Critics Consensus

Venom: Let There Be Carnage Leans Hard Into the Ridiculous

Plus, The Many Saints of Newark is a worthy addition to the Sopranos canon, and Titane is weirdly compelling.

by | September 30, 2021 | Comments

This weekend, we’ve got a symbiotic bromance (Venom: Let There Be Carnage, starring Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson), Tony Soprano’s coming of age (The Many Saints of Newark, starring Michael Gandolfini and Alessandro Nivola), and a festival-favorite shocker (Titane, starring Agathe Rouseelle and Vincent Lindon). What are the critics saying?

It’s still a bit unclear what Sony’s ultimate plans are for the various Spider-Man characters they currently hold the rights to, but while we — and possibly they — try to figure it all out, the studio continues to move forward with Spidey-adjacent solo films. The latest is Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the sequel to 2018’s Venom, focusing on the popular comic supervillain-turned-antihero personified by Tom Hardy, who both voices the alien symbiote Venom and plays the journalist who inadvertently bonded with him, Eddie Brock. In this follow-up, Eddie/Venom faces off against a similar villain in Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who offers his life story to Eddie and, thanks to a few drops of Eddie’s blood, ends up with a maniacal alien parasite of his own. The first Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer, wasn’t a critical darling by any means, but a not insignificant portion of the moviegoing audience appreciated its off-kilter humor and willingness to go to some weird places. Andy Serkis takes the reins for Let There Be Carnage, while Hardy himself helped pen the script, and the pair double down on the insanity of the first film to deliver something that feels more akin to a buddy comedy than a superhero blockbuster. Critics say the final product is bizarre and unapologetically silly but also clearly aware of its quirks, and it should appeal to fans who enjoyed the first film, as well as anyone who appreciates a gonzo Tom Hardy performance.

It’s been nearly a decade and a half since we witnessed the end of HBO’s iconic series The Sopranos, but even that controversial series finale wasn’t enough to tarnish the legacy of what’s still regarded as one of the greatest television shows ever. And if you were going to attempt to build on the legacy of Tony Soprano, immortalized by the late, great James Gandolfini, there would be worse ideas than to set your project before the events of the series and cast Gandolfini’s own son, Michael, in the role his father made famous. The Many Saints of Newark is that project, a feature film prequel that charts the childhood of young Tony Soprano as he comes of age amid racial tensions and violent conflicts in late-1960s New Jersey. But how is he, and is the film any good? Critics say Many Saints is a largely effective and evocative companion piece to The Sopranos that incorporates plenty of nods to the original series — it doesn’t hurt that creator David Chase wrote the film and series regular Alan Taylor is behind the camera — and makes the most of its talented cast, which includes Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Ray Liotta, Vera Farmiga, and more. It doesn’t quite achieve the heights of its source material — how could it? — but it feels familiar, and fans will be happy to return to that world for a couple of hours.

Titane (2021)


It was clear Julia Ducournau was something special when the French writer-director released her feature film debut, 2016’s Raw, to widespread acclaim. We had to wait five years for her sophomore feature, but the wait seems to have been worth it; Titane, which opens in limited release this week, has already made Ducournau just the second woman to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film, which is probably best classified as mystery thriller-meets-body horror and touches on elements of the surreal, follows its central character Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) through a series of unpredictable situations that defy easy description, ranging from bloody murder to literal “auto erotica.” It would be rather unfair to deprive viewers of the magical, horrific surprises to be found within Titane, so we won’t do that here, but critics who have seen it say it’s just as bold, stylish, and exciting as it is mystifying, messy, and weirdly gross. Suffice it to say this is not going to be everyone’s cup of antifreeze, but those who give it a chance are in for a wild ride.

