Eternals Review

Review | Marvel Studios’ Eternals

Chloé Zhao has crafted an epic and colossal story with Eternals. It feels so different and unique from what we usually get with the MCU. It’s also visually the most beautiful movie of that franchise. From its phenomenal cast to its beautiful score, Eternals is a masterpiece.

The release of the latest Marvel Studios’ movie is finally upon us. Eternals is opening a brand new era for the MCU with a colossal story that is way bigger than what we have seen before in that universe. So does it have what it takes to deliver a new epic superhero movie for the modern era?

STORY
(L-R): Sprite (Lia McHugh), Druig (Barry Keoghan), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Karun (Harish Patel), Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Eternals is a story that spans thousands of years so it’s a complex and colossal work. It introduces lots of new characters and concepts. So it only makes sense that it’s the second longest MCU movie clocking at 2 hours 37 minutes. And, it never feels too long, I felt transported into the story the whole time. I didn’t feel the time passing by. That’s what makes great movies.

It feels so different from what we usually see in the MCU and yet it fits perfectly in this universe. The Eternals are basically gods so they’re not your typical superheroes. Plus, the Deviants and Celestials are beings way beyond the reach of the Avengers. It’s a story of epic proportions. The main storyline takes place in the present as the Eternals face their biggest threat. While during flashbacks, we see them throughout history protecting humanity from the Deviants.

(L-R): Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Though, it also has a lot of humanity. A big part of the story focuses on the Eternals living among humans and trying to be like them. At the center, there’s a love story between Sersi and Ikaris and it’s a beautiful one.

Chloé Zhao is a gifted filmmaker, not just a great director but also a fantastic storyteller. You could feel throughout the movie that she was really invested in the project. She loves Marvel, DC and Star Wars. She had to direct one of these! Fans of these franchises will appreciate the small references and easter eggs, I certainly did. This movie has a great heart, it’s not only action-packed but it’s also funny and emotional. There are a lot of surprises so avoid spoilers at all cost before seeing this movie!

REPRESENTATION MATTERS
(L-R): Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and Druig (Barry Keoghan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Representation matters. Superhero movies inspire people. Thus, it’s essential to feel represented on screen and to be able to identify yourself with the characters. The MCU has been going in the right direction with Captain Marvel, Black Widow and Shang-Chi. With Eternals, they have done their best work yet. Everyone can feel represented in this movie, it’s a turning point for representation. The Eternals is a big team and everyone is different there. Everyone can be a hero.

Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Phastos is the first gay superhero of the MCU. He’s not just a cameo, he’s part of the team and one of the main characters. And it’s not just a line that he says, they actually show us his husband, his kid and he does kiss his husband. I felt extremely proud seeing Phastos. That’s why this movie means so much to me because I do feel represented on screen. I hope this is just the beginning and the MCU will continue to be at the forefront of representation. The comics have featured many LGBT characters over the years so it was about time the MCU did too.

You really connect with the characters because of they’re great diversity but also because Zhao (and her team)’s talenting writing. In this big team the real lead is Sersi but each character has their own time to shine. Phastos, Sersi, Thena and Druig were definitely the highlight of this team for me.

POST-CREDIT SCENES
(L-R): Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

As usual with the MCU, there are post-credits scenes. But recently, these scenes have been more important than usual. The first one introduces a character that made me very happy even more so because of the actor portraying him. And it teases what comes next for the Eternals. And the second scene teases a new superhero and I can’t wait to see when we will see him next! MCU and comics fans do not want to miss these scenes!

CAST
Druig (Barry Keoghan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo by Sophie Mutevelian. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

For an epic movie like this one, you need a phenomenal cast. And Chloé Zhao has assembled quite a talented group of actors and actresses. Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie in an MCU movie? I wouldn’t have imagined it five years ago but I’m so grateful they are part of this universe now! I would have loved to see them both more in the movie though. It was also great to see Barry Keoghan. He’s a talented actor who deserves to be recognized as such. I have nothing but praise for this cast. They all play their part beautifully. And I’m really excited to see them again in an Eternals sequel.

VISUALS
Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Eternals is without any doubt the most beautiful movie of the MCU. Indeed, Chloé Zhao made sure that she could shoot her movie on real locations and it shows. Natural colors and lighting are always better. There are so many shots that I would want to have as a wallpaper on my computer. I so blown away by the aesthetic of this movie. As for the visual effects, they’re also impressive. It’s a great mix of real sets and VFX. You clearly recognize Zhao’s visual style, it’s what makes her movies so special.

The production design on this movie is what you would expect from the MCU – it’s creative while also fitting with the rest of that universe. The Eternals’ costumes are really beautiful. There’s a godly vibe to it that fit the characters. And the Deviants’ design is so much better than in the comics. It makes them a bigger threat as they are fearsome creatures.

SOUNDTRACK
(L-R): Karun (Harish Patel), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Gilgamesh (Don Lee) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

As for the score, Chloé Zhao chose Ramin Djawadi. He is best known for his work on Westworld, Game of Thrones and Person of Interest. Once again, he has delivered a wonderful score that perfectly fits with the big scope of this movie. It makes you feel the epicness of what’s on screen and it adds so much to this already beautiful story. I think Djawadi was definitely the right person for the job.

VERDICT

Chloé Zhao has crafted an epic and colossal story with Eternals. It feels so different and unique from what we usually get with the MCU. It’s also visually the most beautiful movie of that franchise. From its phenomenal cast to its beautiful score, Eternals is a masterpiece.

Eternals is distributed by Marvel Studios and releases in cinemas on November 5 in the UK and the US.

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