In Eternals the bulk of the heavy lifting is done by the undeniable charm of the characters. Unfortunately, when stripping away these beautifully diverse performances what you are left with is exposition through dialogue, bad choices, and visual effects that, sadly, resemble those we have become accustomed to expect from something out of the Snyderverse– sleek, shiny, and clearly out of a computer. Call me spoiled but I have seen **Marvel** bring a talking raccoon to life and they have, subsequently, made me fall in love with it. My bar is set by the standards they have proven to be able to meet and, though *Eternals* isn’t bad, it certainly isn’t up to par.
The *Eternals* have lived on earth for thousands of years keeping humanity safe from the deviants and helping us where allowed to. Thinking the deviants were all disposed of they lived among us but now, with the return of a new type of deviant, they must come together again to stop the most dangerous foe they have ever faced. A sudden revelation, however, will make things much more complicated than they ever imagined– testing their strength, will, and loyalty to each other.
It pains me to report that **Chloe Zhao**’s first soiree in the **MCU** isn’t a genre defining triumph worth a place among the best the studio has put out. Zhao blew us away this last year with *Nomadland*, the Academy Award winner for best actress in a leading role, best director, and best picture. A film that made history by making Zhao the first Asian female to win for directing at the Oscars. And, though far from the genre, there was something exciting about this visionary choosing to develop a superhero film based on lesser known characters from the beloved *Marvel* catalog.
Unfortunately, though fun and, at times, exciting, the film seems to fall short, at least for this critic. I know that many like the visuals in the DCEU, though they lack that thing that grounds them in reality thereby making them hard to believe. The *MCU*, however, has always brought us visuals that feel like they belong not only in their world but in ours. Memorable awe inspiring creatures you fear or love. It seems like Zhao missed this memo.
On the plus, there **are** some seriously fun and likable characters. **Kumail Nanjiani** kills it as Kingo, as do **Angelina Jolie**, **Lia McHugh**, **Ma Dong-seok**, **Barry Keoghan**, **Gemma Chan** & **Lauren Ridloff** as their respective characters. Keoghan’s Druig was a particular highlight. That being said, it is insane how underutilized some of these characters are. One of them we don’t really see until nearing the showdown at which point two other favorites decide to take their leave, denying us of their delightful demeanors and kick-ass abilities for the finale. Sadly, this film lives and dies by its characters and half feel misused.
Until the last few minutes the plot seems a bit inconsequential. I feel strongly that this film would have been better served split into two parts OR, even better, as a 10 part mini-series on Disney+ where, in the first episode, we introduce Sersei, Sprite, Dane, & Ikaris. Episodes 2-8 we introduce the rest of the gang one-by-one, we spend episode 9 on the showdown, and the finale closing out the story and setting up what’s to come. Unfortunately this is what we have to work with. At least by the end we can truly get excited for what’s next– the good, the bad, and, if we’re unlucky, the DC-like.
Born in Puerto Rico but raised in a combination of the island, Boston and upstate New York. This guy’s accent shifts depending on his mood, as does his sense of style. If you don’t understand him sometimes, don’t feel bad, neither do we.
Having studied film in Florida, with a focus on writing and directing, and having worked on many projects of all sizes and scope, Raul has a well rounded understanding of cinema. He is also a huge fan of American Football and believes Tom Brady to be the indisputable G.O.A.T.