Film review: ‘Eternals’


Marvel Studios-Disney | Associated Press

This image released by Marvel Studios shows, from left, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie and Don Lee in a scene from “Eternals.”

By Daija Hammonds , Lifestyle reporter

“Eternals,” the next installment in phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, faltered in terms of runtime and lack of character development, but succeeded in intricate storytelling and stunning visuals.

The film shows the Eternals first appearing in the year 5000 BC to stop the Deviants, a race of humanoids, because their purpose on Earth is to protect humans from the Deviants. The one thing Eternals can’t do is interfere with human affairs because events like wars are supposed to happen. 

The only help humanity gets from the Eternals is when Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, makes the technology humans need to advance. 

After saving humanity from the Deviants, the Eternals go their separate ways for centuries until the audience sees them again in the present day. 

This is where the intricate storytelling begins If the Eternals had been introduced without their origin story set in 5000 BC, it wouldn’t have worked because they carry so much history and have seen so much that shaped the world in the present day.

Sersi and Sprite, played by Gemma Chan and Lia McHugh, are now living in present-day London when they come across a Deviant. Ikaris, played by Richard Madden, shows up just in time to help them.

Now aware that Deviants are appear again, they set around the globe to find the rest of the Eternals to warn them. 

Audiences see where the characters ended up and how they have progressed as the years go by, but that is about it. There is no individual character arc for any of the Eternals; all we see is their powers. It is hard to connect with them as superheroes when we don’t know who they really are as people, especially when centuries have passed.

Sprite, for example, is the “kid” of the group because she was made immortal as a child. Then, later on in the movie, we see her struggling with the fact she will never grow old, find love and start a family. This is nice, but that was not explained at all in the beginning and was sprung on the audience.

One detail that differs from most Marvel movies, but was done well, is its lack of action sequences. Marvel is well known for their action-packed scenes with multiple superheroes involved, but “Eternals” is different.