Eternals (2021) is not a bad MCU movie. It’s just too subdued and many minutes too long.
Eternals (2021) Synopsis
7000 years ago, a team of powerful Eternals was dispatched to Earth by the Celestial Arishem to ensure Mankind’s development, and to exterminate monsters known as Deviants. Come 1521, though, disagreements over their purpose and continued relationship with humanity result in the split of the team. Jump forth to modern times, Eternals Sersi and Sprite are attacked by a Deviant in the streets of London, a savage attack they survive thanks to the intervention of Ikaris, their most powerful ex-team member. Realising that the Deviant threat has returned, the trio decides to contact the rest of their defunct team. Their reunion is, however, made complicated by Sersi’s unexpected appointment as the new team leader.
Since last Wednesday, I read at least five blog posts/reviews that lamented the current status of Eternals as the lowest-rated MCU film. Be it with film critics or with audiences.
Which is tragic to me, since this is the first MCU ensemble movie, of sorts, after 2019’s Endgame. Doubly tragic because I mostly agree with the criticism.
Yes, the movie is indeed too long. As expected for a story featuring so many new, larger-than-life superhumans, character development is at a standstill too.
The whole story furthermore comes across as the result of individual indignation on the part of the Eternals, rather than genuine love for mankind. The latter, what was implied in the trailers.
These considered, it’s only fair to say Eternals is still nowhere near a bad superhero movie, whatever its popularity ratings are. For a start, its visual splendour delights. If meant as a celebration of world diversity, it does its job with impressive devotion, even if the end product is a shade too in your face.
The cast likewise threw in enthusiastic performances. Yeah, there are plenty of misses for sure. For example, the failed comedic moments by Kumail Nanjiani. Or the hazy romance between Lauren Ridloff (Makkari) and Barry Keoghan (Druig).
But their fizzles are far from unbearable. Instead, the main problem with the whole show is that it never truly soars; most parts are just too subdued. It’s worth noting as well that are worse, far worse movies out there in the superhero film genre.
Perhaps, like so many other series, Part 2 would be better. With the burden of introduction and backstory relieved, it’s almost certain it would be. (I hope)
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