling, biting. Squishing someone's eye with thumb. Venom bites a man's head off. Woman shot, thrown out of moving truck. A woman is abused by her love interest. Brief jump-scare. Venom is very scary to look at, with his vicious fangs and overall menacing appearance. The plot includes the fact that a convicted murderer has been condemned to death; a scene shows prison guards starting to administer lethal injection.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief passionate kissing. In an animated flashback, a cartoon woman's naked bottom is briefly shown. A woman tells Venom he's sexy.
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A use of "f--k," several uses of "s--t," plus "a--hole," "ass," "p---y," "bitch/son of a bitch," "goddamn," "hell," "d--k," "crapola," "sphincter." Middle-finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Some offline merchandising, but less than with other similar properties.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the sequel to 2018's Venom, with Tom Hardy returning as Eddie, the reporter who's also host to a scary, fanged alien symbiote known as Venom (the character was originally an enemy of Spider-Man). Like the first movie, this one suffers from forced humor, shouting, and lots of noisy smashing. Violence includes mass destruction, many minor characters being killed in bloodless ways, fighting, smashing, pounding, brutal attacks, eye-gouging, strangling, biting, bullying, and some guns and shooting. An animated flashback shows the worst violence, in cartoon form: murders, abuse, and bullying. Two characters kiss briefly but passionately, a woman's naked bottom is seen in the cartoon sequence, and a woman with an ulterior motive flirts with Venom and calls him sexy. Fairly strong language includes a use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "son of a bitch," "a--hole," "p---y," and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With poorly chosen "comedy" moments that consist mainly of shouting and action elements that are mainly noise and smashing, this sequel misses every chance to come together in a satisfying way. Directed Andy Serkis, Venom: Let There Be Carnage (which follows 2018's hit Venom) starts off with a supposedly comic situation, as Eddie and Venom argue and shout about how things are going to be. They're like a more violent, less funny version of Shrek and Donkey. The movie has no idea how to weave the situation of Venom occupying Eddie's body into clever or physical humor. It's all forced and graceless. Unlike, say, Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin in 1984's excellent body-sharing comedy All of Me, every attempt at a similar situation here -- such as Eddie ducking into a women's bathroom to argue with Venom -- falls completely flat.
As Carnage, Harrelson sometimes manages a few wry line-readings, but he also frequently stumbles on his chunky, villainous dialogue, as does Harris. (This is the kind of movie wherein one of Carnage's first lines is "Let's get this party started!") Normally a bold performer, Williams perhaps fares the worst of anyone in the cast; in her one big scene, Anne must use her "feminine wiles" to convince Venom that he's sexy, just before she's kidnapped and held captive for the rest of the movie. The action is a blur, with mounting destruction and no human interest or consequences. It's difficult to care as either buildings crumble or victims are dispatched. On the plus side, the Venom visual effects are quite impressive, and the movie is swiftly paced, which means it's over fairly quickly.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.