The saga of the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.
THE GOOD STUFF
-STORY STRUCTURE- I think it’s important to address the film snobs. Those who may see this who often have the complaint that MCU movies are not “real movies”. That they are style over substance, and that the MCU doesn’t care about general character development in their films. If that really is how you feel, then ETERNALS is your favorite MCU film by default.
This movie is two and a half hours, and a lot of that running time is exposition as to thoroughly explain who these characters are that we’ve never met, and what makes them tick. I respect what this film tried to do with setting up these characters for future films, and I hope comic movies try and follow suit. (I’m looking at you, DCEU)
-RICHARD MADDEN- I unofficially began the “Richard Madden should be the next James Bond” bandwagon quite some time ago. And though it still seems to be an uphill battle in convincing people that that should be the case, it all but reaffirms my case in this film. The screen presence and star power that he possesses may go unnoticed in this film. He is surrounded by a lot of actors who have been in very high profile, very beloved films and shows. And in saying that, it is important to point out that he is NEVER dwarfed by any of them on screen, whether it comes to the action scenes or otherwise.
-THE ACTION- You can tell that action scenes are not the forte of Chloe Zhao. And you know what? That’s okay. The best way I can describe the action sequences in this movie is that it moves a lot…slower than what we’re used to seeing from comic book films in general. There’s nothing kinetic, there’s nothing fancy here, and in all honesty it serves a storyline more than it is designed to titillate it’s audience. It’s going to be yet another polarizing factor in the discussion of whether this movie is good or not. And I personally do appreciate the change of pace.
-KUMAIL NANJIANI & HARISH PATEL- The absolute HEROES of the first 40 minutes of this film. In my humble opinion, one of the two critical elements of making a worthwhile superhero flick is comic relief. Nanjiani playing the biggest Bollywood star in the world who happens to be an Eternal, and Patel playing his ride or die assistant who attempts to document his journey to save the world, is a welcome comedic departure from a film that is dead serious all the time no matter what.
THE BAD STUFF
-VILLIANS– Remember a second ago when I mentioned that one of the critical elements in the good superhero film was comic relief, well the other critical element is a good villain to root against. Every single choice this film makes to portray villany seems stale, and the case of the final act the choice that is made is really…let’s just say, uncreative.
-IKARIS- Remember when I mentioned all of the good that Richard Madden brings in this movie? Well…his actual character is trash. Madden is doing good things on screen whilst being given a character who is given nothing but trash to do in the 3rd act of the film, a worthless love dilemma storyline, and possibly the most stale, bland dialogue out of any character in the whole group of Eternals.
But he isn’t even the worst character in the film….
-SERSI- Even though the character is likable, and though Gemma Chan gives a pretty good performance…this character feels very underdeveloped and ULTRA BORING. I understand the need for the lead of this film to be nuanced, and gentle, in presence. But Sersi is BY F****** FAR the least interesting character out of the entire group of Eternals, her superpowers are hot garbage, the love story between her, and Ikaris is senseless, and what this film calls for her character to become in the 3rd act would have been really enjoyable to watch if it were literally any of the OTHER eternals.
THE UGLY STUFF
-THE STORYLINE- ETERNALS did the one f****** thing that I was afraid it was going to do…it made everything in the Infinity Saga look minuscule and unimportant.
The scope of this film is so vast and so wide that it kind of separates itself from the rest of the lexicon of the MCU. Hell, the Loki TV show dealt with the expansion of a multiverse, and ETERNALS makes even that look minuscule in scope of talking about being there during the prehistoric times and the age of Babylon and celestials and the creation of the universe in general. I almost wish this wasn’t a part of the MCU, I wish it was a different separate thing like Agents of Shield or the Netflix Marvel shows. I trust Kevin Feige and his team of storytellers to make everything make sense at the end of the day, but it’s actually low key frustrating to see them casually reference things like “The Snap” as if it’s just some wacky s*** that happened that one time a while back.
This movie is championed by how many “firsts” it’s come to accomplish. There’s a lot of important “first times” that are going on in this film that have made news. Important things. Groundbreaking things.
But, just because you’re movie does important things.. doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good film.
ETERNALS is playing in theatres now.