MARVEL FANS ASSEMBLE!
A new MCU film has joined the lineup this weekend, and with it, TEN new heroes. The film made $71M domestically during opening weekend at the box office — but it also has the worst reviews of any MCU film yet. But can it really be that bad? It’s still a Marvel movie, and it features an award-winning cast of Selma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, and more…
I saw Eternals on opening night, and I have some THOUGHTS. (Not as many thoughts as normal though — I don’t think my fellow movie-goers would appreciate me typing throughout the entire film.) ]
Here are the things I loved — and hated — about the MCU’s newest chapter.
WARNING: Spoilers!! If you haven’t seen Eternals yet, there will be spoilers below for the film and end-credits scenes. DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER.
THING I HATED: There were too many new characters.
Listen, I know the MCU is full of a TON of characters. Just think about that glorious final battle in Endgame! But we were introduced to all of those characters one or two at a time (or at most five in the case of Guardians). Now we were introduced to TEN new heroes (eleven if you count the post-credits scene with Kit Harrington) and expected to care about all of them.
And…I didn’t. I’m sorry!! I tried, but with that many new heroes, there’s no way all of them are going to be winners. I found Sprite (Lia McHugh) particularly annoying, especially with the forced “romance” with Ikaris. They could’ve left her storyline as “she’s never looked grown-up” and that’s why she wants to start over — in fact, it would’ve been more shocking if she stabbed Sersi out of nowhere, instead of after following Ikaris.
I also couldn’t get on board with Ajak (Salma Hayek) or Druig (Barry Keoghan) — I found their character development shallow and their characters somewhat unlikable. I even found Sersi a little boring (Gemma Chan) and she was the most developed of the bunch.
To be fair — it’s basically impossible to introduce and fully develop 10 new characters in ONE movie. And they did great work with several of them…but others fell flat.
THING I LOVED: There were so many new characters.
On the flip side, having so many new characters allowed Marvel to truly expand the universe and include a LOT of (overdue) diversity in this cast.
Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) was one of my favorites, as he was funny, smart, sarcastic — and the first openly gay superhero to hit the big screen. He and his-onscreen husband (Haaz Sleiman) share a goodbye kiss (which has caused the film to be review-bombed and banned in some countries), and it was so moving that according to Sleiman, “Everyone cried on set.” There have been openly gay heroes in the Marvel comics for decades, but this was a first on-screen.
Makkari is the first deaf MCU superhero, and she’s played by a deaf actress (Lauren Ridloff). Despite the fact that Avenger Hawkeye is hearing impaired in the comics, there hasn’t been a deaf hero in the films yet. And Makkari is incredible — she’s fast, funny, and incredibly awesome in the battles. Plus, Ridloff taught all of her fellow Eternals actors sign language, making her a hero off-screen too.
My favorite character in the film was Kingo, played by Kumail Nanjiani. He’s the first Pakistani superhero and, as could be expected if you’re a fan of Kumail, he’s HILARIOUS. In times, he’s the saving grace of the movie thanks to his spot-on humor and one-liners.
Despite this being far from a perfect film, the diversity in the cast is to be applauded. Everyone deserves to see themselves reflected on-screen, and this movie made huge strides with underrepresented communities.
THING I HATED: It was long and slow.
This movie had a LOT of story to tell, but somehow it still felt slow and long. There were many scenes that could’ve been cut down in favor of more character development. It’s confusing and has a weak villain.
There were many times we needed more Kingo and Gilgamesh (Don Lee) who were the funniest of the bunch to speed things along and provide some light in otherwise clunky and dull moments.
Also — how does this connect to the other MCU films?! I know that’s part of the fun, but at this point, even a subtle nod to Shang-Chi or future projects like Doctor Strange 2 would’ve been nice.
I almost wish this was a Disney+ show where each episode fully developed a new Eternal, with a film to follow showcasing their battle and ultimate mission.
THING I LOVED: It’s beautiful.
This film is stunningly gorgeous (though not as pretty or visually exciting as Shang-Chi IMO). and I loved the play between present-day and pivotal moments in human history.
It was really fun to think about MCU heroes being around from the dawn of time, and the scenery in Babylon, Mesopotamia, and Japan is stunning.
THING I HATED: The cheesy Ikaris moment.
Normally I LOVE a cheesy Marvel moment. Let’s face it –basically all iconic moments in Marvel movies are corny. From “I’m always angry” to “I’m always picking up after you boys” and even the most iconic “Avengers Assemble” — all of these moments are poetically cheesy.
But we don’t care. We laugh and cheer because we are bought in and rooting for our heroes’ success or the baddies’ demise.
Now, I realize Ikaris was the villain (not the big one but a villain nonetheless) so I should root for his demise. Perhaps I still love him from his time as Robb Stark and could never cheer for his death. Or perhaps I just wasn’t into his character. Either way, when he “flew too close to the sun” at the end after SUDDENLY realizing the other Eternals were right, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Anyone else?
THING I LOVED: The mid- and post-credits scenes.
What would a Marvel movie be without an end credits scene or two?
Despite the gigantic spoilers all over the internet (rude) I still gasped and cheered when Harry Styles emerged as Starfox! Plus, bonus points for Patton Oswald as his drunken bard. This made me incredibly excited for what’s next.
I also LOVED the teaser of Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) as the Black Knight (honestly this may be one of my favorite things about the movie). Because what’s better than Jon Snow wielding a sword again? A teaser from Mahershala Ali as Blade in the same scene, that’s what.
Like many others, I first assumed the voice heard was Nick Fury. But upon further internet sleuthing, and finding confirmation from Director Chloe Zhao, I discovered it was really Blade questioning Dane. Ali confirmed he’d be taking up the vampire-hunting mantel in 2019 when it was confirmed the reboot was in the works. We don’t know much else about the film, but if they’re teasing the film already, maybe it’s sooner than we think?
All I know is that these post credits scenes did exactly what they’re supposed to do — leave us with more questions than answers, and get us pumped about what’s coming next.
Overall, Eternals is a good (but not great) addition to the MCU. It gives us a LOT of new characters — who I’m excited to see in tandem with other heroes. (Witty banter between Kingo and Katy from Shang-Chi is something I am going to start manifesting RIGHT NOW). I think I’ll like all of them more with a more exciting plot or unified cause. The movie is stunning, and it’s worth a watch, even if it’s only to support a diversified cast and female director as we continue to expand the MCU. It may not crack my top half of Marvel films, but now that I’m all-in on the franchise, I’ll take any excuse to eat popcorn for dinner and watch heroes on screen.
Have you seen Eternals? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Want More of my Marvel Reviews? Check them out here!
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- 56 Thoughts I Had Watching ‘Spider-Man 2’ for the First Time Ever
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- 3 Things I Loved and 3 Things I Hated about Marvel’s ‘Eternals’
- 5 Reasons I Loved Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’
- Such a Poser: 102 Thoughts I Had Watching Black Widow for the First Time
- I’m Mad That I’m Sobbing Again: 54 Thoughts I Had During the WandaVision Finale
- Why Am I Crying Over a Robot? 51 Thoughts I Had Watching WandaVision Episode 8