Will Eternals become The Last Jedi of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The first reactions point to the first-ever divisive Marvel movie.
One thing that I immediately grasped from Chloe Zhao’s directing style after watching Nomadland; a gorgeous film that heavily focuses on the story of a woman living out of her van in a profoundly moving way–is that Zhao doesn’t care about the status quo. She makes her films in ways that stick with you for their originality. Their thoughtfulness, and their beauty. So when I heard she was making Eternals, the story of a race of alien beings who’ve been sent to Earth to protect humanity from their ruthless adversaries, the Deviants, I was intrigued.
The story of the Eternals has always been different than other Marvel stories, even in the comics. Knowledgeable fans of the Eternals’ comic runs cited the upcoming film as an ambitious endeavor considering the uniqueness of the story Zhao would have to adapt. And apparently, she has taken that uniqueness to heart. Thus creating a film that feels almost entirely unrecognizable to the franchise of which it inhabits.
Critics are calling it “groundbreaking”, “gorgeous”, “epic”, “dense”, “evocative”, and one critic even described the film as “Marvel’s version of Zack Snyder’s Justice League” thanks to its handling of assembling a brand-new cast of characters. And while the overall consensus for the film is positive there is an underlying current of disappointment among the first reactions.
Among the glowing praise, there are some who have found the film too long, exposition-heavy, uneven in pacing, and when one fan asked a critic if Eternals was the best MCU film he replied “not by a long shot.”
THE LAST JEDI
Eternals seems to be The Last Jedi of the MCU. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was another bold step for a major franchise as Kathleen Kennedy brought in Rian Johnson, another director known previously for thoughtful indie film projects that put him in the spotlight. His handling of a big-time movie like Star Wars resulted in a powerful installment in the franchise that mostly dazzled critics but split the fandom in half. Is Eternals destined to do the same thing?
With so many MCU fans hoping for these newer films to step outside of the mold and surpass the formulaic storytelling of past installments, Eternals sounds like a breath of fresh air, right? But fans are fickle and this movie may not be the change of pace they were looking for.
A BOLD STEP FORWARD?
Some will love the bold new look at the MCU. And will appreciate the lack of action scenes in favor of a grand familial drama. While others will definitely crave more action over storytelling. Despite the grand vision that Zhao will unleash with this film, will this be the first MCU movie to divide the fanbase…at least for a month until Spider-Man: No Way Home unites everyone in the excitement for what is the most anticipated movie of the year. I think it will.
But who knows? Maybe Marvel fans will appreciate getting an MCU film that finally feels different. Or maybe the film will be boring and we’ll all be united in our disappointment about the movie. Only time will tell.
Eternals will attempt to win over the fans from November 5th.
Are you looking forward to Eternals? Leave a comment and join in the conversation.
Annlyel James is a Senior Correspondent of The Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter where she channels the Force frequently!