Today, we’re doing something out of the ordinary and I will tell you something about a tiny little art house indie film. Just kidding, it’s Marvel time once again. I just saw the Eternals yesterday and I have opinions. Like a lot of them because the movie is a lot. A lot of characters. A lot of story pieces. A lot of impact. A lot of visuals.
Obviously, spoilers will be prefaced by a very big warning sign.
So, the Eternals are actually even billed as The New Avengers. Which, you know, was a warning bell for me. I also didn’t understand much from the one trailer I saw and made a conscious decision not to watch any other trailer or press – the red carpets were amazing though and I really couldn’t help getting a few good pieces of the ahem information leak surrounding the design of Richard Maddens super suit – aka why he needed that skirt-y part. As if nobody had seen Cinderella.
But we’re getting off topic. Back to the rest of the movie. I think I can say that it is about some very powerful people that are basically immortal without spoiling anything. The question everybody kept asking, of course, was: where the hell were they when the whole of Infinity War and Endgame happened? Well, we get an answer to that that is logical but very unsatisfying as seen from a human perspective. Because that’s one thing the Eternals aren’t: human.
So yeah, it’s a big cast and a very diverse one. And I loved to see a very gentle Gemma Chan lead the movie and warrior goddess Angelina Jolie return as exactly that but with an unexpected twist. I did get confused as to why anyone would (tiny first five minute spoiler ahead in the sentence) put Richard Madden and Kit Harrington in a love triangle but then again, maybe she has a type and the type is GoT?
Which is a bit ironic, because it’s probably one of the best depictions of the endless variety of humans out there that I have seen in blockbuster cinema since, well, any Fast and Furious movie – credit where credit is due. It is without question the most diverse Marvel movie so far – with a celebrity cast that has so many stars, it would light up the night sky – which is funnily how they put the names on the posters. In order of appearance on the posters: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Kit Harrington, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie.
Anyhow, the cast is not only very diversly cast but also made to be beautifully varied as their characters. There is a deaf Eternal using sign language (played by Lauren Ridloff, who is actually deaf and thus hopefully represents deaf people well – it sure seemed like it to me) and LGBTQ+ representation of a very cute suburban family – again, I’m vague here as to not spoil anything. But I did notice and I did love it. I guess that should be enough about the cast and characters, this is going to be an eternal read at this rate. Please excuse the bad pun. I had to.
So as I said, Gemma Chans character Sersei is probably the protagonist if there is one. She certainly dominates the main storyline. But then again, a big part of the movie is the introduction of all of the different Eternals and their stories. In that way it is pretty obviously an introductory piece to a whole new niche of Marvel movies but it also is very nicely done as we see all of the characters through the ages – and their lifetime on Earth has been just over 7000 years at the time of the movie! It’s a beautiful back and forth between the main, present day story line and flashbacks to days, years or even centuries prior.
Without getting into too much detail, the plot is very straight forward in its superhero saving-the-world theme that was to be expected but it also is very much a tale of human (or like non-human) emotion in all its aspects. I especially enjoyed that change of pace with a big ensemble film like this – it did make it longer and probably somewhat difficult to follow if you’re not used to Marvel-level intricacies but it also made it feel like a true epos of a story.
Before we get into spoiler territory, plot or otherwise, I do want to take a moment to appreciate the visuals – and soundtrack – of the film. I am not always one for fantasy scifi designs, just because they are very easily too made up, if you know what I mean. But with Eternals, I can totally excuse that because aesthetics. The suits, the tech and their powers just have a beautiful, gilded quality to them that reminds me of modern tarot cards – an aesthetic that I adore. Its mostly made up of rich colors with intricate, glowing circle designs and its truly something – if totally over the top for anything created by a higher power but then also, when have higher powers in the MCU ever taken a reasonable approach… its always form over function with these beings.
All in all, without telling you too much: I recommend the Eternals to any Marvel fan and also to anyone who likes very typical superhero stuff with a more modern, less masculine angle and beautiful aesthetics.
I am very curious and confused as to how the Eternals will fit into the future of the MCU but I enjoyed the movie in itself immensely. And that mostly for the subplots, the emotions and the aesthetics. A nice change of pace.
Watch the trailer here!
And now, after almost a thousands words of Marvel-press-junket-level spoiler-free-ness, we’ll change gears into Tom Holland level SPOILERS.
