Alex Reviews "Eternals"
“Eternals” continues the long line of Marvel’s grand spectacles with “Nomadland” director Chloe Zhao at the helm with a script she co-wrote. This particular chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows a team of immortals who have lived on Earth for thousands of years as they both protect the humans from a race known as Deviants and watch over the development of the human race they are bound to protect in an almost disconnected parental oversight.
While “Eternals” definitely continues the large-scale storytelling that the previous MCU entries have established, it may be the worst and most boring of the bunch as long as a rewatch of “Thor: The Dark World” would confirm that. I found it to be a huge failure in storytelling which somehow does too much and not nearly enough all at the same time. Zhao kicks off and establishes a very slow pace with what may be the longest crawl since “Star Wars” (which says almost nothing; a trend this picture repeats multiple times over its north of two-and-a-half-hour run time). She even has so many hats that she wore in this film that it seemed like her own name was in the opening credits enough times to make even Tommy Wiseau ask her to dial it back some.
With as many main characters as are present, this may have been better served as a Disney+ series that would allow its audience to engage with the characters and care for the story as it unfolds. Instead, it felt like I was beaten down with introductions and transition so repeatedly that at no time did I want to root for anyone. Most of the cast delivers the absolute best possible performance that the script would allow for with Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) outshining everyone with his charm and humor, but not by much. Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) has nearly perfected the ability to come across both heroic and duck-on-the-pond level of unstable beneath the surface which could serve him well if he does indeed become the next James Bond as some believe he will be.
Beyond the poor writing, the focus of the picture follows a Gemma Chan portrayal of Sersi so wooden that I had to remind myself that this wasn’t a reimagining of Pinocchio. With the chemistry of a children’s biology set, she never connected with either love interest of the film, which is an amazing feat of futility when those roles are filled with the aforementioned Madden and Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), who gets a short post credits scene more entertaining than the rest of the non-Nanjiani scenes.
The visuals were still stunning in most scenes, and I enjoyed the representations of key locations in human evolution; however, this is not enough to save “Eternals”. Maybe this was meant to be a romantic drama disguised as a Marvel movie and I missed the boat, but I doubt it. This was simply two hours and thirty-seven minutes of film with about forty valid minutes stuffed into it. I still want to see what happens with select characters, but dear God was this dull.