This movie is getting a mixed reception. This review attempts to figure out why that is.
By: Kenny Velez
“Eternals” is an eternal-sized bore. Directed by Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), this movie takes place after “Avengers: Endgame”.
The film begins with an unexpected tragedy that happens and forces the Eternals, a race of ancient aliens who have been living on Earth for thousands of years in secret, to come out of hiding and reunite to fight against the Deviants, mankind’s oldest enemy.
When Sersi and Ikaris speak to each other for the first time, something has gone very wrong. The dialogue is unnatural and it would plague the movie throughout.
And the Deviants are bland and are mostly used as wild animals. One of them, Kro, becomes sentient but he doesn’t get to do much after that.
The real conflict of this movie comes from the Eternals preventing a Celestial from coming out of the Earth and destroying it. Once this is revealed it is very clear that the writers will not let the Celestial destroy the Earth.
This prevents the plot of the film from being suspenseful because the outcome is no longer a surprise.
Also there are no secondary objectives that the villains can accomplish beforehand that will give them a victory, such as getting a bunch of Macguffins that will awaken the Celestial. This would have made the villains more competent and the plot more interesting.
The only good superhero movies that have villains threatening the world are “The Avengers” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and they both focus on interesting interactions between protagonists rather than protagonists having interesting interactions with the villains.
“Eternals” attempts to do the former but with few outward signs of success.
The characters Druig, Makkari, Phastos, Sprite, and Thena can all be cut out of the movie. They have little impact on the plot and there just isn’t enough time to make audiences care about them.
Alternatively several of them can be killed to establish a mood and raise the stakes. It’s okay to have some deaths. None of these characters are essential to the success of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) going forward besides Sersi.
The Eternals as a whole are hard to care about because all of them are uninteresting. At best they come off as unrelatable. At worst they come off as assholes.
If they can’t involve themselves in the affairs of humans then why are humanity’s myths and stories about them? If they love humans so much then why do most of them hate humans?
If they cannot interfere in humanity’s development, then why is Phastos helping humans create the means to destroy themselves?
Whoops! These are some of the many plot holes that this movie has.
“Thor” does the whole space-gods thing much better. In fact, the Eternals don’t even come off as space gods, they come off as regular human beings.
Gilgamesh and Kingo Sunen are the MVPs (Most Valuable Players) of the movie in terms of personality and writing, although stupid decisions are made with both of them.
Gilgamesh gets killed off when more can be done with him.
Kingo leaves the Eternals before the final battle. Kingo’s cosmic energy projectiles are used in creative ways and take many forms, such as finger lasers and a Hadouken.There is an opportunity for him to come back and help out, but it never happens.
In terms of writing, “Eternals” is the worst MCU movie not starring Spider-Man.
What would this movie look like if it was directed by a different person?
Would it be better? Would it have more feeling and character arcs?
I guess we’ll never know.