Eternals (An Insomniac Review)

The Next phase in the MCU has financially been impressive. With Shang-Chi and the newly released Eternals bringing in some major coins at the theater this weekend. Needless to say the folks at Disney are happy!

While I personally enjoyed the former, Eternals on the other hand had something impressive to bring to its forefront too. Despite its flaws, it is an enjoyable movie. But it is indeed it is still not without flaws.

I am going to try to present this review with very minimal spoilers but there will be indeed some.

You have been warned….

Maybe it’s the pandemic that still plagues us (no pun intended) or it’s the superhero fatigue, the internal conflict of this film or folks nostalgia over the “MCU method” or comic book authenticity in general… either way, this movie has been getting panned in the reviews.

Now I am relatively more familiar with these characters from mythology than in the pages of the comics but I knew enough going in that I wasn’t going to be shocked by the casting or direction of the characters. That being said, the characters have been casted to show a wide range of diversity in gender, race and of course orientation. On top of it, despite most earlier, comic book adaptations, the leading hero is the opposite of a white male.

However this is a tough thing to juggle. In one way, it’s good to give everyone who’s been under-represented in Hollywood some… well… representation. Still it is another to pander to them for bucks at the box office. While some will complain that this film race or minority baits, others will appreciate that for once Hollywood isn’t whitewashing characters as it’s done for like ever. I mean honestly you can’t complain that traditionally white characters are now minorities yet refuse to appreciate or support the minority characters that not only exist but have struggled to be at the forefront.

Still that is not where Eternals suffers it’s downfall.

The character development here felt a little meh in some instances despite the lengthy runtime. But for the most part that instance wasn’t that bad. You eventually get a somewhat of a feel for their motivations but it’s that had little to do with the script, it’s moreso because the cast is really talented. But that is the only saving grace as the majority of the characters do not feel like they are pulled off of the pages of Jack Kirby’s comics… and to me this had very little to do with who filled the on-screen roles as some of them were impressively fleshed out. It is because as a whole, Eternals sometimes feels messy. Now if you are like most MCU fans, then you probably haven’t even read any of the comics to begin with. But like most MCU movies this far, the characters are unique in their own way and Eternals follows that status quo. Marvel/Disney took characters that were pretty much unknown save to comic buffs and nerds yet gave them a decent screen presence.

Yet this film despite what it strives to be again conflicts with what it actually wants to be. There are times it feels like a MCU flick and other times it didn’t. Maybe it was the direction, which honestly wasn’t that bad. Or perhaps it was the plot and pacing, whatever the case this flick fell short on what it was trying to deliver at times. There were characters that were in the forefront that I didn’t feel were all that riveting and there were plotlines left to be discovered from background characters that may have been left on the cutting room floor.

For example and this is a slight spoiler…

Sersi and her connection to humanity was such a driving force of the movie that we never got to see the importance of her relationship with Black Knight. Because we literally never got to see the Black Knight! Even the CGI generated Deviants felt unnecessary as villains. Yes they were supposed to be the primary targets and plot devices but it felt like there was more to be wanted from them. They felt like empty plot devices and underutilized as if they were just there for the sake of carrying along the movie. In particular the main humanoid one. We never got to see his true purpose outside of some exposition. I would have been more satisfied if their intentions were more purposeful. For them to have evolved in the movie like they did, I thought they would have been put to better use. Honestly, this movie considering its run time would have made better use of its plot if they were there central villains.

I think the problem with this stage in the MCU is that it’s going in the direction of the DCEU movies where it’s rushing to get to another big baddie. Whereas the former MCU movies spanned over 10 years of well-executed buildup. Despite all of us eternals is still a good movie it’s not horrible. Yes it could be better but it doesn’t completely suck. Despite that, what I’m seeing from most of the reviews online is that people are hung up on when the MCU movies we’ve been given in particular the two Infinity War films, that they are a little too critical if you ask me.

So what do you think of Eternals? Have you seen it, did you like it, did you hate it? Leave a comment below.

My vote:

I give it 2.5 out of 4 thumbs.

Until Next Time Kiddies,
Shalom

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