Director: Chloe Zhao
Starring: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan
Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Ma Dong-seok, Brian Tyree Henry, Lia McHugh
I try to stay out of the debate and the rigmarole that surrounds ranking every Marvel film as it comes out, pitting it against all other MCU movies, pissing off a large group no matter which way you go. BUT, I will say this; Eternals is a very bad movie, and therefor somewhere near the bottom, if top-to-bottom there must be. It’s not the scope, it’s not the director, it’s not the diversity; this film didn’t fail because it decided to be different, because it didn’t fit the mold fanboys wanted it to. No, it’s just bad, and I say that critically, cinematically, and concisely; someone made a crappy movie, a bunch of someones acted crappily in it, and we’re left with a dumb clunker that’s supposed to be an awesome blockbuster but never really even got close.
Long ago, the Celestials, beings with immense, universal power, sent a group of their servants, the Eternals, to Earth to protect human kind, to guide us on our journey through the centuries, and to ultimately allow us, through our mistakes, to learn what it takes to be an advanced society, the good and the bad. Well, the Eternals thought they had done their job, the monsters that plagued us were destroyed and we became an advanced civilization. But apparently that was just the beginning; a new threat has emerged and the Eternals learn that their secret task was much more sinister, leading them to choose between their old masters and their new friends.
It’s hard to know where to start, so I guess I’ll begin with the positives. The biggest plus was the mythology; I loved the backstory of the Eternals, their mission, how they’ve been with us from the beginning, how their presence has shaped our religions, our, myths, our folklore, and it’s all based on them. That was cool, and to see history unfold with them behind it was awesome too, very interesting and a fresh point of view. And that’s about it. From there, the central story took a nosedive down the pooper, and it would never recover. The plot is silly and all over the place, literally, without any way to really ground the action or the conversations, like a base to return to or something familiar to settle down in to regroup. And the characters were just as frantic; no backstories to help us get to know them, and some of the worst acting in any action movie you will ever see, and that’s saying something.
Many of the lead actors had had so much plastic surgery that their faces literally couldn’t move or emote; that’s a bit of a problem when your smallest expressions are meant to convey deep emotion; you know, acting. The dialogue wasn’t any better; one time in a maelstrom one character shouted to another “stop, you’re better than this!” and he just stopped, because, well, I guess he realized in that instant that he was better than that, I don’t know. It was almost juvenile in its attempt to bring across a thousand moral messages, represent everyone on Earth, teach is all to be better humans, and somehow do that without any real heart, palpable feeling, or honest connectivity. Eternals is a catastrophe, as bad as WW84, and nowhere near as good as most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Put it on the bottom of the list if a list you must made, because it deserves to be there: stupid plot, dumb writing, idiotic action, just plain disastrous.
My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