Eternals

Eternals (2021) - IMDb

Eternals is probably the prettiest Marvel movie that has been released so far. Any movie based on these characters was always going to face a challenge. It was never the most popular comic series, which is why the last series was released in 2006 by Neil Gaiman and John Romita JR. I think it does a lot of what it sets out to do well, there’s still just a tiny amount that sets it as a more middle of the road MCU movie. I will say middle of the road MCU is still pretty damn good.

Eternals was directed by Chloé Zhao. It was written by Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, and Kaz Firpo with the story by Ryan Firpo and Kaz Firpo. It is based on the work of Jack Kirby. I’ve not seen any of Zhao’s other movies yet, but I will remedy that. She and the cinematographer work wonders together and make this to be the most beautiful MCU movie, purely on a technical level at the very least. The writing isn’t the strongest, but the large ensemble and larger scope are hard to get a proper handle on.

Eternals stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, and Kit Harrington. With such a large cast it’s hard to get a proper handle on all of the characters, but you get a good handle on all of them. Gemma Chan gets a lot to do, which is different than her previous MCU role. Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani are standouts for two different reasons. Madden is the epitome of stoicism. Kumail is the comic relief, but he doesn’t over do it. All of the actors get little moments to shine, and I could just talk about them much longer but want to make time for everything else.

Eternals follows the group of ten Eternals as they arrive on Earth to protect humans from the race known as Deviants. The Eternals are sent by a Celestial to protect humans. They arrive 5000 B.C. and after the opening the story is told nonlinearly. You follow Sersi as she’s living in modern day London, where she lives with Sprite. They are attacked by a Deviant coming back from Sersi’s boyfriend’s birthday party. They’re saved by Ikaris, and the three resolve to bring the Eternals back together. I will leave the brief synopsis there so that I don’t really have to say anything about spoilers.

The cinematography is astounding, so much so I felt like I should mention it twice. The CG is probably the most solid that I’ve seen in a MCU movie in sometime. There’s no single shot that stood out for me. The costume design is amazing, and each Eternal gets their own color, which runs through all of their costumes. Ramin Djawadi did the music, and he brought his usual skill to his score. It is suitably epic when it has to be as well as touching when it needs to be.

Eternal is a major change from all of the other MCU movies. I heard it described as Marvel finally making a DC movie, which I think is a conscience decision. There are several visual references to DC characters, specifically Superman. There is a proper speedster fight scene, which I love because I love speedsters. This won’t be for everyone, but you might find something in it that you like and speaks to you. I give Eternals 8.5 shiny little gold balls out of 10

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