Venom 2 reviews roundup – here are the final verdicts

A screenshot of supervillain Carnage in the upcoming Sony movie Venom: Let There Be Canage
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The first reviews for Venom: Let There be Carnage have arrived online, and it seems that the Marvel anti-hero's sequel has, for the most part, been well received.

Venom 2 is due to arrive in theaters in the US on October 1 (it isn't out in UK cinemas until October 15), so it's about time that its review embargo was lifted.

Despite being a smash hit at the box office, 2018's Venom wasn't universally loved by film critics. Fast forward three years to its follow-up, however, and it seems that the Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson-starring flick gets more things right than it gets wrong – just about, anyway.

Collider's Matt Goldberg kicked things off with his positive review for Venom 2. Goldberg simply stated (via Twitter) that he enjoyed Venom: Let There be Carnage far more than its predecessor, while his actual review claims that the "sequel far surpasses the original by leaning into the comic elements":

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Deadline's Pete Hammond was similarly effusive, stating that, while Venom 2 "is strictly for Venom comic book fans, it is sleek and sly enough to survive a heavy assault on the senses, especially once Carnage comes into play":

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IGN's Francesca Rivera lauded Venom 2 for improving on "everything from the first movie" and "leaning into its own absurdity", although she suggests that it "plays it a little safe" overall.

Meanwhile, Digital Spy's Gabriella Geisinger calls it the "odd-couple campy-action ride that we were promised", adding that Venom 2 is "a fun time without chest-beating moralistic, bloated stories, or perfunctory action". Chris Evangelista of SlashFilm similarly hailed the "goofy romantic comedy dressed up as a superhero sequel."

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Not every review was as positive as the above, though. Variety's Peter Debruge states that Let There be Carnage is an "incomprehensible follow-up" and, despite Venom now appearing in three live-action films, there's "enormous untapped potential which someone’s sure to figure out eventually".'s Jamie Jirak claims Venom 2 "is a movie you might enjoy if go in with low expectations", before suggesting that the "only real memorable moment of the entire film comes after the movie ends".

Benjamin Lee of The Guardian was more critical of the film, calling it an "admirably light-hearted but utterly disposable sequel".

Finally, ScreenCrush editor Matt Singer hit out at Venom 2's PG-13 rating. Calling out the film's creative team for altering the course of the plot "a bit too drastically" from 2018's Venom, Singer goes on to add that "if you can’t show the true nature of these characters, maybe you shouldn’t make the movie at all." Ouch.

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It seems, then, that there are things to like (and loathe) about Venom: Let There be Carnage. Reading between the lines, it appears that cinemagoers who enjoyed the first film will equally like its follow-up.

We don't expect Venom 2 will be as big a box office hit as its predecessor – the ongoing pandemic will see to that. But it sounds like it should have enough to find an audience and, given the post-credits scene alluded to by these reviews, there's an intriguing direction that a third Venom movie could go in.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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