Film Review of “Eternals”(2021)

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It was six minutes into watching Eternals (2021) when I first realized I was bored and at 47 minutes I did what I didn’t expect myself to do. I turned the movie off and returned the disc to its case.

I checked the movie out from my local public library, so it didn’t cost me a dime, but at a run time of two hours and thirty-six minutes, it would drain away that much of my life to watch. It didn’t “do it” for me.

Unlike the other Marvel movies I’ve watched, I had no connection to the original comic books. I’ve never read any of them. So there was no nostalgia to drive me forward. The movie lived or died on its own for me. Well, it died.

There was a whole bunch of bopping around in time from 5000 BCE to the present and just about anywhen in-between.

Okay, supposedly these “Eternals” were sent to Earth to protect the human race from the “Deviants” but only from the Deviants (however you want to define the term in this era of political correctness). They explained quite handily why they didn’t enter the battle against Thanos or any of the other conflicts in which humans have engaged.

Besides the time bopping, what turned me off?

I didn’t develop an emotional connection with any of the characters. Really, I didn’t particularly like any of them. I didn’t dislike any of them, except maybe Thena (Angelina Jolie), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and Gilgamesh (Ma Dong-seok). Really, I was emotionally indifferent to them. They didn’t matter to me, which is bad. If you create a story and none of the heroes matter to you, and you’re not worried that they’ll get hurt or die when they’re fighting the “bad guys,” then what the heck?

I know that for decades, besides her overall attractiveness, Jolie has been known for her big lips, but good grief. It looked like someone spent overtime injecting them with collagen. These “Eternals” aren’t supposed to be human, but her face looked absolutely unreal.

I checked and the movie is rated PG-13. Nevertheless, Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) had a lovemaking scene that was pretty realistic. You saw skin and no naughty bits, but they were moving back and forth simulating intercourse, except you don’t talk that much while doing the ol’ “in and out.” Are you going to take kids to this?

I realize that “representation” is the hallmark of modern superhero movies (and TV shows and comic books and so on), and I understand that Lauren Ridloff who played Makkari is actually deaf, but if you belong to a group of superpowered immortal beings, you’d think that issues such as hearing loss would have long since been cured. If, on the other hand, she belongs to a race of beings who have no sense of hearing, why does she have ears? Why can she sense even the slightest vibration including speech, which is pretty much the definition of hearing? Oh, she and other characters were communicating using American Sign Language…7,000 years ago. No, that wouldn’t have happened since the earliest occurrence of this language is only about 200 years old.

lia

Actress Lia McHugh

I actually had no idea if the character of Sprite (Lia McHugh) was a masculine looking girl or a feminine looking boy. I suppose that’s what the filmmakers were going for. She was born in 2005 which means when the movie was released she was about 17 years old. Yet in one scene set in the present, she is disguised as an adult female at a bar where an adult male is hitting on her. She gets away, but why put a minor in that sort of position (yes, she’s an immortal being, but she’s deliberately depicted as a child)?

There’s a scene in the past where the Conquistadors (bad Europeans) are slaughtering Aztecs and one of the Eternals (I can’t be bothered to care which one) leaves the rest and then plays “god” to take control of all of the humans involved (so much for Eternals not getting involved) that perfectly destroys their god-like detachment from we mere mortals. I think that’s pretty much when I washed my hands of this farce.

Until I went to IMDb, I didn’t realize the fop who wanted Sersi to move in with him in the present was named Dane Whitman (Kit Harington). In the comic books, Dane was the nephew of the original Marvel villain the Black Knight who died battling Iron Man. Whitman took up the mantle of the Black Knight, flying horse and all, and became a hero who on more than one occasion aided the Avengers. Does this mean the Black Knight will show up in a future Marvel movie?

I suppose if I’d have watched the entire movie and especially any mid and after credits scenes, that question may have been answered, but again, I couldn’t be bothered. As far as I’m concerned, except for Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) which I haven’t seen yet, Marvel movies died with Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Eternals did absolutely nothing to change that perception. I even managed to watch Captain Marvel (2019) all the way through. It was a middle-of-the-road movie that just happened to have an obnoxious star. Eternals had nothing for me. Really, absolutely nothing.

There was supposed to be some LGBTQ+ representation in the movie, but I must have turned it off before I got to that point. Probably for the best. I can’t imagine anything redeeming Eternals and certainly in this case, representation did not take the place of desperately needed good storytelling.

Back to the library for you.

2 thoughts on “Film Review of “Eternals”(2021)

  1. Great review. I lasted about as long as you did, for all the same reasons. No connection to the characters or story. Like you said, most of them were annoying, and the little girl getting hit on in the bar scene was creepy.

    I have seen Spiderman – No Way Home, though, and think it might be the last decent Marvel movie (ever). It had some things I didn’t care for, but was at least entertaining, interesting and more in-line with previous Marvel movies.

    Like

    • Thanks for letting me know. I tried to get my sons and grandson to see the Spider-Man movie with me at the theater but they weren’t interested (my grandson is a terrific Ant-Man fan, though). Guess I’ll see it on DVD like everything else. I’ve watched movies before I expected to hate but ended up thinking they were “okay”. Eternals wasn’t what I expected except it was way worse than I thought it would be. Still hoping there’ll be a new (and good) Avengers movie with Dane Whitman as the Black Knight. Bring in Ant-Man and the Wasp and maybe Rhodey as the new Iron Man, She-Hulk, and Hawkeye, and you’d have a solid team.

      Liked by 1 person

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