The Eternals have arrived, and is it a must see? Or a maybe? Well…
Eternals which is directed by Chloe Zhao is both great and terrible. Aiming to please everyone it ended up falling short in alot of areas. There were alot of really great story nuggets that we loved. First of all kudos to Marvel for bringing a deaf superhero to the screen FINALLY. The diversity of the film was our absolute favorite. It felt real and lived in, with a cast of characters who had varied life experiences and points of view. The clear message about taking better care of our planet was also loud and clear. These were all fantastic story points in the film, and moving forward we hope Marvel won’t be afraid to push the envelope with LGBTQ heroes, and more visability for underserved communities being front and center as leading characters.
SPOILERS – COME BACK AFTER YOU SEE THE FILM.
BEWARE: THOU SHALT BE SPOILED
Spanning 7,000 years of human history, the film follows an immortal superhero group from a faraway planet tasked with shaping humanity’s development and fending off the big bads — the Deviants, a decidedly underwhelming group of villains. There was no urgency or difficulty to killing them. The entire movie opens on The Eternals crushing them, it was sheer numbers of Deviants that took so long? Not their strength or how they adapted and evolved? Weird. It was also impressively disappointing that our first Latina superhero the incomparable Salma Hayek (Ajak) was killed 30 minutes into the film. Which they they easily explain later on as a double cross….so you’re telling us a woman who has fought these things for seven thousand years just dies the first time she fights a few of them one-on-one? It made it feel like a really weak storyline and a disservice to Salma Hayek.
Then there is Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos) yay for an LGBTQ superhero! But wait, they sideline him the majority of the film after explaining he quit helping humanity after the Atom Bomb in Hiroshima. While that was atrocious, deeply horrifying and heartbreaking…you’re telling us the screenwriters saw fit to have a black superhero react with more devestation to Hiroshima after witnessing 400+ years of slavery? Okay…right. So then he makes a connection between all of the Eternals only for it to fail and then WAIT!! LOL no worries y’all cause the giant planet blow up Celestial birth unites them? So why did he try and unite them in the first place? Nothing came of it, and they failed. So once again they made the man redundant. We wanted more for him.
Ahh, and now we’ve come to the child superhero, Lia McHugh (Sprite). You can literally erase her entire existence in the film and it doesn’t change the storyline AT ALL. It was so weird, 7 thousand years and all her personality has developed as was a childish teenager? She has a crush on Richard Madden’s character (Ikaris) and since he loves Gemma Chan (Sersi) she stabs her? Really? This is what we’ve come to? Angry jealous teenage girl stabs other girl (lifelong friend) over fuckboy who doesn’t text back? Hahaha. Pretty sure Sersi was like please take him by that point. The script did this character dirty. She was so un-compelling and unrelatable. The girl hate has to go too, women fighting women is so 2015 can we erase that boring and outdated storyline already? And then the end Sersi freezes the Celestial in a very underwhelming conclusion only to become the fairy from Pinocchio: “you’re a real girl now,” lets celebrate by sending you off to school like a good girl, nevermind you stabbing me.
We’re going to talk about Angelina Jolie (Thena) and Ma Dong-seok (Gilgamesh) together. What happened here?! This storyline was FIRE!! Absolute FIRE!!! This screamed Marvel/Disney resilience, underdog, the works, and they SIDELINED THEM AS HARDLY THERE SUPPORTING CHARACTERS!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYYY. This baffled us beyond belief. Their story addresses love from the point of view of friendship and how deep that bond goes. It also embodied mental health, and the lack of people believing women. There was so much there. The story was incredible and they just let it simmer out. This was the leading pov Eternals should’ve been. This was the core relationship of the story and they didn’t give it the care it needed.
Our next pair is Lauren Ridloff (Makkari) and Barry Keoghan (Druig). Incredible chemistry. We loved them on screen so much, and once again felt disappointed by how little they were utilized. With incredible powers, it was surprising to see them take a backseat to Seris and Ikaris. This was a much more nuanced relationship, and powerful pairing. We wanted to see more signing on screen, we wanted to see the dichotomy of her and Druig with his power to control the minds of others. There is so much untold there, not to mention their increible chemistry that leapt off of the screen. We hope the sequel gives us more of the two of them.
