Movie Review: Eternals (Disney)

The latest entry into the Marvel Universe starts off really big but quickly stumbles, falls, and doesn’t get up again.  Eternals, a group of heroes from beyond the stars,  are […]

The latest entry into the Marvel Universe starts off really big but quickly stumbles, falls, and doesn’t get up again. 

Eternals, a group of heroes from beyond the stars,  are tasked with protecting humanity from the monstrous Deviants. They arrive on Earth at the dawn of time, and besides protecting the humans, they also help guide them to become modern man. Led by the Prime Eternal and spiritual leader Ajak (Salma Hayek), the Eternals consist of the all-powerful Ikaris (Richard Madden), the matter changing Sersi (Gemma Chan), the illusionist and eternal young Sprite (Lia McHugh), the inventor Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), the super-strong Gilgamesh (Don Lee), the cosmic powered (Kumail Nanjiani), the mind-controlling Druig (Barry Keoghan), the weapons master Thena (Angelina Jolie) and the speedster Makkari (Lauren Ridloff). Cut to the present and the Deviants have returned again. Having gone their separate ways centuries ago, the Eternals must come together and face this threat again. 

The Eternals was one of Jack Kirby’s last creations for Marvel. It had a lot of themes that were similar to Kirby’s New Gods saga that he did over at DC Comics. The plot of the comics revolved around when the god-like Celestials visited Earth one million years ago and performed genetic experiments on early humanity, they created two divergent races: the long-lived Eternals, and the genetically unstable and monstrously grotesque Deviants. These experiments also led to the capacity for super-powered mutations in humans. The series didn’t attract much of an audience at the time, and the Eternals series was canceled after 19 issues. The Eternals would be used in other Marvel books and had several mini-series. There was also a retcon that now made Thanos an Eternal from Titan.

Director Chloé Zhao tries to bring all these elements together to fit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it just doesn’t gel right. The plot is all over the place, especially with the constant flashbacks. It especially falls apart in the third and final act. There were some nice action and humorous moments in the film, but overall just doesn’t work. And the pacing at times was just so darn slow. The movie runs for 2 hours and 37 minutes. It really could have been cut down.

I  will admit the cinematography was visually stunning. Very breathtaking and beautiful especially seeing how I watched it in IMAX. The action sequences and CGI just didn’t look that great. I’ve seen so much better in the other MCU films. 

The casting was pretty good, but even there a lot things didn’t make any sense. Like all the different accents they had if they were all from the same place.  What I really found interesting about this cast was Angelina Jolie really didn’t take center stage here. She’s more of a supporting member, with the main focus on Ikaris and Sersi. And without spoiling anything, this was the first Marvel film with a sex scene. It really threw me off, not that I’m a prude, but it’s not something you expect in an MCU film. 

I’m a huge comic fan and do try to separate the comics from the movie adaptations, and so far, I’ve done pretty well. But for some reason, it really bothers me that other than the names of the characters, there was no Kirby influence here. Look at Doctor Strange. It had a lot of Steve Ditko in the visualization. I adamantly feel that Zhao should have had some of Kirby in there. 

While this movie does change everything for the MCU, the Eternals were a gamble that Marvel shouldn’t have taken in the first place. 

If you do decide to go see it, remember this is still a Marvel film so sit through all the credits. And if you have any questions on some of the Easter Eggs, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll gladly geeksplain it to you.

Eternals open in US theaters on Friday, November 5th. 

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.