I repeat, SPOILERS AHEAD. YES, A LOT OF THEM. SERIOUSLY, TONS OF SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ONWARD. STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT THEM.
Okay so if you’re reading this without having seen the movie, I’m very sorry for your poor decision making skills because there will be spoilers from here on and I don’t know how to make it any clearer. But where do I start?
To hell with it, I’m starting with Angelina Jolie. Her troubled Thena, who was as confused as she was deadly, really showed her skills as an actress once again and made anyone who expected her to be “just” the badass warrior she plays so well, pause and reconsider. I also enjoyed the color choice of pure white and white blonde for someone so dark and lethal. Her friendship with Gilgamesh was also a very pure and unusual depiction of platonic friendship between a man and a woman that made me very happy.
I also enjoyed the unexpected relationship between Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo, who poses as a Bollywood star, and his personal assistant. It made the very aloof showman character of his a lot more likable and the assistant also brought not only much needed comedic relief but also the human perspective that showed, how the Eternals are separated from humanity – something you might’ve forgotten otherwise.
On the other side of the spectrum of the unexpectedness of relationships was the love story between Gemma Chan’s Sersei and Richard Madden’s Ikaris – oh and Kit Harrington’s Dane, because yes, it’s a love triangle. Those are so 2010. But I’m not gonna lie, I did enjoy how Dane was human and emotionally stable enough to recognize the objective superiority of literal superman material Ikaris. Also, apparently DC Comics are a thing in the Marvel universe and people know Superman?! That is mind blowing!
To go through all of the other emotions and stories of a main cast as big as a soccer team would probably be too much for even those of you still reading at this point, so let’s move on to the plot.
I enjoyed the main storyline but it was a very straightforward this-is-how-it-works thing with monsters and good guys. The plot twist with golden boy Ikaris wasn’t really unexpected and heavily foreshadowed btu maybe I’m jaded because I have watched too much of The Boys. Which, honestly, kinda ruined the surprise of the guy with the most powers (that were just exactly like Homelanders as well) turning out to be the bad guy. I really didn’t like the final face off between his team (aka Sprite) and Sersei including everyone forgetting about her wound and Sprite’s murder attempt. I mean, Sersei is nice, but come on. Nobody is that nice. And I did appreciate his suicide but again, it felt all far too fast, like they ran out of time for proper reasoning – which is ridiculous since the movie is still two and a half hours long. I’m really interested to see if he actually stays dead. We all know how Marvel deaths are.
Speaking of Marvel deaths, it was good that they mentioned the Avengers and Thanos and the snap throughout the movie because it sure was the question on my mind. And now swiftly moving on to Thanos himself, or at least his family. Let’s talk about Harry Styles. As in, why… So that mid-credit scene sure was something. Do I think we need Harry Styles in the MCU? Probably not, but then again, I already liked the baby boy cheekiness he brought. I could see him as a better fit for Valerian to be honest. When I came out of the cinema, I googled two things, and his relation to Thanos is one of them. And now I’m more confused than before. Because apparently they are brothers but Thanos has Deviant DNA which makes him ugly, purple AND evil. And they are both the sons of Eternals from another planet. But then also both Deviants and Eternals are robot-like. It’s just a lot, especially since the movie and its whole premise just blows the whole universe wide open with possibility – just how powerful are those beings and what the hell are they playing at? And thinking along Marvel lines, how the hell is that gonna fit in with Loki, Dr. Strange, Wanda, the TVA and the multiverse?! I am a bit afraid that it will all just get very, very galactically large and lose its human, Earthly relevance.
The second thing I googled was very obviously Marvel relevant and a classic move: Who is Dane Whitman? And like that was a pretty standard introduction but I am excited to see where he goes – apparently there is a Blade connection there and that has been announced as a remake already. And also, apparently that means, vampires are a thing in the MCU and well, I do like vampires.
So yeah, the end credit scenes made me google and I enjoyed them. But back to the main movie for a second with a hot take: While the main love story between Sersei and Ikaris was cute and all, Makkaris and Druig really made me squeal with delight. It wasn’t even anything full-blown, mostly just chemistry and hints but I absolutely shipped them above all else. They had no right to be this adorable.
I could honestly go on and on about small aspects and details but at some point, I feel like I should let everyone think for themselves and enjoy the story. I just enjoyed having a whole new set of characters to get to know and an ensemble film where I wasn’t stressed out of my mind fearing for the safety of my favorites…