“Eternals”: Entertaining or Egregious?
November 17, 2021
Director: Chloé Zhao
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2021
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Gemma Chan (Sersi), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Barry Keoghan (Druig), Angeline Jolie (Thena), Don Lee (Gilgamesh), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Kit Harrington (Black Knight)
As the newest addition to the Marvel franchise, “Eternals” is the highly anticipated action film from the complex superhero universe. After witnessing our beloved Tony Stark defeat Thanos “Endgame”, many viewers were weary of what the newest movies would reveal. Directed by Chloe Zhao, “Eternals” began a new timeline for Marvel, introducing an entirely new set of characters. Of course, this was held to high standards and loud opinions, some in favor of the film and others quite the opposite. Writers Nicholas Calindro and Lauren Gregorio shared their opinions on the polarizing new film below.
Eternally Grateful for a New Marvel Era
Our Rating: A+
Entering another phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Eternals” has brought about a different type of Marvel film we never expected. From many scenes having almost no CGI to characters’ exploring more emotional depth, the film, in most cases, did not feel like a regular add-on to the Marvel franchise. Now, for some, this was not appealing. However, “Eternals” kept viewers on their feet at all times and offered a glimpse into a brand new set of characters.
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The film has a complex plot, especially for those who have never picked up a Marvel comic book. The main protagonists (yes, there is more than one) are all members of a group called “Eternals,” who were immortals sent to earth to protect people from the Deviants: primates with ever-changing DNA mutations that possess superhuman abilities and wreak havoc on communities. Both the Eternals and the Deviants were created by the Celestials, bionic beings who control everything. The Prime Celestial, Arishem, is the one that communicate with the main Eternal Ajak. The Eternals toy with human civilization and continue on the creation of more universes by using others as a sacrifice.
For centuries, the Eternals have been instructed not to interfere in any form of conflict the earth faces: whether it was human wars or Thanos’ decision to remove half of humanity by the snap of a finger. Only does this precedent change when they learn the truth. Each character handled it differently, of course, all while their powers were put to the test. Sersi, the kind one who grew affectionate towards humans, has the ability to change things into different types of matter. Ikaris can shoot lazer beams out of his eyes and can fly. Ajak can heal wounds while Druig can alter one’s thoughts. Makkari has superspeed that enables her to run around the earth like nothing. Thena, Gilgamesh and Kingo are all superior fighters who are always ready.
“The characters made the movie worth watching. It was unique compared to other Marvel movies and I really enjoyed that aspect,” senior Isabella Guerrero said.
Compared to “Captain America” or “Iron Man”, viewers were in a whole new arena of Marvel. What was a happier version of David Fincher film mixed with a little bit of Paul Thomas Anderson, “The Eternals” had beautiful avant-garde aspects, but maintained the subtle hints of comedic relief always found in the Marvel formula.
Taking us back to ancient times like Babylon and Mesopatamia, the sets and costumes were an essential component from the start for director Chloé Zhao who recently took home the 2020 Oscar for Best Director. The costumes were clean and elegant as if off the runway. Oftentimes, Marvel is known for its intense action scenes, not its cinematography. However, Zhao made this one of her sole goals to strive for. Through telling a story with visuals of ancient lands and the galaxy, “The Eternals” was an exciting film to watch.
“I loved how there were some parts of the film that reminded me of Marvel, but there were so many parts that were entirely brand new,” senior Marta Rodriguez said.
Viewers are concerned as to whether or not this particular film was a lone-wolf or if Marvel will be veering in its stylistic direction. Despite mixed reviews, it was a bold leap for the cinematic universe. Ultimately, “Eternals” did not disappoint.
Lauren Gregorio is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program entering her second year as the opinion editor for CavsConnect. In addition to...
An Eternal Disgrace for the Marvel Franchise
Our Rating: C+
To say the least, Marvel’s “The Eternals” was accompanied with large amounts of hype and expected to continue Marvel’s success after the stellar release of “Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings.” Instead, the film failed to deliver and is a Marvel movie fans will likely forget.
The main criticism of the films is the poor individual character development. Some characters, especially those who met their end, had unfulfilling storylines that felt incomplete and shallow. Because the audience is introduced to a wide array of new characters at once, it is difficult for significant characters to establish themselves individually and stand out rather than occupy the background.
“My favorite part of the movie was the special effects. The characters had nice looking powers and the artificially created settings also looked really good throughout the movie,” senior Dario Cobas said.I thought that Marvel did a good job with the comedy this time around. I felt like the jokes implemented were delivered effectively and they did a good job at brightening the serious scenes of the movie,
I thought that Marvel did a good job with the comedy this time around. I felt like the jokes implemented were delivered effectively and they did a good job at brightening the serious scenes of the movie,”
— senior Raymond Ozols
One of the strongest aspects of the film is the computer-generated imagery. Marvel’s access to high quality technology and CGI artists is evident throughout the movie. From the cosmic energy utilized in a unique way by each eternal to the ancient settings of Tenochtitlan and Mesopotamia, the movie is greatly enhanced by the use of CGI. However, the movie greatly relies on CGI because of the other areas where it falls short.
The most significant downside of the film is its lackluster flow. For a majority of the running time, the story lacked coherence as the characters come and go while the film travels between time periods without clear plot progression. Also, for a good part of the film, it seems as if the main conflict is between the Eternals and the Deviants but the buildup of this conflict is quickly abandoned as the main cast of characters must now face an entirely different conflict for the latter part of the film. The film contains many elements that are presented as significant but fails to connect them and utilize them for an effective progression of the story.
“During the movie, I felt that the scenes lacked structure. For a majority of the movie, the flow was confusing and few of the elements felt connected and significant until the end where the movie became more organized,” senior Daniel Michel said.
Within the lackluster elements of the film, one of the film’s saving grace is the comedy. Within the lackluster scenes of the characters travelling to ancient Mexico or visiting a Bollywood movie set, the movie is filled with successful comedic moments. Kingo and Karun are easily the funniest characters and consistently brighten dull scenes. But despite these moments, the film’s comedy is not enough to warrant a positive interpretation of the film as a whole.
Overall, although the film has significant downsides, the movie is not a complete failure as a result of its impact on the marvel franchise as a whole. This singular movie may not be the best, but it introduces concepts and characters that Marvel fans can be excited to learn more about in future movies. Hopefully Marvel will learn from its mistakes and the upcoming installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can make up for the underwhelming “Eternals.”
Nicholas Calindro is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program. Having joined CavsConnect this year, Nicholas seeks to rise to the occasion and...