Eternals is the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to release this year and with the plethora of Disney+ shows, the success of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings and the ever-growing hype for Spider-Man: No Way Home, Eternals had a lot of expectations to live up to.
Directed by Chloé Zhao (Nomadland, The Rider), Eternals is based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name. Filled with an extremely recognizable and star-studded cast with the likes of Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Richard Madden (Bodyguard, 1917) and Angelina Jolie (Maleficent, Kung Fu Panda), Eternals on paper had all the pieces to be one of Marvel’s best films to date but unfortunately, when leaving the theatre, I was left with the opinion that it’s probably one of the MCU’s weakest entries.
As most people have come to expect from Marvel films, the SFX is utterly fantastic. This is particularly important with the MCU’s cosmic properties as they rely so much on creating a visual style that balances down-to-earth realism and mind-bending, otherworldly characters, planets and cultures. As shown in the trailers the Celestials are captured beautifully with an impressive use of bold and distinct colours that really make their size and presence on screen feel both important and foreboding. On the other hand, the simplification of The Eternals’ aesthetic look from that of the comics could be viewed as a significant downgrade but given the visual aesthetic of both the film and of the wider MCU, I was happy enough with how they looked.
Whilst the dialogue and story of Eternals is certainly not its strongest feature the performances of the main cast and supporting characters was very good. I only say very good because the script itself really lets down the core cast from flexing their full acting capabilities.
Unfortunately, the characters aren’t the only victims of the poor dialogue and story in Eternals. The film’s main antagonists, the Deviants are ultimately a boring, generic adversary to The Eternals and are not explored nearly enough for them to be considered anything else other than big grey monsters. The Deviants are up there with some of the worst MCU villains and ultimately come across and are treated as forgettable.
Eternals struggles with information overload, at times choosing to dumb dialogue on the viewer in a very forced manner. It shouldn’t really be a surprise at this stage that attempting to cram a large group of super-powered individuals into the already established MCU lore and then trying to explain why they’re only showing up now would be a near-impossible task. Along with this, there’s a huge level of flawed logic and information presented that further confused the already convoluted storyline.
Ultimately, Eternals is nothing to write home about. If you’re a fan of the MCU you’ll probably want to go and see it but it's honestly not even worth viewing for the wider universe implications as for the moment it seems fairly separated from the core MCU. There are mid-credits and after-credits scenes that aren’t overly mind-blowing but if you still want to watch Eternals but are on the fence I’d say wait until it comes to Disney+. On the other hand, if you’re not interested in the MCU at all and are just looking for a fun movie to go and see I reckon this might be something you’d be interested in. It’s certainly a visual spectacle and something I’d recommend switching your mind off for when watching. In conclusion, it’s dumb fun but way below my already mild expectations.
If you’d like to discuss Eternals’ with me a little bit more and talk some spoilers, you can do so over on my Twitter @OdhranJohnson! If you’re interested in indie based games news, reviews and more you can check me and the team at Gaming Sandbox out over on gaming-sandbox.com.
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