Posts Tagged ‘The Eternals’

              One of the features that led to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that its various branches covered different genres. Hulk was the Fugitive/man on the run, Captain America was James Bond style espionage, Guardians of the Galaxy was Star Wars lite, and so forth. Not resting on their laurels after becoming the most successful film franchise of all time, Marvel swung high with their latest entry. The Eternals brings the MCU into Clash of the Titans territory with their own mythology and millennia spanning arc.

              The first MCU film with an opening crawl, The Eternals starts with “In the beginning,” establishing its vast backstory. The titular group of superpowered beings serve the god like giants known as Celestials and protect mankind against a group of monsters called the Deviants. Their absence from past MCU stories such as Thanos and the Infinity Gems is explained by their oath to not interfere with the human race unless they are threatened by the Deviants.

              Deviants make their return in the modern era, a time when the Eternals have gone their separate ways. Slowly the Eternals regroup, during which we get various flashbacks explaining their backstories, their relationships with each other, and their role, and lack thereof, throughout human history.

              With a cast of ten Deviants, it is difficult for any one character to stand out, but each of them are given moments to shine. Sprite has the body of a young girl and is frustrated that she never seems to age. Kingo became a rich Bollywood star who passes himself off as his son every generation (He also owns Captain America’s original shield).  Angelina Jolie plays Thena, a skilled warrior who suffers from a mental illness that results from a brain holding thousands of years of memories, and so forth. Also, of interesting note, Superman is referenced as a fictional character. I guess this means we won’t have a MCU/DC film.

           The Deviants take a smaller role in the narrative than expected. As the plot advances, we learn the true nature of both the Eternals and the Celestials, and it is this truth that drives the conflict. It’s almost just as well as the Deviants don’t bring a sense of fear and foreboding that is expected of a movie monster. More obviously CGI than other creatures of the MCU, the Deviants look as though they were lifted from a video game and are not as scary as they needed to be.

              Having said that, the Eternals mostly delivers on its high ambitions of telling a vast world sweeping time spanning epic tale, adding a major piece of mythology to the lore of the MCU. Completely unconnected to the Infinity saga that had dominated most of the Marvel films, Eternals feels like a breath of fresh air to the franchise. It is the first Marvel film in quite a while that feels like it just could have been its own separate unique property.

Eternals is currently streaming on Disney Plus.