Eternals is a unique new Marvel Cinematic Universe film. The first uniqueness is that this is the first time Marvel has made a film that is story-wise, a bit more complicated than usual. The second uniqueness, he displays a love relationship that is much more mature than the previous films (which of course we can’t see because all the scenes were cut by LSF scissors). And this is the first Marvel film to get a less “fresh” rating. When I watched it, Eternals was not what I imagined. Honestly, when the film ended, I was more intrigued by the story of these gods than ever before.
In Eternals we meet ten Eternals with very specific powers. There is Sersi (Gemma Chan) who can turn one material into another with a single touch, others: Ikaris (Richard Madden, from Game of Thrones) who can fly and can shoot lasers from his eyes (of course there are jokes about Superman here); Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) who can release cosmic energy from his hands; Sprite (Lia McHugh) who has the body of a 12 year old girl and can manipulate illusions from nothing; Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) who is very skilled in technology; Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) Marvel’s first superhero who is deaf and can run fast; Druig (Barry Keoghan) has the power to control the human mind; Gilgamesh (Don Lee aka Ma Dong-seok from Train To Busan) whose punches are powerful; Thena (Angelina Jolie) who can pull out weapons from nothing, complete with capable martial arts, and lastly, Ajak (Salma Hayek) who is the leader of the Eternal gang and is tasked with being a bridge between herself and the Celestials, their creators.
These Eternals are sent to Earth with one mission: they must eradicate the existing Deviants. This Deviant is a very terrible and destructive monster. They had no other mission than this. They should not “meddle in human affairs”. That is why they have never been present despite Thanos “disrupting” Earth for the past few years. The Eternals were sent to protect humans so that these humans could learn on their own to become a prosperous society.
It had been hundreds of years since they had killed the last Deviant. The Eternals are now separated and are living their own lives. Sersi is now dating a professor named Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington). The others he doesn’t know except the Sprites he considers to be his little brother. Later that night, Sersi meets a new Deviant. And unlike the Deviants they fought before, this time they had the ability to heal themselves. Now Sersi and the Sprites along with Ikaris must gather all the Eternals available to fight the imminent danger.
Written by Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo and Kaz Firpo, Eternals is a huge film. Great in the sense that for the first time, I witnessed a story that was more than just a human story.
Thanos is indeed a big figure but when compared to the Celestials, then he is nothing. It’s a bit difficult to adapt a comic with this many characters. With a limited duration (157 minutes), the author must be able to explain about all the characters and their functions and of course the conflicts they face. If indeed there are some characters that are not as well developed as the others, it is because there is no time. But the author’s decision to focus on Sersi and Ikaris as the leader becomes interesting because the last conflict nestled there.
Presentation-wise, Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao’s Eternals is very convincing. Zhao was very good at pointing out that “humans” were very small compared to what happened. This he has shown in previous films but in Eternals, the scale is much bigger. Watching Ajak communicate with giant Celestials in the dark of the cinema made me realize how small the human function is in these stories. The cinematography and music are excellent. Ramin Djawadi, the composer of Game of Thrones, made a musical composition that fits perfectly with this film. When the accompaniment music appeared, I became immersed in the story.
Because the film is filled with so many different characters, in the end only a few of the Eternals actors really steal the show. Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry and Lia McHugh did not get satisfactory screen time even though they fit the characters very well. Kit Harrington here is more like a cameo. In fact, Harish Patel was allocated to be the assistant to Kumail Nanjiani’s character who stole the show with all his unique behavior.