Erika Schmack is in 11th grade and has been in Journalism for two years. She enjoys reading and is part of the speech team.
Marvel’s Eternals: Eternally Disappointing
March 9, 2022
If you’re looking for a movie that’s eternally awful, then you can’t go wrong with Marvel Studios’ Eternals. Watching it is almost as bad as drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth.
Released on Nov. 5, 2021, and now on Disney +, the movie covers numerous genres, including action, adventure, drama, and science fantasy. As a Marvel fan, I was greatly disappointed by the movie as a whole. The only positive notes were that the movie offered deaf representation, LGBTQ+ representation, and Angelina Jolie. Alas, not even the presence of Jolie can save this clunker of a film.
The Eternals begins with the arrival of the Eternals on Earth in Mesopotamia, 5000 B.C. What are the Eternals? Hard to say, since the movie never really bothers to fully explain, but basically, they are sort-of humans with superpowers sent by mysterious celestials to protect other human beings. Prior to their arrival, a couple of local fishermen get attacked by numerous deviants–large, vague, and ultimately boring creatures that feed on intelligent life forms. The Eternals show up and kill the deviants using their various powers which include teleportation, telepathy, super strength, matter manipulation, flight through levitation, telekinesis, creating illusions, and the ability to shoot cosmic rays out of their eyes and hands.
While the Eternals are tasked with protecting the humans of Earth from the deviants, there is one thing they are not allowed to do: interfere with any human conflicts. This one rule, and the fact that there is disagreement about it among the ten members of the Eternals, is a major source of conflict throughout the movie. The Eternal who despises this rule most is Druig (Barry Keoghan), whose main power is mind control. Druig believes humans should be protected from conflict in order to keep a peaceful world.
The movie has lots of potential, especially with Jolie (who plays Eternal team member Thena, but falls short in terms of the storyline). Marvel movies are known for their plotlines and their ability to further the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole; however, the plot of this movie zips from one scene to another faster than Makkari, an Eternal with superspeed portrayed by Lauren Ridloff, and had me wondering how they got from point A to Z in 30 seconds. The scenes flit from one to another rapidly and haphazardly, often leaving the watcher confused. Many of the scenes, like the ones that take place in London, have no purpose and seem like fillers in order to achieve some predetermined movie length. They were almost as annoying as Sprite (Lea McHugh), a child-like Eternal who can create illusions. She made me want to cry every time she appeared on the screen.
Another aspect of the movie that I hated was the explicit scene between the Eternals Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden). The movie is rated as PG-13 and although the scene is brief, it makes for an awkward experience to watch. (Disappointingly, even the theater crickets seemed too uncomfortable to make noise during those moments.) The first explicit scene in a Marvel movie was definitely not necessary. The chemistry between Sersi and Ikaris is pure cringe with no hints of romance at all. Just a waste of time.
One positive aspect of the movie was the deaf representation of the character Makkari (Lauren Ridloff). Marvel Studios’ first deaf superhero in a movie, provides a much-needed spotlight for those who are hearing-impaired. I think the decision to use a deaf actress for this role was amazing and provides inspiration for anyone who is hearing-impaired.
Overall, this movie is not worth two hours and 37 minutes of your life. I could go back and unsee it, I would. The movie received a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is being generous, in my opinion. I would rate it 5 out of 10 stars, with three of those solely for the presence of Angelina Jolie.