Thumbnail image by ©Sony Pictures

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Comics on TV Apple TV Plus debate Academy Awards Lifetime FOX stop motion movie aapi mockumentary Trivia TV renewals Comedy Central Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cancelled TV shows legend Black History Month prank Nat Geo Red Carpet disaster saw mutant rotten movies we love Schedule satire robots kaiju golden globe awards international Mary Poppins Returns HBO Go japan Ghostbusters Rom-Com women Star Wars 79th Golden Globes Awards suspense Food Network SXSW 2022 teaser breaking bad Sundance TV obituary zombies Spring TV Winners LGBT heist movie witnail Musicals Rock Legendary Crunchyroll ratings Valentine's Day summer preview Tags: Comedy San Diego Comic-Con GoT live action superman cooking nfl comic book movies ID Best and Worst Baby Yoda news IFC slashers Box Office Awards Arrowverse FX on Hulu NBA parents Prime Video Tubi psychological thriller Comic Book toy story summer TV preview spain Disney streaming service DirecTV USA chucky VICE directors Trophy Talk Adult Swim DC Comics Universal nbcuniversal batman true crime X-Men Holidays YouTube Red kong Kids & Family trophy Dark Horse Comics Tokyo Olympics IFC Films TV Podcast Vudu Horror Paramount Network diversity casting what to watch AMC dark medical drama mission: impossible spider-verse worst movies HBO binge Hallmark Christmas movies period drama fast and furious aliens jamie lee curtis Song of Ice and Fire Calendar Emmys spy thriller obi wan Super Bowl See It Skip It The Arrangement Lifetime Christmas movies screenings Travel Channel CNN Masterpiece Sundance romantic comedy 2018 Summer Avengers canceled politics comedies Pet Sematary mob marvel comics thriller a nightmare on elm street 73rd Emmy Awards BBC America TCA 2017 Black Mirror Hulu Elton John razzies Drama APB supernatural olympics Superheroe FXX VH1 justice league marvel cinematic universe CBS All Access MSNBC Sneak Peek Emmy Nominations james bond BET Awards DC Universe dc Winter TV anthology Endgame MGM italian travel transformers green book NYCC Video Games IMDb TV richard e. Grant Infographic streaming Spike sequel Pacific Islander hispanic joker The Academy Lionsgate criterion mcc technology The CW Mary Tyler Moore The Purge VOD zombie ABC Family dexter indiana jones TCM japanese australia ABC Signature Classic Film TCA Oscar Pop TV Mindy Kaling CW Seed PlayStation Marathons TNT dragons vampires blaxploitation Grammys RT History Universal Pictures Set visit series TBS Pride Month live event serial killer 24 frames Oscars Bravo BBC Cannes spider-man comics Certified Fresh ABC Interview Cartoon Network BBC One Rocketman Paramount Plus Amazon Fall TV streamig Extras slasher E3 Tumblr know your critic cops Election NBC biopic Photos Nickelodeon popular USA Network Rocky YouTube latino sports rt labs high school Tomatazos Esquire christmas movies Pop ITV New York Comic Con Music laika 21st Century Fox award winner comic books dreamworks historical drama GIFs biography deadpool adventure streaming movies reviews Turner Classic Movies cancelled TV series Best Director venice young adult natural history Spectrum Originals TV One king arthur SundanceTV critic resources Creative Arts Emmys Biopics TV movies The Walt Disney Company harry potter cars crossover foreign Funimation Warner Bros. documentary festivals sitcom Cosplay summer TV TV Land ViacomCBS Western scene in color gangster cartoon Holiday Syfy war Star Trek discovery A24 Christmas Turner stoner game show 007 renewed TV shows target Netflix Christmas movies new york Marvel Studios hidden camera fresh Shondaland Thanksgiving wonder woman Hollywood Foreign Press Association based on movie The Witch new star wars movies OneApp Marvel Character Guide twilight The Walking Dead all-time rt labs critics edition Wes Anderson art house leaderboard game of thrones Ovation spanish language Mystery films Watching Series emmy awards TruTV stand-up comedy godzilla canceled TV shows rotten Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt universal monsters Acorn TV YA TCA Winter 2020 Discovery Channel child's play National Geographic animated Toys El Rey dceu Showtime WarnerMedia quibi spinoff social media versus Ellie Kemper 2019 Amazon Studios documentaries south america President HBO Max sopranos Nominations Film Stephen King Binge Guide Countdown Pirates Focus Features blockbusters Best Picture Animation Martial Arts black MTV Heroines Paramount Pictures Fox News Apple LGBTQ PaleyFest talk show football Quiz Broadway ghosts name the review Captain marvel First Look french 2015 tv talk History Fantasy classics Tarantino remakes romance Fox Searchlight SXSW crime thriller Comedy cinemax scary Writers Guild of America Exclusive Video Alien DGA comic children's TV genre DC streaming service royal family RT21 WGN 2020 Brie Larson hispanic heritage month book Sundance Now screen actors guild TIFF Instagram Live Superheroes police drama CBS ESPN sag awards best TLC miniseries independent monster movies crime superhero festival Trailer book adaptation zero dark thirty Opinion Amazon Prime Video Reality halloween tv new zealand FX franchise Awards Tour A&E critics concert Chernobyl scorecard Apple TV+ indie Mudbound space 2021 Teen television 71st Emmy Awards Shudder 93rd Oscars rt archives action-comedy docuseries 45 feel good revenge telelvision rom-coms facebook reboot American Society of Cinematographers Image Comics worst nature blockbuster Country movies PBS BAFTA elevated horror HFPA Best Actor Pixar Mary poppins boxing Neflix doctor who Peacock docudrama spanish TCA Awards unscripted 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards AMC Plus Logo kids Amazon Prime GLAAD YouTube Premium Family CMT Hear Us Out 4/20 theme song cancelled Women's History Month Disney+ Disney Plus 2016 cancelled television anime video 90s OWN strong female leads Anna Paquin crime drama Television Critics Association finale Epix dramedy basketball 94th Oscars jurassic park Musical Starz werewolf asian-american sequels vs. political drama cults Paramount Sci-Fi adaptation cats hollywood First Reviews video on demand Premiere Dates science fiction king kong die hard scary movies Walt Disney Pictures comic book movie SDCC 20th Century Fox Disney Channel broadcast Reality Competition South by Southwest Film Festival 1990s black comedy Britbox trailers Film Festival posters composers free movies boxoffice 99% comiccon 2017 BET MCU adenture Sony Pictures Hallmark Action Polls and Games Freeform toronto 72 Emmy Awards dogs archives Fargo Crackle halloween pirates of the caribbean hist Lucasfilm E! Year in Review Columbia Pictures Television Academy Netflix Marvel Television Best Actress golden globes Comic-Con@Home 2021 singing competition psycho Disney Disney Plus lord of the rings