6 Thoughts on Eternals (Review)
Marvel superhero content is a never-ending stream of movies and TV shows these days, and here comes another one. I have always been very hesitant about Eternals. They’re a pretty unpopular and uninteresting faction in the comics, so why make a movie about them? But then who am I to question the mighty minds of Marvel Studios?
Movie Rating: 7/10 – Good
Eternals is infamous now as being the only movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t put any stock into that website, so it means nothing to me. I was always going to see Eternals in the theater as soon as possible and I did. And enjoyed the movie. I saw no real, major problems with the film, definitely not to the degree of the drubbing its getting. But this is a weird world we live in. And Spider-Man: No Way Home is only a month away.
Join me after the jump for my thoughts and review of Eternals. Expect FULL SPOILERS for the movie. And feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments.
6. I liked this movie just fine
I thought Eternals was good and enjoyable. Obviously the cinematography from director Chloe Zhao was unlike anything Marvel has done before, and on top of that it was a fine movie about superheroes doing a thing. I thought all of the actors did a good job bringing their characters to life and bouncing off one another. I thought the action was cool. I especially enjoyed seeing Ikaris doing his Superman thing. Have Superman digital and special effects ever looked that good? I liked the humor, I liked how the story became about the Eternals turning on one another and I thought the ending was sufficiently cool. I liked this movie just fine and definitely didn’t see any major problems.
The Chloe Zhao part is especially important. People have been complaining for however long about every Marvel movie being the same. Well here is Marvel trying something new and different, with a popular, up-and-coming indie director. Marvel isn’t resting on their laurels. They’re clearly taking big swings and trying new things. I applaud that.
5. I cared more about the characters than the actors
So the main reason why I was hesitant about an Eternals movie is because the Eternals are nobodies in the comics. They’ve never been popular, never held much of an ongoing series and are largely forgotten about at any given time. Nobody cares about the Eternals. Yet they get a whole movie? I trust in Marvel Studios…but c’mon.
And I feel like I was mostly right. In watching this film, I don’t really care about any of the characters. Honestly, I saw them mostly as the actors instead of the characters. Like when Phastos is standing up to Ikaris in the finale and fighting him on the beach, I was thinking about how cool it was that Brian Tyree Henry got to be an overweight, Black superhero. Or when Kingo makes the very personal decision to side with Ikaris in the end, but not fight his friends, I wondered if Kumail Nanjiani had a scheduling conflict so he couldn’t be part of the finale filming. What was up with that? I understand why the character made the choice he did…but Kumail still bails on the movie’s big ending. It was weird.
Perhaps my mind will change when I actually see these characters interacting with other Marvel characters, but based on this movie alone, the Eternals themselves need a lot of work.
4. Black Knight was an after thought of an after thought
I was pretty excited about Kit Harrington cast as Dane Whitman, the Black Knight. Not that I’m a major Black Knight fan, but I love having the cast of exciting Marvel characters expand with the potential for future projects. The Black Knight could be a big screen Avenger one day, and starting him off here would be pretty cool…except that he’s barely in the movie, and his status as the Black Knight feels like a weird double after thought.
It felt like an early draft of the script gave Sersi a human boyfriend to add to her connection to the world. That’s fine. But then later, somebody at Marvel decided they could shoehorn this random dude character into being an actual comics character. Nothing about Dane as a character really feels like he’ll be the Black Knight. It’s all awkwardly tacked-on. I would have rather seen Dane tag along with Sersi for the whole movie, joining Karun as another human voice in the group.
Karun was great, by the way.
3. The scope of the Celestials was very impressive
One thing that really impressed me about Eternals was the scope of the Celestials. That was damn good. From the shots of Tiamat’s hands and head sticking out of the ocean, to Arishem the Judge looming over the Planet Earth, I think all of that worked great. It was very cool, very big, and I could really feel the sense of scale.
Which makes me confidant that Marvel can do Galactus properly one of these days. No giant space cloud. Just a big, looming, awe-inspiring being of pure doom.
2. Those post-credits cameos are something else
I can believe they went there. I don’t want them to go there. But man…they went there. Pip the Troll and Starfox show up in the first post-credits scene. I was gobsmacked. Starfox is a very weird character. Are they really expanding the Marvel Universe that much? Granted, I did just gush about Black Knight joining the MCU. But still, Starfox? C’mon! That dude is weird. And I definitely don’t want Marvel retconning Thanos into this Eternals/Deviants thing. I know that’s how it is in the comics, but Thanos worked so damn well as just a guy with an idea from the planet Titan. Don’t lump into into this weird lore.
Conversely, did you know that was Blade’s voice at the end of the Black Knight stinger? I thought it was Geoffrey Wright, The Watcher. And people in my audience thought it was Samuel L. Jackson. But nope, it was Mahershala Ali, the new Blade. They brought him in to do that one line, possibly setting up Black Knight in the Blade movie. That could definitely work. But man…why not have him show up in costume? Want to excite audiences? Actually have Blade appear. The movie is getting made. Surely they have a basic costume they could put him in? Of course, then the only thing people would be talking about is Blade and not Eternals.
1. I’d be more than happy with a sequel
Yeah, I could handle a sequel. Weirdly, Marvel hasn’t announced a sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, despite having movies planned for several years out. How long do we have to wait for Shang-Chi 2? And now we’ve got all these Eternals running around…though I suppose they’re off Earth. But how long do we have to wait to see them again? I’d be willing to give these characters another try with a sequel. Anything could happen!