“The Eternals” Movie Review

Story posted November 14, 2021 in

It is called “Eternals” because it feels like it goes on for an eternity.

“Eternals” is the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is directed by Chloé Zhao.

Zhao, the most recent Oscar winner for best director, creates a visual spectacle with “Eternals.”

The CGI in “Eternals” is arguably the best Marvel has ever done. With a very large cast all varying in powers, it was a sight to see them fight in massive CGI battles or even the subtle smoothness of turning a rock into water.

Or, the visual sights of the villains called Deviants. Deviants are giant CGI monsters, but they looked very real and very intimidating.

Another CGI race were the Celestials. Celestials are giant aliens that create galaxies, and it is insane to see an animated alien on that grand of a scale.

The biggest visual masterpiece was oddly the weather and nature. How all the Eternals played with nature and affected it, it just flowed so well that it was breathtaking to see.

There is one scene of a Celestial explaining the creation of galaxies to an Eternal - how the scene transitioned through space was a sight to see.

Besides the visual wonders, the movie successfully handled one of Marvel’s largest casts of characters. Marvel managed to carry emotional depth and development to most of the new heroes.

The focus of the cast is the new leader of Eternals - Gemma Chan’s Sersi and the strongest member Ikaris played by Richard Madden. They both had a deep love connection played throughout the film and had conflicting goals. They both carried the emotional depth of the film the best.

Sprite, played by Lia McHugh, showed the struggles of a person who can never grow up.

Angelina Jolie’s Thena, Salma Hayek’s Ajak and Barry Keoghan’s Druig shows conflicts in oneself, whether it’s the battle of changing morals and goals or just battling their inner demons.

The two standout comedic characters were Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo and Kingo’s valet, Karun, played by Harish Patel. Kingo is a Bollywood movie star, an Eternal who was making a documentary of the Eternals with his valet Karun.

Those two with their bond and recording every little thing brought the classic sense of Marvel humor to the film. Yet, they had one flaw: the movie made them sit out in the final act and it was very disappointing to see them leave right before the final battle.

Ma Dong-Seok’s Gilgamesh is the powerhouse of the Eternals. He surprisingly carried a lot of depth as the protector of Thena and had some of the movie’s funniest moments as well.

Bryan Tyree Henry’s Phastos is marvel’s first gay superhero, and he is also one of the most entertaining Eternals. His character had a lot of depth with the struggle of wanting to provide technological advancements for the world but cannot and has some very comedic scenes whenever the other Eternals try to interact with his seemingly normal life.

Although the character development was strong with most characters in the film, there were some left in the dust and did not receive as much love as previously mentioned characters.

The only Eternal without a lot of development was the deaf, speedster Makkari played by Lauren Ridloff.  She has a little development with the love connection of her and Druig, but other than the beginning she isn’t in the film again until the final act. She is highly underutilized in the film.

Then there is Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington playing Dane Whitman, who many “Marvel” and “GOT” fans looked forward to seeing but is only in the film for 10 minutes. But when he is in the film he shines, and his post credit scene sets up an exciting adventure for him.

Lastly, the main Deviant, played by Bill Skarsgård, was hardly in the film. His villain has basically no connection to the audience, and he does pose a threat but is quickly overtaken. His Deviant is apparently named Kro, but it is easily never heard in the film. Kro is one of the most forgettable Marvel villains.

For the most part, the character development was above and beyond besides those three. The issue with the movie is the lack of character development in some areas caused the plot to suffer.

The plot was an alright one of the Eternals trying to come together and through twists and turns save the world from Deviants and a space threat. But the issue is - without getting into spoilers - that the movie was a very slow one, and mature one. The movie didn’t feel like a Marvel movie.

For years people wanted Marvel movies to do something different and this is the one that did it. The issue was that the movie felt too different.

There was a very mature plot and mature scenes, including Marvel’s first sex scene which felt very uncomfortable to see even if it was to prove the love of two characters.

The plot is also very important to Marvel, but for any newcomers and children seeing the film they would either leave the movie confused or bored, especially in the beginning when it was just arguing and moral debates.

It is Marvel’s second longest movie, and it feels like it. With the confusing plot and many moral debates, the movie can be a snooze fest while waiting for the next fight scene or even a slight joke that Marvel is known for.

“Eternals” may be a visual spectacle with some great, new characters, but it strayed too far from the Marvel roots and felt too long with its confusing and arguably boring plot.

Rating: 2/5 stars


Ethan Hetrick is a first-year communications major. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu.