Eternals ★★★½

I for one think it's brave of Disney to spend $200 million on Richard Madden's audition tape for Superman.

Far from the worst MCU film, which is what its Rotten Tomatoes score would have you believe, Eternals is instead a hugely ambitious superhero epic, and rather unique for a Marvel film as it dares to wonder what might happen if they decided not to undercut every moment of sincerity with a gag.

My biggest gripe is that it tries to achieve a bit too much, even if it does have a two and a half hour run-time. In jumping around through history to set up a number of inner conflicts within the group, which includes love triangles and a whole host of themes including becoming disillusioned with humanity, questions of free will, general morality, collective responsibility vs personal responsibility, immortality, ageing, technological evolution and how it goes hand in hand with destruction, and probably a bunch of other shit I've forgot about *deep breath* it does inherently mean some aspects lack adequate development.

But hey, at least it tries to do things a bit differently. It might not throw out the whole MCU formula but it does take risks in being a more thoughtful and serious affair. The aforementioned sincerity may turn some viewers off and be too reminiscent of Snyder's DC films for some, but I think it added a welcome operatic weight to proceedings.

It also helps that Chloe Zhou's direction is great, the action is quite cool, and most of the performances are impressive - these guys sure do love to stand in a straight line and brood together, huh? Richard Madden is terrific and probably my choice for the next Bond, I'm a big fan of Brian Tyree Henry and he's fantastic here, Angelina Jolie still kicks ass, Kumail Nanjiani is funny and even brings Harish Patel along for the ride, and Don Lee is exactly what his name says he is - a don.

Yep, I'm quite looking forward to where these films go. It's far from perfect but I'm just pleased the MCU has decided to change things up slightly. However, based on some of the backlash it wouldn't surprise me if they renege on it all like Star Wars did after the masterpiece that is The Last Jedi (yeah, I said it) and then go on to make the next one as dull and safe as possible.

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