The newest entry in Marvels Studios phase four ‘Eternals’ works on multiple levels, where the typical or casual Marvel fan will not like the direction it takes for the majority of the time because for one there is a lot of plot progression involved with ‘Eternals’ so much so that I was already hearing complaints from other critics after walking out which contradicts other reasons they love other Marvel films.
One said when they get art-house directors the plot seems to be too complicated and too messy. Well, guess what Anthony and Joe Russo started out as art-house directors as well and have directed some of the most beloved Marvel entries in the MCU. They got their start with Arrested Development, one of the most art-house TV series of all time.
Now we have Chloe Zhao who is coming fresh off being an Oscar darling for her film Nomadland, what we see here is Kevin Feige finally letting a director have more control on the story they want to tell in the MCU. It was a Chloe Zhao movie first for 75 percent of the film, then it was a Marvel second. I have quickly noticed being fans of both DC and Marvel when Marvel has a well thought out plot with not a whole lot of action throughout the fans typically hate it. However, I have always thought that Phase 4 has been a breath of fresh air in the MCU, especially WandaVision and Black Widow.
There are also elements of Marvel Studios Eternals that work as a horror film that will please genre fans of the 70s and 80s creature feature films that we used to rent from Blockbuster and mom and pop stores from back in the day. This is much more than a typical shoot ‘em up Marvel film as previously stated, it has a lot of heart going for it as well. What I loved most about it was the elements of making a creature feature bending the envelope for a MCU movie making as much science fiction horror as it possibly could be without losing the parent and kid audience. At one point to myself I even said there is so much creature feature action going on I was surprised not to see Joe Bob Briggs have a cameo with a lone star beer in hand.
The acting was also some of the better performances from the MCU since Endgame, including a stellar Barry Keoghan as Druig pulling off an incredible Scottish accent throughout the film. The ‘Eternals’ also features a couple of first that may make some parents with younger kids uncomfortable including the MCU’s first ever sex scene that lasted quite a while. It was nice to see the MCU include a deaf superhero that is their version of The Flash in Makkari played by the wonderful Lauren Ridloff who brings so much fluid energy to ‘Eternals’. It was great to see 90s stars Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek return to glory in an action film as incredible as ‘Eternals’ was.
One of the main problems I did have with ‘Eternal’s’ was the pacing was uneven during the second act, but it did pick right back up and move along nicely. It’s not a movie most will be checking out during as there are some huge implications for the future of the MCU involved with ‘Eternals’ and stick around for the credits as any MCU fan well knows by now. These are essential post credit moments that will have you cheering at the end.
Overall grade: 4/5 stars
Written By: AJ Friar