The Real Problem of ‘Eternals’
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In every possible way, by Chloé Zhao Eternals has never happened before. This is the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows a deaf hero (Mikkari by Lauren Ridloff). Also the first to feature a gay (Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos). It’s bathed in natural light (Zhao’s signature), and full of saviors — and villains — previously unseen in the MCU. It also has a remarkable difference in level first Marvel movie certified dunot on rotten tomatoes.
Sure, the Rotten Tomatoes brands aren’t everything — and at a time when everyone is a critic (hello, Twitter), they only provide a chunk of the overall public view of any film. But for a Marvel movie, a business literally designed to please people, the (now) 53 percent mark is small. It’s also an indication of what happens when a movie, any movie, is asked to be all in all. In addition, Eternals an indication of the increasing pain inherent in moving the MCU forward.
People are constantly recounting conversations about pushing things forward with diversity and shifting the canon. Eternals did that, but the hiccups of the film were not related to its cast and crew. Or even this style, with no hypercolor glare in most of its predecessors. Basically, it’s about the story being tried to be told — and how many stories need to fit in the 2-hour-37-minute running time.
The thing is, Eternals no runway. Now in its fourth season, MCU is less reliant on big team-up movies that build every story that precedes them. Tony Stark doesn’t just waltz Spider-Man: Resurrection and let everyone know who he is. There aren’t many origin story movies that go to superhero slugfests like The Avengers. In many ways, this will work for Zhao’s benefit: He’s free to make his own film and isn’t burdened with making it “fit” into every other MCU movie. No major cameos inside Eternals, and the Avengers and Thanos are only mentioned in the throw. But it also means he has to do the account equivalent of 10 standalone movies and Avengers: Endgame—All with heroes less recognizable than Spidey. His film also needs some in-group drama, so it takes a bit of time in the middle playing out what the overall arc of Captain America: Civil War. Too much.
Surprisingly, it’s in these beats of the Earth story where the movie is the best. Zhao enjoys creating interpersonal moments. But sometimes those moments feel disconnected Eternals’ lots of action scenes. It also means that his film has to do a lot of emotional work in small chunks of time; something that, perhaps, led to moments like Phastos crying over his one-historic involvement in the Hiroshima bombing, a scene that was planned. some criticisms. If even two or three of the film’s heroes were given standalone films before this one, Zhao could easily imagine. Eternals as thoughtful, daunting journey is imminent. However, this is a story that is too heavy for anyone to shoulder.