*You know the drill, no twists spoiled…
The Eternals, a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years, reunite to battle the evil Deviants.
“We have loved these people since the day we arrived. When you love something, you protect it.”
As we have discussed AT LENGTH Juicers, Marvel can really do anything they want at this point. This year alone we have gotten a show referencing classic sitcoms, a buddy comedy tv show that also had poignant social commentary, a noir comedy show that completely changed the face of the universe, a long awaited action thriller starring a deceased character, an animated show that literally is anything it wants to be, and of course a movie that gave us our first Asian Marvel Hero. Now, we get a Marvel epic directed by the most recent winner for the Best Director Oscar Chloé Zhao. She gets a chance to really create a whole new team for Marvel, and a 7000 year history for them which is something again we have not really seen from Marvel.
Not much was known about the Eternals before this movie unless you are a hardcore comic reader. We knew they were super powerful and had been around forever, so the main question heading into this movie really was why had they not helped in any of the world chaos so far, especially the events of Endgame. This movie definitely answers that question and much more, and brings us a whole boatload of new characters to enjoy and to learn about.
Before I get to the characters I do want to discuss the filmmaking of it all. The movie is absolutely gorgeous, which is not a surprise seeing as Zhao just made Nomadland. I actually think she takes a lot of ideas from some of the Snyder DC movies where scenes are slower and characters are more contemplative. When the movie blows up to the full IMAX ratio it really just overwhelms you like Dune or No Time to Die. I also think the Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones) score was great and so different than what we have come to expect from one of these movies. It really highlighted just the big chance Marvel took overall by making this movie in this way. But, again what makes this movie work is the characters, so lets get into them.
Ajak – Salma Hayek
She did not get as much to do as you may have wanted but impacted every scene she was in. A mother figure to all the characters, she embraces it and nails it. I am just such a fan of hers I was never gonna be mad when she was on screen.
Sersi – Gemma Chan
The main character I would say in the movie and she has arguably the hardest role as well. Juggling the 7000 years of history while also dealing with a weird present day love triangle. I actually thought her power was cool because you never knew what she would turn the objects into and it always played well. You also, really do get behind her development into the new leader of the team, that when it does happen it feels earned.
Ikarus – Richard Madden
The first of our Game of Thrones Triangle and basically Superman in the way he is portrayed on screen. He plays the character with definite charm and you see why him and Sersi were together for so long. Of course, there is mystery with his character but he feels like the big brother of the team and plays it well.
Thena – Angelina Jolie
Wait, I am writing about Angelina Jolie fourth? That is the kind of cast we are working with here, but honestly her story was impactful in every scene, but she just again did not get a ton of screen time. She gets great work in the fight scenes and her story is one of the underlying narratives throughout the movie, so I do think we will see more of her moving forward.
Kingo – Kumail Nanjiani
When the original pictures came out showing how ripped he became for this movie, it almost broke the internet.
Everyone honestly was going to see this movie out of curiosity after just seeing that, but he honestly was one of the hearts of the movie. He had so much empathy for everyone on the team and whenever we needed a release of tension or a good laugh he is always there. I also loved his power of hand lasers.
Sprite – Lia McHugh
A newcomer to me and really shined in one of the hardest roles of the movie. You really have to feel for her as the one child who came into this world when the rest are adults who can blend in. She honestly is the rock of this storyline and I was very happy with how her story ended up playing out.
Phastos – Brian Tyree Henry
The MCU’s first openly Gay character which is great to see and well past due. He also. is the brains of the team and gets some of the best one liners of the movie. Henry has been a rising star for awhile now after his turn in Atlanta and numerous movies, so to see him take this next step felt right. I loved how his character had to make the impossible choice between his two families, it made you feel even more for him. Phastos will be a focal point of the MCU moving forward with the brainpower he brings.
Makkari – Lauren Ridloff
Our first Hearing Impaired hero in the MCU is here and she is an absolute jolt of fresh air. I saw her in Sound of Metal last year and seeing her on the biggest stage possible here was overwhelming honestly. Watching the whole team interact with her seamlessly and watching how she used the impairment to her advantage was another way this movie surprised me. Also her chemistry with Barry Keoghan was hot and heavy to say the least.
Druig – Keoghan
Speaking of our resident mind manipulator, Druig was another character who you had to empathize with due to his situation. With his power he can stop all wars and conflict, and make people do anything he would desire. And he genuinely wants to do goo, however he is not allowed to, due to orders from Ajak. When he finally gets to unleash himself though, it hits that much harder.
Gilgamesh – Don Lee
The man who basically single handedly saved Busan in Train to Busan, is now the psychologist to all of Angelina Jolies craziness in this story. This man is an absolute beast, but what makes him great is the heart he brings to every scene. You cannot help but love this guy.
Dane Whitman – Kit Harrington
Not a ton to do in this movie, but clearly he is going to be heavily involved in multiple storylines moving forward. He obviously is a very welcome edition into this universe.
Karun – Harish Patel
*A couple other tidbits
- Apparently Bill Skarsgard voiced the Deviant, so that was interesting to see.
- The Post Credits scenes while I will absolutely not spoil, are very interesting and noteworthy.
- The movie definitely gets bogged down in the first half by the necessary exposition.
- Yes the third act does turn into your typical MCU CGI Fest
This is yet another in a long line now of good to great MCU movies. Like I said though, what really makes this one work is the singular feel. It is awesome to look at, it is a unique way of storytelling even with some of its problems, the positives seem to shine through even more. I look forward to seeing on rewatches how this fits even more into the overall breath of MCU storytelling.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
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