Eternals captures the godlike essence of superheroes, contains amazing representation, but falls just short of a powerful climax and colorful ending.
This review of Eternals may contain minor spoilers. Read at your own risk. This review is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the website as a whole.
I’ve never really been big into the Marvel movies except those on the fringe of the Marvel universe: Deadpool, Ant-Man, and every single Spider-Man movie from Tobey to Tom. Eternals caught my attention when it was being developed simply because of the all-star cast including Angelina Jolie, Selma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Don Lee, Lauren Ridloff, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington.
Not only does Eternals have a superb cast but it also has amazing representation, not only of POC and queer characters, but also of Ridloff’s role as Marvel’s first deaf superhero. Sign language is used throughout the film by almost all of the characters. The queer characters aren’t part of the Bury your Gays trope, and no women are fridged to further a man’s storyline. Considering so many queer characters and POC meet their end simply for angst value in films and television, Eternals was a fresh and very welcome change. Aside from POC and queer representation, a superhero with a mental illness is showcased and deals with both anxiety and PTSD-like symptoms.
Eternals made waves late in 2019 with the announcement that it would include Marvel’s first openly gay superhero and has been targeted recently by homophobes 1-star review bombing it, essentially tanking its ratings in the first few preview weeks. It’s currently clinging to life with a 49% Citic Score on Rotten Tomatoes, proving that this is why we can’t have nice things like more gay superheroes.
The film does have its charms and like many Marvel movies has its humor in serious situations to lighten the severity the heroes deal with. There is quite a lot of timeline jumping, however, and although it was easy for me to follow, it might not be for other people. If you look down briefly to get your drink, you suddenly miss the timeline they’re in.
Despite its slow pace and underwhelming conclusion, it still did manage to keep me interested throughout the whole movie, delighted by clever lines, Angelina Jolie’s wig, and Phastos’ miraculous inventions.
I felt that Eternals didn’t give us a great big “AHA!” moment just before the climax of the plot like so many of the other Marvel superhero films have that I’ve seen. The big bad reveal also lacked urgency and I felt it was too heavy-handed. Although I was endeared to the characters I found it difficult to connect with them on more of an emotional level and didn’t really cheer for them, or against them, at all during the film. Even though the film was over 2 and a half hours long, it still didn’t give me a chance to really care about the characters or worry about them.
There are two post-credit scenes, one halfway through the credits, and one at the very end of the credits, and both are absolutely worth sitting through the credits. They set up the potential sequel well.
Despite all the negative reviews by people who haven’t even seen it, Eternals is a cute movie that really embodies what it’s like to be a family, albeit a godlike superhero family, to band together against all odds.
Because of its great representation, I’m hoping that this movie survives the homophobic rants and the review bombs. It’s so beautifully done and it deserves praise and deserves to be seen by the whole world.
The music, done by Ramin Djawadi, is fantastic, and BTS even makes a cameo as a mention and as a track in the movie!
Have you seen Eternals?
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Bekah has a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Anderson University and is the Executive Assistant at Saga Event Planning. She is a frequent convention attendee and cosplayer and co-hosts The Geekiary webcast “The Bitching Dead”.
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