Eternals ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I watched Eternals over a day and a half ago and I am still having trouble making up my mind. Right off the bat, I don't think this deserves all of the hate that it has been getting. It's bad, but it's not that bad. There were a few aspects here and there that I enjoyed.

For the things I didn't like, the plot was way too overstuffed. I had a hard time trying to figure out where the movie was going because it seemed like each act had a different villain. I feel like a whole trilogy of movies was stuffed into one. Was the main villain The Deviants? Ikaris? Kro? Arishem? Thena? Each one of them was being set up to be the villain at one point and I still don't know looking back which one was supposed to be the biggest threat.

Speaking of Thena, what was the point of introducing her 'memory overload' if it had absolutely no effect on the plot whatsoever? That was like 10 minutes of screentime that could have easily been cut. Or, on the flip side, cut out all of the other villains and make Thena the big baddie. It was an interesting storyline when it was first introduced but it ended up going nowhere and seemed like a waste of time. A similar thing occurred when they showed Druig's conflict with whether he should end wars, and with Phastos feeling guilty over advancing Humanity's technology. I see what they were trying to go for with giving the characters more depth, but there were too many characters that it ended up feeling messy and incomplete. If they started out the Eternals' story with something smaller (i.e. making Thena the villain), then maybe they could spend more time building out all of the characters, but when only a few are chosen to be given incomplete backstories that lead nowhere, the movie is left feeling really messy.

I get what they were trying to do with the flashbacks, but a couple of them ran on for way too long and made the pacing feel off. This also wasn't aided by the fact that this movie took place in like 100 different locations so the movie felt choppy and all over the place to begin with.

I thought it was interesting how willing Eternals' was to kill off its characters. It was nice to see, as not very many comic book movies do that, but their deaths felt meaningless as the other Eternals didn't gain anything from them dying, and the plot was too overstuffed already so no one was shown grieving their deaths, apart from Ajak's. Ikaris' death was stupid. He basically just rage quit which was both unsatisfying and annoying as he was my favorite character. I'm curious if any of them will come back in the sequel or not.

The sex scene was so unneeded. It added nothing that wasn't already told in the scenes with Ikaris and Sersi prior. Why include it?

Something that I did enjoy was the visuals. All of the scenes with Arishem and how his scale was shown were very appealing. I also enjoyed how Makkari's speed looked. Every speedster looks the same these days so it was a nice visual refresh to see something new. Also, big props to Eternals for not doing a bullet time scene. Not even Sonic could get away without doing one. I also liked Richard Madden as Ikaris. He was probably my favorite performance of the movie, he plays the 'evil superman' role very well, even though it's a trope that is very overdone at this point.

Dane Whitman felt useless, his relationship with Sersi didn't set up any problems with Sersi's relationship with Ikaris, which is really the only thing I could think of for why he would be in this movie. I suppose Marvel just wanted to set him up to be Black Knight, but again, this movie is way too overstuffed to begin with so he should have just been cut and saved for a later movie.

One last thing I take issue with is the frame of reference between the Eternals' powers. What makes someone more powerful than the other?
What about Ikaris makes him more powerful than everyone else? Surely the girl who can change humans into water can best a guy who shoots lasers out of his eyes and flies around? Also while everyone else is using their powers to fight one another, Sprite gets knocked out with a rock. There is no frame of reference for how powerful these characters are.

Then, after the final battle, why are Sprite and Kingo welcomed back with open arms after turning on the other Eternals like one hour before? Are there no consequences for their actions? This isn't even mentioned once.

Despite what you may assume about the theatre attendance of a 10:30 am showing of a movie that came out nearly a month ago, it was actually pretty packed. This is usually the best environment to watch comic movies in, but not a single joke landed the entire movie and it felt really awkward sitting there knowing everyone is cringing.

In summary, Eternals bit off more than they could chew and left us with a movie that feels half-baked. They should have tackled a smaller story so more time could be spent fleshing out more characters. Some people got half of a backstory, and some got none. I feel like now that all of this groundwork has been laid, a sequel where all of my problems with this one could be fixed could easily happen, so I'm curious what the next step is.

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