Eternals Cast: Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Geema Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Barry Keoghan, Lauren Ridloff and Lia McHugh, Harish Patel, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek
Eternals Director: Chloe Zhao
Where to Watch: In Theatres
Review by: Russel D'Silva
Marvel has been at the front and center of the superhero boom in Hollywood, and subsequently, around the globe, when, back in 2008, they came out with Iron Man. Kevin Feige, the genius behind it all, the president of Marvel Studios, built a billion-dollar cinematic franchise literally by unearthing largely forgotten or relatively unknown superheroes (barring Iron, Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Thanos and Black Widow), and turned them into pop-culture icons. But now, that we're done with the Infinity Saga arc, and the audience looks to what's next for the MCU, can Kevin Feige and his army of filmmakers and writers continue the formula even as they keep digging the bottom of the barrel for new characters, and in the face of DC that continue to grow with more popular characters after a severely shaky beginning. The answer is if they go the Shang-Chi way, they yes, but if they deviate from their approach with stuff like Eternals, and also get derivative of other popular pop-culture icons, then the way forward is going to prove tough.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Eternals is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Eternals review...
What's it about
Long before civilization began, before the dawn of the first humans, at the very beginning of time when our planet was created, Eternals were sent to protect the evolution of intelligent life from creatures known as Deviants, with the caveat being that they couldn't interfere in any other aspect of human history. The Eternals have been silent for the past 500 years after they believed they vanquished the last of the Deviants, waiting to be called back to their home planet, till the latter resurface with greater power than before.
Watch the Eternals trailer below: VIDEO
The action scenes of Eternals are a total blast, but then, you'd expect nothing less from Marvel Studios. The climax is the high point of the film, with some extremely cool plot devices thrown in to make it even more special – just don't go expecting the Infinity War or Endgame climax again as those happen once in a lifetime. Among the ensemble cast, it's
Angelina Jolie (as usual), Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani and Brian Tyree Henry who shine the most while Barry Keoghan, Lauren Ridloff and Lia McHugh lend good support. Salma Hayek and Kit Harington only have extended cameos, but their talent ensures they leave a mark. And our very own Harish Patel gets a lovely part as a comic sidekick and makes the most of it.
The biggest issue with Eternals is how derivative it is, with everything from Superman, The Flash and X-Men to Transformers and Greek Mythology being borrowed, so much so, that for the first time ever, a Marvel movie had to pass to DC references. The next big issue is that the entire world-building and main story arc gives away a 'been there seen that many a time' feeling and seen it done better. Finally, if you remove the action and performances, the movie is just no fun, which would be a huge dampener for the family audience. Even dark superhero movies can be fun as we've seen with Nolan's trilogy and a few others, but Eternals isn't dark, it's just too artsy, highlighting how wrong a choice Chloe Zhao was for the Director's mantle.
You can't have a strictly art filmmaker, with zero understanding of commercial cinema, make a big-budget superhero film. Perhaps that's why even the background score is also so unimpressive. Everyone isn't a
Kenneth Branagh (Thor) or Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) with a clear understanding of both. Plus, why would you cast a star like Angeline Jolie and then make her play second fiddle? Typical artsy brand of thought.
Eternals is far from Marvels best of even a good enough superhero movie on its own, but that doesn't mean it's not at all watchable. Though I'm willing to hazard a guess that the family audience and youngsters, it's main targets, aren't going to appreciate it all that much.
Rating : 2.5 out of 5
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