Marvel Studios’ ‘Eternals’ doesn’t live up to expectations


Marvel Studios’ new film “Eternals” was recently released, receiving subpar reviews from critics. While the box office earnings did not suffer too significantly, this is to be expected from a Marvel movie. 

“Eternals” was a film many anticipated would be different from the classic Marvel movies, thanks to Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao. The trailers certainly helped push this idea forward, with beautiful cinematography that appeared to be building up an epic film.

However, the film didn’t live up to expectations. The plot especially was one of the poor points of the film. There are many places where it felt that the strength of the characters was being overstated, most notably Ikaris, as he is visibly stronger in the latter part of the film for no apparent reason. Essentially, Ikaris is just Marvel’s Superman, but even in that way, Zhao wasn’t able to utilize his power. 

Another plot point that was brushed over was the Deviants. They were built up to be the major enemy the Eternals would have to face, as they were the reason they came to Earth in the first place. However, they were mainly ignored for most of the film, even after introducing a powerful Deviant that was killed off in the third act. It was unsatisfying, as the Deviants were pushed to the side while the Eternals faced a larger threat. Honestly, I think this movie could have been better without the entire Deviant idea. I’d speculate that Marvel just added it for later use, as they have been known to recycle villain ideas throughout the cinematic universe.

The movie features many well-known names like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, and Harry Styles (in a post-credits scene). It was interesting to see all of these actors together in the film, but I felt that some of the lesser-known actors played their roles with greater skill. Ma Dong-Seok, who plays Gilgamesh, was an excellent source of comic relief in the film, and I enjoyed seeing him play his character. 

Additionally, many of the characters either had too much or too little impact on the plot. Sersi and Ikaris dominated, while Makkari was barely shown on screen. Even Druig, portrayed by Barry Keoghan, was underutilized. He had the most passion in his perception of the world, and I think he could have been better as the villain than Ikaris was. Visually, he is the most intense and interesting-looking character, and portrayed emotions better than the other actors in the movie. 

One of the best scenes in the film had to be the final fight, as watching the Eternals team up to take out the threat allowed for some visually appealing special effects. Makkari’s super-speed made him by far the best speedster I have seen in Hollywood – better than both the Flash and Superman. This movie’s amazing visuals were complemented with a sub-par plot, rendering it pretty average.

“Eternals” was ok, but honestly not great. I feel that it would have been really interesting to see it as a Disney+ show rather than one big film. I think focusing an episode on each character, including villains, would create an enticing series. Looking to the future, I still hope there will be more Chloe Zhao-directed films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.