The Eternals, Maybe Not a Flame but a Spark

Marvel’s newest movie adds some kindling to the MCU Phase 4 bonfire

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Photo credit: iMDB

The Eternals opens November 5, 2021.

Ethan Caswell, Staff Writer

The creators at Marvel have successfully added another storyline to the MCU film franchise with the addition of The Eternals, which debuted in theaters in the U.S. on November 5, 2021. Runtime is on the longer side at 2 hours 37 minutes, but isn’t very noticeable due to the amount of information the viewer is trying to take in with this new MCU storyline extension.  So far, the film has grossed $71 million domestically, which is the fourth highest since the pandemic started. The Eternals has grossed $161.7 million internationally and is currently the second highest grossing movie worldwide since the pandemic started.

The movie starred many heavy-hitters including Angelina Jolie as the Eternal Thena, Gemma Chan as Eternal Sersi, and Salma Hayek as Eternal Ajak. In a twist, the Eternal Ikaris and the love interest of the protagonist in the movie, Dane Whitman, are both played by Games of Thrones (GoT) alums Richard Madden (GoT character Robb Stark) and Kit Harrington (GoT character John Snow). Rumor has it that Kit Harrington’s character Dane Whitman will be back in future movies as his comics alter ego “the Black Knight.”

For as many superstars as there were in the movie, I was disappointed by some issues. I did not like the back-and-forth of the timelines throughout the movie. The Eternals have lived for eternity so it kept leaping between present and past events. Some characters would die and then be featured in scenes a half hour later. It was very confusing.  I was also disappointed that more was not done with Selma Hayek’s character before she died. And as a friend pointed out, aren’t the Eternals supposed to live forever? It seemed very easy to kill them, which doesn’t make much sense!

Additionally, I also did not like that there wasn’t a central “bad guy.” In fact, there is a lot of confusion as to who the antagonist is in the movie. This goes back to the characters’ creation and development. There is some huge star power in the movie with so much acting potential on-hand, and there were characters that could have been really in-depth and meaningful, but the viewer finishes the movie feeling like they barely scratched the surface of who any of the Eternals really are. This may have been done purposely so it can be expanded in future storylines. This film has the potential to tie in to the Ant-Man, Avengers, Dr. Strange, and Loki storylines easily.

I did like Marvel’s attempt at diversity in the movie. The characters ranged from young to old, with several different races, health conditions, and sexual preferences dispersed through the cast. This includes characters that are deaf, heavier in weight, and multiple different nationalities like Hispanic, Asian, and an Indian man. I could definitely tell there was an embracing of diversity and effort put into writing and casting for diversity in the movie.

Critics have not liked The Eternals (IMDb 6.9/10, Rotten Tomatoes 48%, and Metacritic 53%), but audiences liked it at 80% (Google, 2021). My review is similar to the general public’s opinion. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars because more should have been revealed about the characters in the movie. I would like to know more about this storyline. However, I would just prefer for it to follow standard chronological order instead of skipping around. I liked it though! The movie was OK, a solid “fair.” I will be waiting for future mention of these characters in other upcoming Marvel movies.