Eternals is a skippable Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is chugging right along with its third feature-length entry, Eternals. A globe-hopping, time-skipping team up with a bunch of characters most people have never heard of before. Though ambitious in its approach, Chloe Zhao’s film fails to achieve its lofty goals.
The Eternals are beings created by the Celestials (planet-sized robots we’ve seen before in Guardians of the Galaxy), each bearing a unique set of powers. Their task is to protect humanity from the evil Deviants. We see the team battle the otherworldly beasts throughout human history, at times nudging humanity’s development in the right direction. The teammates’ powers and the way they play off each other’s strengths amuses but doesn’t save the movie from itself. The Avengers films (and Civil War) are giant-sized team-up movies every MCU fan gets excited for. They’ve achieved such critical praise because the individual team members have (for the most part) already had their own solo adventures. As a result, character development can take a backseat to action sequences nd hilarious interactions. Marvel set out to challenge that formula after Avengers: Endgame.
Eternals tries to introduce an entire team.
They try to explain why they’ve been out of the picture all this time, and give us a compelling story. The individual plotlines depict a level of intimacy uncharacteristic of MCU films. But the movie gets bogged down in expository dialogue and forced melodrama. The bizarre plot turns at the end will just raise eyebrows. And not in a good way.
The all-star cast of diverse talent are all welcomed newcomers. Gemma Chan’s Sersi could have had her own solo movie before this. The same could be said about Angelina Jolie’s light-sword and shield-wielding Thena. Jolie kicked tons of ass but got the short end of the stick, story-wise. We get Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari as the MCU’s first deaf superhero, and Brian Tyree Henry plays Phastos, who is the first gay superhero. Kumail Nanjiani’s Bollywood star Kingo is sure to be a fan favorite.
I give the Eternals a 5.5 out of 10. The performances and the visuals should be enough to satisfy die-hard MCU fans. But others can probably skip this one.
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