Chloé Zhao makes her Marvel directorial debut with Eternals from a script co-written by Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, and Kaz Firpo. The film already has the worst Rotten Tomatoes critic score even before debuting in the theaters for the general audience. But, is this new superhero saga truly that horrible, or does it fall short of the expectations of select individuals, dividing critics?
Eternals follows a group of immortals that arrived on Earth 7000 years ago, when the first civilization was only being started, to save mankind from Deviants. The film begins with a brief introduction of the Eternals, followed by Eternals battling Deviants as soon as they arrive on Earth. It quickly jumps into the present time where Eternals are disguised as normal humans.
The introduction is powerful and fast-paced for the first 15-20 mins, which sets up the movie for an exciting ride. After that, it begins to jump backward in time and suddenly forwards into the present, as we see each character's story told separately. All of these stories are exciting and bring a unique feature to the story.
Richard Madden's Ikaris is the one to drive this movie leading into its main story arc. Gemma Chan (Sersi) has the most screen time among all the Eternals. Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos is the first gay superhero in the MCU, he has the least screen time among the Eternals, but his performance was one of the best. Don Lee as Gilgamesh was my favorite of all of them, but unfortunately, he also has a limited appearance.
Barry Keoghan's Druig is a bit complicated not only in the movie but also for the audience. His power was to manipulate minds, which he was happily doing in the movie. He has all the qualities of becoming a great villain.
Lauren Ridlof's Makkari is brilliant, and the special effects to show her running is quite different from any previous films showing a speedster. Angelina Jolie gives a powerful performance as her character (Thena) is much complicated than others. Action scenes are also perfectly coordinated, Jolie and Ridlof are the standout performers, along with Richard Madden.
There are few jokes here and there, which may or may not bring any humor to the story. Harish Patel is leading that charge with his comic timing along with Kumail Nanjiani.
Lia McHugh as Sprite is brilliant, and she has a regular appearance throughout the film. Salma Hayek's Ajak appears briefly, yet her presence can be felt throughout the film. Celestial Arishem The Judge is intimidating and steals the show with his last appearance.
The score of the film is brilliant and keeps you excited throughout this long movie.
The film is slightly different with a darker tone than the recent Marvel films. It has a few references in Avengers and Thanos when Ikaris jokes that he can lead the Avengers, and Ajak informs that Thanos snap only postponed the inevitable apocalypse. Without any doubt, the long runtime of 2hrs and 37mins still seems less to properly give a background story to every Eternal. But it manages to bring the important characteristics about each of them and its relevance to the story.
In the end, I would like to say that it was entertaining and a one-time watch. "Eternals" is not dull, but it also does not make you stand up in your seat to cheer or shout. Although, the post-credit scenes that leaked at the premiere were the ones to steal the show. The film has all the qualities of being a good movie to enjoy in the theaters.
I am positive that this film will age better as we progress into Phase 4 and 5 of the MCU. We might look back one day and praise this film for what it is.
Final Score: 8/10
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