Okay…now we have to say we are obsessed with the Valet but what even was Kumail Nanjiani’s character (Kingo)?! A complete narcissist who’d rather be getting his hair done than doing his job? We watched a poorly done Bollywood scene that felt like it was making a joke out of it rahter than a relevant plot point. It wasn’t a plot point at all just a weird filler before they dropped a line about BTS in advance of playing one of their songs. We LOVE BTS. What was that? Why would BTS be in a Bollywood movie? This took us completley out of the Marvel universe and left us going what? What is happening? We’re pretty sure Marvel has enough money to collaborate with BTS for a track for Eternals rather than using an older song right after a name drop. It was bizarre and took us out of the movie. Kingo as a character was flat and one dimensional. He also could’ve been taken right out of the film and not impacted it at all (except for his Valet, MVP!!!!) Kingo literally peaces out before we even get to the end of the film, off to get into a makeup chair for his next movie, despite the fact that a world shattering supergiant is about to destroy the planet. That checks out…no! No it doesn’t. Imagine if Tony Stark just quit because he had better things to do when Thanos showed up. How was that acceptable? Who greenlit this script?!
And now Richard Madden (Ikaris), we hated how one dimensional this character was. Loves a woman his entire existence and then decides to kill her only to not and commit suicide at the end of the movie. We are left with no words. The shock of a suicide in a Marvel film left us deeply disappointed in Disney. Not getting what you want is never a reason to take your life. Things change, people change, situations change and it will get better. The film should come with a suicide warning and contacts for help for anyone struggling. Gemma Chan (Sersi) is beautiful on screen and her talents were not given the storyline they desrve. Two thousand years pining for a no show? Girl. This was a Wonder Woman 1984 fail all over again. This idea of women never moving on with their life and running back to toxic exes really has to go.
Now we’ve complained about all the things we didn’t like and at no point did we offer solutions. So, here is a summary of what could have worked.
Imagine ancient Sumeria and the Deviants are at an all time high. They know the Eternals are there and they’re out for blood. We follow the bond building and devestation of wins and losses as the Eternals have to unite to stop the ever evolving Deviants. At the bloody end of the war suffering the loss of Sprite, and Kingo; Thena’s memory begins to crack. They believe it to the illness and go back to the ship, in hopes of being re-called home. Hoping to save her back on their home world all the Eternals enter into the stasis of sleep provided by their ship. BLAM THANOS IS A WAKE UP CALL. How long has it been? What is happening? A disoriented group of Eternals wake to the devestation of Thanos, a fight ensues about becoming involved to save humanity, and not being re-called home for seven thousand years. (This is Thanos 1.0 when the snap took place) Just as they are about to disperse Ajak decides to pull the magic globe out and project the truth about their mission to the Eternals. They part ways as they fight one another (verbally and some physical) all over again. It’s end of Sumeria part two (in their emotional state). Thena feels decieved for being viewed as broken when her true memories were just emerging. Trust is broken. Fade to black.
Cue up a 10 minute post scene. The world is shaking, volcanoes are erupting, weather patterns are out of whack. Shield and the news are commenting on the unknown object erupting from the seas (totally celestial murdery dudes hand). ***TAKES PLACE: Post Iron Man sacrifice death at the second battle of Thanos, the Eternals have different feelings about their last fight. They all make their way to the ship. An understanding of humanity’s resilience belongs to them all. The ship appears over the sea with the finger rising ( make the celestials birth longer than 10 minutes OKAY! Dudes been in the oven for a billion years the birth is gonna take a moment), Samuel L. Jackson comes face to face with Eternals “AND WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? ETERNALS: “THE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM”
Please erase Harry Styles from all and any Marvel movies. He felt like a popstar who showed up in a wellmade but not superhero movie quality outfit to “join the gang” except it was the SDCC greenroom and the actors are still wondering how he got in. We sure are.
THANK YOU. INCREDIBLE MOVIE. CUE PART TWO WHERE YOU CAN INTRODUCE THE BLACK KNIGHT.