Marvel once again reached deep into its vast catalogue of comic book characters for its latest big movie release, “Eternals”, which is about a group of immortal heroes who were sent to Earth thousands of years ago to take out mankind’s oldest enemy, The Deviants. Once the threat is removed, the group go their separate ways and into hiding on Earth, waiting on the sidelines just encase the Deviants ever return. As you’d expect, they do, bringing the Eternals out of hiding and back together to face off with their mortal enemies and save the earth once again.
“Eternals” is directed by the Oscar-winning director, Chloé Zhao, who brings a very different feel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that’s something I really enjoyed about this film. I didn’t have any knowledge of the Eternals, so I had nothing to compare them to. Much like with the “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, the characters were all brand new to me, and I think that helps, because I hadn’t anything to compare them to. They’ve not been featured in video games, animated series or anything else, so much like with “Shang-Chi”, it was refreshing to have a new origin story to be told.
This is a relatively long film, as dealing with the introduction of almost a dozen new characters, requires a little bit of time. Trying to establish all the heroes’ unique powers and characteristics in a short period means it’s a bit long-winded, but I’m glad they spent the time developing them.
The film is beautifully shot, with some fantastic sunsets, that Chloé Zhao is known for, it’s almost her signature style, and I think it looked perfect. There are plenty of big action scenes spread out throughout the film, though sometimes I did get flashbacks to the Transformer films in some of the battles. The Deviants never felt like much of a real threat, though the surprise deaths in the movie did take me by surprise, but then again, it’s much easier to do when you’ve got so many characters to introduce at once.
Before the film opened in cinemas, there was a lot of talk about this film was doing things a little differently and was causing a backlash. With a mix of actors from different backgrounds, a sex scene, a gay couple and also one of the heroes being deaf. After watching the film, I couldn’t help but wonder, what is so shocking about this film. t once again reminded me of just how silly all that hype was. Since Phastos having a husband and a child, didn’t have any impact on the story at all, as he just had a family he wanted to protect.
And Makkari being deaf, made her character honestly much more interesting, especially as it helped separate her from comparisons to DC’s The Flash. I think it helped because I’m used to seeing the actress, Lauren Ridloff, in “The Walking Dead”. It is different, but that’s not a bad thing.
With all of these brand new characters appearing on our screens for the first time, it felt much more of a natural way to do something different and offer a little more inclusion. People moan about companies making changes to well-known characters, but in this case, they took some underused comic book characters and gave them a facelift for the 21st Century, where I’m sure 99% of people wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference from the comics. Did “Eternals” try to do too much at once? Possibly, but in the grand scheme of things, I didn’t have a single issue with any of these choices and believe the film is better because of the diversity.
I really liked how the movie brings together a wide selection of actors, adding some light-hearted elements, that make you believe they are a family. But as with every family, not everyone agrees or gets on, but over thousands of years, there are bound to be conflicts.
There are some things about this film that I wasn’t too fond of. The introduction of Kit Harington as the upcoming “Black Knight” felt a little forced and, honestly, wasn’t really needed, especially since they had so many other characters to spend time building. Icarus was also a strange character, because he often felt like a cheap copy of Superman, (they even have an inside joke about it in the film). While we’ve seen other characters flying in the MCU, Icarus just looked odd when flying, because they’ve not established that flight style before.
“Eternals” didn’t feel like your traditional MCU movie, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. With so many films and series, it’s refreshing to watch something that feels and looks different. It’s nowhere near the best Marvel movie ever made, but I really enjoyed it. There might be a few minor issues with the film, but your average Marvel movie is still far better than most superhero movies pre-MCU. They have the ability to pull in little references to the larger universe, such as mentions of the Avengers, the Snap and Thanos, which does help bring it back into the fold.
Since the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe started, the usual rules are being thrown aside, expanding out the MCU into this larger entity, and “Eternals” continues that, since it covers thousands of years and different planets. It makes you wonder how we can go from “Eternals” back to a grounded show like “Hawkeye”, with two people running around shooting arrows. The MCU just keeps getting bigger and more different. “Eternals” maybe make the Marvel Cinematic Universe too big, but with all the multiverse shenanigans going on, it does work.
“Eternals” does feel different to the other Marvel films, but I’m glad about that. I’d rather Marvel takes some risks and tries doing something different instead. “Eternals” isn’t as big a step forward as I had hoped it would be, but I enjoyed it, I liked the new characters and am really looking forward to watching this again when it drops onto Disney+ hopefully around Christmas time, so I can see if I notice anything different about it.
Rating – 4 out of 5
Marvel’s Eternals is available in Cinemas now and will be coming to Disney+ at a later date once its 45-day theatrical release window has expired.