Review: Eternals

Is Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ really the worst MCU film ever? No, personally I went into the film with low expectations due to the slander it had been receiving online and I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed the film and cast as much as I did. Released on November 5th 2021, ‘Eternals’ directed by Chloé Zhao, was certainly one of Marvel’s most ambitious movies yet, introducing the first LGBTQ+ kiss and having a wide representation within its cast.

‘Eternals’ follows a group of immortal beings sworn to protect the world from Deviants and have been living on Earth since the beginning of time trying to protect it. The film shows them throughout history and the effect they had on mankind and history itself. We watch as the ‘Eternals’ reunite to save the world from Deviants once again. We spend most of the film following the actions of Sersi, an eternal with the power to turn what she touches into another matter. Each of the characters has their own ability to help them defeat the deviants and protect the Earth and humanity from their evil, however using their powers as a collective is what makes them such a formidable team. 

First of all, ‘Eternals’ is a very long movie being 2 hours and 37 minutes long. It is not the longest Marvel movie however it was not a film with a huge build up like Avengers: Endgame which was understandably long. However, it was still an incredibly enjoyable film; that creatively mixed the science-fiction elements of Marvel movies with the mythology of our own history (each character representing a different figure in mythology). The soundtrack to the film was not only a gripping and created a strong ambiance for each scene but it completed very intense and important moments within the film. 

A part of the film that I myself found particularly interesting was the fact that there was no over-arching villain within the film. Yes, there was Kro and the other deviants whose whole purpose was to create chaos and destruction; Ikaris for his betrayal to his team and being blinded by his mission; Arishem for putting the life of the Celestials above all other living creatures and the ‘Eternals’ and mankind itself. Despite having all of these ‘villains’ within the movie, it was never clear who was truly right and who was truly wrong as each had a reasoning for their actions and none were entirely correct and none were entirely incorrect. This concept of having complex villains and heroes within a film is something I desperately want to see more of as it reflects humanity and the complications in life.

As well as this, the introduction to such a large representation we have ever seen in a Marvel film was a brilliant step in the right direction. ‘Eternals’ allows for a much more diverse Marvel experience with characters such as Ajak, Salma Hayek, and Sersi, Gemma Chan to name but a few. Even Chloé Zhao, the first Asian woman to win Best Director, directed the film. Not only was there a step forward in representation in ethnicity but in gender, disability and sexuality too. We experienced the first LGBTQ+ kiss onscreen in a Marvel movie ever between characters Phastos, Brian Tyree Henry, and Ben, Haz Sleiman. There was a huge representation of women in the film, a large step from the era were Black Widow was the only female hero in sight. Finally, the character of Makkari, Lauren Ridloff, was a deaf and sign language was used throughout the film. Despite the numerous languages and sign language and array of characters and situations the acting from the main cast was admirable and portrayed the characters brilliantly.

‘Eternals’ brings to life the mythology and history of the Earth that we all know and learn about to life and reflects poignantly on humanity and not only our victories as a society but our downfalls as well. Despite this film being fun and enjoyable, it still left a vital message about mankind with me as I left the theatre. I would suggest this film to anyone who loves the new direction the MCU is going in; to any mythology fans and anyone who just want to watch a long but exciting film.

-Niamh Kemp

Featured Image Source: Still Via YouTube

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