(Photo credit: Marvel)
Mild Spoiler Warning
Hello, Internet. I am officially back with a new movie review after a very long hiatus dealing with life in the real world and how mildly bleak it is. [Editor’s note: Julian’s hiatus became even longer since I haven’t had time to upload anything until now. Apologies.] It’s not all dark as I am still optimistic despite the juxtaposition of reality that we are living in. Anyway, I am here to talk about an MCU movie that reminded me of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I am talking about Marvel Studios’ Eternals which I watched on Disney Plus. Okay, here we go (man, did I have to wrap my head around this one).
This latest Kevin Feige MCU movie follows the Earth’s original superheroes known as Eternals who came to our planet 5,000 years ago to protect mankind from an alien race known as the Deviants. All the while, they were ordered by their intergalactic overlord Arishem to not interfere with humanity’s conflicts to let them evolve naturally. Centuries later following the Blip from Avengers: Endgame, the Deviants have returned to wreak havoc on society once more. Tragedy strikes, forcing the team to reunite against the Deviants. However, not is all as it seems.
Sounds like an intriguing premise of an MCU movie. Except it is an MCU movie like no other. It is packed with a lot of information for you to pause the movie and settle for a couple of minutes to actually grasp it. It almost feels like I’m in college anthropology and history classes learning about how the Eternals influenced human civilization like the story of Icarus, the steam engine, the plow, even nuclear weapons. However, it is beautifully shot and grand in its storytelling in an attempt to differentiate from past MCU films. It’s over three hours long, and admittedly, my eyes started to get tired and checked my phone for time and realized there’s still some story left to be told.
The movie’s pacing ranges from intermediate pacing to slow pacing throughout. I was a little bothered by how it could not find a steady pace to keep me interested. Superhero movies have always been reliant on CGI, but the CGI in this movie is one of the main reasons I got tired. It feels like an over-abundant use of CGI to the point that I wish superhero movies would pull back the CGI and make it more real. Even when important information is being given, you feel like you just do not care enough because of the pacing issues.
The diverse cast of the Eternals was okay. I am very glad the movie is also showcasing multicultural and gender diversity in this film which a lot of movies need to do. Gemma Chan as Sersi, who is at the forefront of the movie, was serviceable. So was Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, but he did have the most expression out of all of the group in my opinion. He exhibits a jubilant personality for a person who is the inventor humanity’s technologies and regrets it because he feels partly responsible for horrible inventions like the atomic bomb. Angelina Jolie as Thena was great and elegant in her role as the warrior goddess afflicted with a disease. Lauren Ridloff as Makkari was great as the first deaf superhero to be put on screen who could potentially rival Quicksilver and the Flash.
Don Lee as Gilgamesh was serviceable, though they use him as another Asian sacrifice to move the plot along. I wish they would just keep him alive throughout the movie. Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo was not funny for me. But he did try his best. Lia McHugh as Sprite did pretty well as a character who has powers similar to Loki. Barry Keoghan as Druig was a bit too regal for me to take seriously. Richard Madden as Ikaris was almost as similar to Henry Cavil’s Superman with his semi-regal personality and he has a plotline that is predictable in a way that annoyed me. I almost forgot about Salma Hayek as Ajak, who does the best she can despite barely showing up in a couple of scenes to serve the plot. Similarly, Kit Harrington as Dane Whitman was also forgettable by only appearing in small doses with no relation to the main plot except for setting up his character to have a bigger role in the MCU. Lastly, Harish Patel as Karun Patel, Kingo’s valet could be easily cut out of the movie entirely.
Marvel Studios’ Eternals was a gigantic, yet slightly miscalculated bold leap forward in the MCU. It expanded the scope towards the Multiverse, which is the focal point of the new saga of MCU movies following the Infinity Saga. All of the interesting lore building has become bogged down by the dragging 157 runtime, which could have been shortened by more concise information for the audience to understand. Characters’ decisions are sometimes confusing, and the CGI has become more excessive than previous Marvel movies.
This is the first Marvel movie that I have mixed feelings on. But I would like to applaud Kevin Feige and Chloe Zhao for taking even bigger swings to continue to make the MCU feel fresh and diverse in direction, concept, and in the cast. The execution has left some things to be desired. But even after all of that, stick around for the mid and final post-credit scenes that will still get you hyped for what is coming next.
Julian Jones is a University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate with a degree in Sociology and minor in Public Health. He is applying for a job for ScreenRant. When he is not watching films, he is an Assistant to Ashley M Jones, Poet Laureate of the State of Alabama. Let him know what you thought of his review by leaving a comment below!
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