Within the Marvel Universe the Eternals are not as well-known nor are they that popular. Their stories have always felt somewhat discombobulated and distant from the main story lines in the comics. However, this did leave the film a lot of “wiggle-room” to play with the representations of the characters, and so they did. Unfortunately, the critics had a lot of negative things to say about the film and audiences still didn’t have as positive a reaction as other MCU films have gotten. I firmly believe that we should create our own opinions of movies instead of relying on the word of others and watch things that catch our interest. If you haven’t seen the film and have interest in doing so, you probably should before reading this review as it does contain spoilers!
Plot: The film’s plot was fairly straightforward but it did travel across the world throughout time, each time and location playing an important role in the main plot. The times and locations in order were: 5000 BC Mesopotamia; Present Day London; 575 BC Banylon; 400 AD Gupta Empire: Present Day South Dakota; 1521 AD Tenochtitlan; Present Day Mumbai; Australia; Amazon; 1956 Hiroshima; Present Day Chicago; Iraq; and Alaska. There were not many subplots though, and only one did not tie directly into the main story. This took away from the depth of the movie because there wasn’t much going on aside from them trying to find a way to stop a Celestial from being born and facing hurdles that fit into the plot perfectly. The subplot of Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington) almost becoming the Black Knight, however, stood out as more interesting and unique. It is something fans have been talking about more since the Black Knight is an extremely interesting and better known character. The introduction of Pip and Eros at the end also stood out because they opened up the characters to more interesting adventures across the galaxy. I did not see any glaring plot holes in the film and everything seemed explainable/understandable to some extent.
Character Development: In a film that introduces a large group of characters, it is difficult to have any significant development for each individual. There were distinguished characteristics for everyone and as the film jumped through time changes could be seen with them, but they were still fairly small changes. Many of the character choices made sense, especially towards the end of the film, while others felt a bit forced. Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sprite (Lia McHugh) were two characters I struggled with towards the end because their decisions were not really based in anything, and they changed their minds too often for it to be believable. Other characters, such as Druig (Barry Keoghan), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), and Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), had stronger development as their decisions could be understood and were based on the struggles they’ve faced. The rest of the characters, Ajax (Salma Hayek), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Thena (Angelina Jolie), and Gilgamesh (Don Lee), stayed fairly consistent throughout the film and were easy to understand. By the end of the film only some of the original characters (Thena, Sersi, Phastos, Druig, Makkari, and somewhat Sprite) remained so their development should be more focused moving forward with their MCU journey. Sprite is now human though so she may not be in the future films for more than a few minutes, assuming she’s in them at all. This was most likely done to avoid the issue of the actress aging out of her character’s looks.
Points of Interest: This film was full of cool references from comic books of all kinds, references to other MCU films/characters, and greatly expanded the MCU on a universal level. The intro to the film reminded me of the Star Wars intros, where a chunk of text provided information for the audience to understand what was going on. Several references were made about Ikaris essentially being Superman, which was an obvious jab at WB Studios for wasting opportunities to develop good story lines with characters people clearly love. Dane Whitman (or Don Snow as we call him, see explanation below) was introduced as a love interest for Sersi and his larger role as the Black Knight was foreshadowed as he nearly took hold of the Ebony Blade, only to be stopped by the MCU’s version of Blade (Mahershala Ali). The bracelets made to create the Uni-Mind have a strong similarity to the Ten Rings, which brings into question the rings origins and their possible connection to the Eternals. Eros/Starfox (Harry Styles) and Pip (Patton Oswalt) were introduced in a way that strongly connected the events of other MCU films as Eros is stated to be the brother of Thanos and Royal Prince of Titan.
Overall: As I mentioned before I do understand why this film did not do as well as other MCU films and why certain fans struggled with it. While the Eternals are not as popular, those who know them were not thrilled to see so many changes with the characters in the film. However, I would argue that because the characters are not as well-known it is good to change them to include more diversity and see characters representing life in the world today. The plot was fairly straightforward and the characters didn’t change too much in the film, so the movie itself was pretty simple compared to other MCU films. I did enjoy the film and I would watch it again, but it is not at the top of my list for MCU movies I throw on for fun.
Don Snow: I went to see Eternals with a friend of mine and neither of us could remember what Dane Whitman’s name was. I recognized him as John Snow from Game of Thrones (despite the fact that I’ve never actually seen the show) but we were pretty sure his name started with a “D” in this film. So, I said Don Snow and now he will forever be known to us as Don Snow.
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