Eternals stands out from its 25 siblings by not mentioning them. While Thanos, Blip and the Avengers are briefly mentioned, this film is both a standalone and mini-universe within the bigger canon. The mid-credits scene and post-credits scenes are both Amazed you over deep cuts. One feels better than the other and feel more like a stunt. The next movies will answer many of the questions about how and whether the Eternals will interact to the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, and other characters in the MCU.
This movie is more like a romance melodrama rather than a superhero action adventure. It has a dramatic sweep and less of the usual funny dialog. There are also a few daring moments such as a real, but still modest, love scene between two adults. . In a completely different order, the film features the MCU’s first homosexual kiss. This kiss feels organic and deserved, unlike the similar moment in The Rise of Skywalker.
Henry, Chan, Barry Keoghan (as Druig), Madden, and Henry are all strong. Chan brings Sersi’s love for humanity to the forefront, while Madden adds imperfection to be essentially the Superman. Nanjiani is the best, as he takes his comedic persona to a dramatic level and struggles with an existential conflict. Jolie is the weak link. While he does have some good moments as Thena, he seems to be acting more than acting. It is much better to have Don Lee ( train to Busan), as her friend and loyal, the super-strong Gilgamesh, in another first, the first Korean superhero movie.
All the cast look great in their Eternals costumes. They guide their characters in a blend of the humane & the almighty. Zhao frames them in stunning shots that give the film a vibrant, widescreen texture. This is something you need to see in a large theater. You can feel the presence of Kirby in the intricate geometric designs throughout the Eternals technology and places where they have left their mark on human culture.
Eternals is not perfect but it does show that the Marvel film production factory isn’t content with its existing large laurel wreath. introduces a new cast of characters mostly unknown, gives them a complicated, time-spanning backstory, and makes the central conflict more personal. It’s not the same arthouse fare as Zhao’s other works, but it’s certainly not your average superhero tent pole. It works best when it hits the sweet spot between these two.
Eternals are in cinemas starting November 5.