I don’t dislike I liked Nomadland but didn’t love it. And I don’t understand why so many critics do love it. I saw nothing in its artistry that stood out above any other film. Eternals reassures that opinion. After coming back from Dune, Eternals looks like a sci-fi channel film. The overuse of CGI instead of practical effects and costumes that look straight off the rack of Wal-Mart starts to show Marvel’s age. Where I was breathtaking by Loki’s effects on a TV budget, Eternals appears cheap in comparison. How’s that possible with a mega-million dollar budget motion picture?
Eternals is an exposition dump that doesn’t need to be one. Tenent was a movie that was about a Russian terrorist wanting to blow up the world. The rest is inserted time travel garble to make the story seem complicated. Eternals has the same problem. It’s a film about superheroes killing demon monsters (deviants), so they don’t destroy the world. The rest is basic character development crammed into a two and half hour film that needed a Disney Plus series.
There’s a burning question audiences have been asking since the Eternals trailer dropped. Why didn’t they stop Thanos? Their noninvolvement is a little more detailed than Captain Marvel’s excuse in Endgame. They’re told they cannot interfere with humankind so they can evolve. If you’re thinking, that doesn’t make any sense; I feel the same way. While they witnessed the horrific events of human history, they did nothing. How each character copes with such a weight varies. Some start families others hide away. There’s a harrowing scene depicting a devastated Eternal kneeling amidst the wreckage of Hiroshima pleading his regret of inaction. Please give me more of that! Instead, we settle with Marvel jokes and characters shooting lasers at each other while yelling “STOP, I’M ON YOUR SIDE!”
The cast mostly hits their marcs. Gemma Chan does a fantastic job playing a woman who must become a leader while battling her past doubts. Kumail Nanjiani is the comedic release whose charm supersedes his obnoxious character. Brian Tyree Henry balances the weight an Eternal must feel through his profound expressive nature ranging from comedic to dramatic. Lia McHugh knocks it out of the park as the film’s heart. There’s a sadness to her character that felt so real; I wanted to jump in the screen and hug her.
Angelina Jolie is doing her usual corny accent, which boggles my mind as to why. Didn’t she learn from Alexander? The Eternals are from another part of the galaxy. Slapping an English accent doesn’t make you sound like your from there On the flip side, I couldn’t tell if Barry Keoghan was trying to do an accent or not. He slips between American and British, throwing me off. Quick question to the reader, does Richard Madden look exactly like Sebastian Stan? If it weren’t for his Scottish accent I would have thought it was him. One thing the film nails is the diversity in its casting
Eternals doesn’t merely settle for a race or gender swap. All walks of life are represented. We have our first big-screen deaf superhero (aside from Hawkeye to a certain extent, from my understanding). Lauren Ridloff’s face speaks volumes for her character. Makkari is the Flash of the Eternals, and her sympathy is what makes her so noble beyond her powers. Brian Tyree Henry’s Phaistos is the first openly gay superhero. Thankfully his marriage isn’t a political statement with a glowing woke neon sign. It’s handled as naturally as same-sex parents should be treated bringing a real heartfelt beauty to his relationship.
Saying a Marvel movie is predictable is like complaining that coffee is hot. Unfortunately the coffee is cold here. Shang-Chi had a predictable plot but some spectacular action sequences to help breathe some new life into a Marvel. The action here looks like something from the PS4 Avengers game. A lot of fights happen by naturally photographed land, with cartoony CGI placed in the foreground. The twists in the plot come as clear as a freight train approaching a car. Nothing feels unique or exciting—just the same as any other run-of-the-mill comic book flick. The only difference is it drains its audience with exposition to convince them that all of this is going to be very important. That’s not enough to go on anymore. Eternals is more of the same Marvel flavor that is getting stale. The setup phase is over. Phase 4 needs more payoff like Disney has been delivering with its T.V. series. Chloé Zhao’s glowing eye for capturing beautiful scenery can’t save the rest of Eternals lack of providing anything different in the MCU.
When the film hits theaters November 5th let me know if you agree with my rating.