(Photo: Official poster for Marvels’ Eternals in theaters)
by Isaac Lopez, staff writer
After several date changes and judgemental critics, the long-awaited film The Eternals, directed by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao, hit the big screen, offering a darker, more mature take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe upon its release.
The Eternals initial release was supposed to be Nov. 9, 2020, and after getting delayed repeatedly, fans were worried the film would never come out. Fans were further worried by the low reviews given by critics worried fans, the lowest ratings a Marvel film has ever received. After watching it, though, I think early reviews were overly critical.
Each Eternal possesses immortality and a special ability, such as Ikaris who can fly and has laser vision, Makkari whose powers include super speed, Druig who has mind control, Gilgamesh whose powers include super strength. I must say Gilgamesh and Makkari are my favorites due to their powers and overall character growth in the movie. Each Eternal has different and unique powers but who exactly are the Eternals and why are they now being mentioned?
The Eternals are meant to serve ancient beings known as the Celestials. The Celestials are the oldest race in the MCU, being the first living presence in the universe, possessing infinite cosmic power and the capability of manipulating reality itself and more. The movie itself is the story behind why they came to Earth and why they were never shown, up until this point. Essentially, the Celestials sent a species called Deviants to preserve life but when they rebelled the Eternals were sent to battle them. The movie deals with round two.
IMAGE Eternals pic #2
The Eternals has a wide-ranging cast, bringing in several actors to have their own take on the roles of the Eternals such as Gemma Chan, seen in the popular film Crazy Rich Asians, as Sersi, seen in the popular film, Crazy Rich Asians, (She was also in the and seen in older MCU movie Captain Marvel but not as Sersi.) It also casts Angelina Jolie as Thena. Angelina has quite a record in the acting business being in fantasy and action films such as both Maleficent films and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Overall, the movie was entertaining, with the combat scenes drawing the audience in. The special effects were some of the best yet in the Marvel universe. Also, the more minor, but important, love stories revealed between the Eternals make it a more enticing and wholesome movie.
The fight scenes and story were well written and perfectly executed. A particular fight scene I really enjoyed featured both of my favorite characters. The fight happens when Thenas’ disability, a sort of dementia, is exposed in front of the team for the first time. She attacks the Eternals with the intention to kill them, so in order to save her and themselves, the Eternals engage her. Although several Eternals took action, my favorites Gilgamesh and Makkari, took the most charge and contributed the most. Thena injures Ajak and begins wielding her sword around, that is until Makkari speeds off with her in order to detain her and stop her from hurting the others. With Gilgamesh using his gauntlets to officially bring Thena down after injuring Makkari, you see the pure brute power Gilgamesh unleashes from the gauntlets when slamming them down.
The film does get a bit confusing since it jumps from the Eternals’ arrival to their present conflict and back many times. However, the jumps in chronology give context as to what was happening before they split up and also what was happening while they were getting back together. The final battle is entertaining but simultaneously brings emotion, reflecting on the character’s past and origin, while also reflecting on their future on Earth and in the new universe after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. This uneasy conflict throughout the film makes the Eternals more down-to-earth and emotional, and it overall makes the film seem more grounded.