The Marvel Cinematic Universe has provided its fans with some 26 brilliant movies all loaded with amazing cinematic experiences. The 26th of the 26 movies, the Eternals just hit the theatres a few days ago, and there are quite a few aspects to the movie that makes it stand apart from the other MCU films, and it’s not just what the movie contains in itself. Even though many marvel fans would feel otherwise, the critics have never been irrationally harsh or critical about the marvel movies. In fact, the difference between the overall ratings of the critics and that of the fans had never been more than 3% to 4%. This movie would be an exception. The Eternals not only had an amazing cast and a great, Oscar-winning director to lead them, but it also had a very unique approach, that swayed a little from the conventional scores of traditional marvel movies. What is it that the critics seem to have missed? Let’s have a look here.
Plot Summary- Who are the Eternals?
The Eternals are immortals who function under the primary supervision of the Prime Celestial, Arishem the Judge. A group of 10 Eternals was sent on Earth in 5000 B.C. to save the people from the grasps of the Deviants. Starting from then, they have always been on their guard, constantly relocating themselves.
They have had their own share of adventures and misadventures. This includes the time when Thena had briefly turned against her allies and had got swayed from the path she was meant to follow. Her teammates helped her come back on track and the Eternals carried on with their agenda of defending the human race against the Deviants and keeping them safe.
After a point, the Eternals felt sure that none of the enemies were left. Ajak, their then functioning primary head, therefore allowed them to go their own ways. While some of the Eternals decided to go back to their home planet, others stayed on earth, leading usual human lives.
However, a recent attack on some of the teammates of the Eternals affirmed the fact that some (or at least one) of the Deviants still remain. And now it is on the Eternals as to how fast can they reassemble their allies and how they battle the impending danger.
Why I Believe the Critics may have Missed a Milestone Here
Now here is why I feel that the critics might have overstepped something great here. If you are an ardent marvel fan then you would agree that marvel movies have a very conventional and traditional style. The fact that someone had the courage to step aside from the conventional tracks laid down by a legacy of such amazing films that had and have such an involved fanbase, is in itself something that I’m very much impressed by.
The Eternals introduces a very fresh and new vibe in the traditional world of marvel movies. For the first time, I think, here is another film that does not follow the life of a hero whose realization and proclamation of his superpowers form the heart and soul of the movie. It offers a very unconventional perspective to the otherwise bland Marvel Universe. It shows how some immortals function under the various Gods they serve. For one, this pagan perspective adds an entirely new pallet of themes to the Marvel Universe, and secondly, the themes get brilliantly represented by Chloé Zhao on screen with the help of an equally brilliantly loaded cast. In fact, I really liked some of the performances especially.
Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo, for instance, seemed to be one of the traditional Marvel characters intended for comic relief in the film. I also liked Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Thena. I mean her presentation of the role of the fractured warrior was not really what I was expecting. The sub-story about her and Ma Dong-Seok’s Gilgamesh was also something I enjoyed.
Chloe Zhao has a distinct sense when it comes to aesthetics and applies it with much diligence to her films and The Eternals has been no exception. Her subtle use of CGI effects unlike most other Marvel films is refreshing.
There are obviously some aspects that the team could have worked more on. For instance, for me come on the first half seemed to be especially Langley. Not everything that was shown with much precision required such precision. Again, I understand that some of the Marvel fans might have their reservations regarding the LGBTQ representation on screen. Some might feel that this is some mandatory representation of the “woke-ness” of the movie. However, if you watch the movie you will see that the characters simply exist there. The gay couples are as portrayed as simply as any other and all the other heterosexual couples in the movie. The story never revolves around their LGBTQ-centric struggles.
Is The Eternals Worth a Watch?
The movie would be the perfect instance of a gentle genius. Everything that is new always suffers certain retaliation initially. This could be a pioneering step towards something great, maybe a series of marvel movies that dared to think beyond Iron Man and Spiderman, something that is gracefully brilliant. I would not say that this particular movie does not have its rough edges, but they are certainly repairable.