Scott Hardie: “It sucked.”

I agree with the critics and audiences who have judged this to be one of Marvel's worst films ("a steaming hot pile of garbage" was my wife's summary). There are several very serious flaws:

• The heroes are all god-like beings, nearly impervious to harm. Thus, they have little stakes in their conflicts. Even if they fail in their goal, they'll be fine. This feels far more like DC's approach to superheroes than Marvel's.

• The heroes have very little personality. The actors strain to liven up the material (Kumail Nanjiani has a great spontaneous line that I assume was ad-libbed), but the two main characters in particular are just blank voids. How boring.

• There are no villains. The Marvel films have been accused of dull villains before, but this one barely has any at all. The figures positioned as antagonists are utterly lacking in personality and barely make any impression.

• The pacing is extra slow. This is Marvel's second-longest movie, longer than even the jam-packed Avengers: Infinity War but with a fraction of the plot to cover, so it cannot sustain any kind of momentum or excitement.

• There are numerous confusing moments that are potential plot holes. How did she know that? Why did he do that? How did that event happen? Kelly and I spent most of the drive home asking these questions and trying to make sense of the messy narrative.

With a really good script doctor who could have punched up the dialogue with some liveliness and wit -- hello, Nanjiani is right there -- this might possibly have been good, or at least fun. It's weird that ChloƩ Zhao pitched Marvel on an updated version of the Eternals that gender-swapped several characters, made them multi-racial, made one deaf, made one gay, and so on, and yet didn't seem to think that any of them needed a personality infusion too. These are just boring empty avatars in stupid outfits, color-coded so that we can tell them apart like the Power Rangers. What a disappointment, and a waste of the massive resources it must have taken to produce this giant boring movie.

If the film has one great element, it's the photography. I haven't seen any other ChloƩ Zhao film besides Nomadland so I don't know if this qualifies as her signature look, but both movies have an appreciation for the beauty of natural landscapes in natural lighting. It's rare to see superhero battles in real sunlight and real settings (ie. actual trees and grass instead of CGI-generated fakery), but that choice pays off. This movie is a failure, but at least it looks really good.

− November 24, 2021 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

Want to join the discussion? Log in or create an account to reply.


Evie Totty: “It was ok.”

This review contains spoilers. Reveal it.

− December 2, 2021 • more by Evielog in or create an account to reply

Want to join the discussion? Log in or create an account to reply.

write your own review of Eternals


Other Movies from 2021

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Evie Totty says, "It ruled." Go »

In the Heights

Scott Hardie and Erik Bates say, "It ruled." Go »

Moxie

Evie Totty says, "It ruled." Go »

Nomadland

Scott Hardie says, "It ruled." Go »

Muppets Haunted Mansion

Scott Hardie says, "It was ok." Go »

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Scott Hardie and Evie Totty say, "It ruled." Go »