my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Eternals
Director:   ChloĆ© Zhao
Year:   2021
Genre:   Comic Book
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   01.17.22

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
01.17.22Internet This is another movie where it seems like the critics and people with agendas swayed public opinion on release but now that it's on Disney Plus and normal people are watching it, general consensus seems to be rising. For myself, I thought the trailer looked like garbage. Guardians of the Galaxy worked, in my opinion, because it had a real sense of fun in the world thanks to James Gunn's sensibilities. Otherwise, a group of superheroes that nobody's heard of was a tough sell. I think the MCU phase 4 slate has included some seriously big swings counting on the fact that so many people were there for Endgame that we will watch whatever they put in front of us. Sometimes that's worked, but it's not a given, as evidenced here. Whereas Guardians felt fun and lively, this movie is staid and boring.

I'm not sure if it's because everyone's playing these timeless alien creatures or there's a lack of score or what but the pacing of most scenes feel awkward and overlong. Richard Madden in particular has a wildly unemotional take on his character that, intentional or not, comes off less like "alien amongst humans" and more like "actor acting poorly." Then each action scene is like the same beat over and over and over. Someone will fight a monster, almost get hit, then another dude will come in and save them. The creature designs are allllmost interesting but wind up being generic tendrils and googaws all over the place, and I have no real frame of reference of how powerful the monsters are or how powerful the eternals are so it's just a bunch of CG crash test dummies hammering it out. Like Ikaris is supposed to be the most powerful, but his eye beams seem to do roughly the same as one dude's punches and another dude's finger guns, so... ?

And because they're introducing a dozen of these fools, we basically get two scenes with each one, even at this crazy run time. I have no sense of time or place. The movie hops all through history but so do the people in modern day. Like, doesn't it take a week to get from South Dakota to Iraq? Are these people flying economy?

Which is the great shame of the movie for me. I totally dig the ancient aliens vibe and how these characters seed Earth's mythology and all of that. It's awesome in theory that the monsters they fight (Dementors? Deviants? I've already forgotten their name) wind up in history as mythological creates (akin to the Foo Dogs and Dragons from Shang-Chi). But the idea alone isn't enough to make me enjoy sitting through the movie. It needed like 50% more first act and 50% less second act.

Then there's the unfortunate Game of Thrones meta connection. Having Madden and Kit Harrington share screen time over a character named Sersi is not great. And having each Eternal be a different checkbox of diversity feels pretty forced. It's a tough situation and I applaud the intent, but it seems like that was the primary intent of the movie rather than telling an interesting story.

My usual wrap-up for Marvel movies is that it was solid and there's nothing really wrong with it but that I'm feeling a little fatigue at their onslaught. This is the first one in a long time (like, since the second Thor movie) that I think is not good. Hopefully it's a hiccup rather than an indication of how things are going. It seems like everyone loved the next Spider-Man movie and I have it on good authority that the art direction of the She-Hulk series is top notch.
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