Eternals ★★½

Alexander the Great may have wept when he found himself with no more worlds to conquer, but super-producer Kevin Feige — having usurped every screen on Earth and reshaped the global entertainment landscape in his own image — merely straightened his baseball cap and announced that it was time to begin the next phase of his crusade. He knew there were more planets to rule, more parallel dimensions to explore, and more revenue streams for Disney shareholders to tap dry.

Most of all, Feige knew that it wasn’t enough to dominate the creative arts; if the Marvel brand were to achieve its rightful place in the hearts and minds of all humanity, it would have to unseat the Creator themselves. A major step towards achieving a kind of singularity between the Marvel Cinematic Universe (lucrative and popular) and the Actual Physical Universe (prestigious but full of fading stars), “Eternals” starts by papering over every origin story that science and religion have ever invented.

“In the beginning…,” reads the text on screen, a supergiant Celestial named Arishem created the heavens and the Earth out of space dust. It created us, too — for reasons that will later be explained at great length during one of modern filmdom’s most explosive info dumps — along with a race of sinewy monsters called “Deviants” and an immortal alien task force known as “Eternals” that was eventually dispatched to protect our species after the beasts evolved beyond Arishem’s control. Oops.

The idea that our planet and everyone on it was designed by such a sloppy cosmic builder makes a lot of sense, and some of the more ass-kissing Eternals are quick to defend Arishem by arguing that humanity’s greatest threats have always spurred its greatest strides. But the fact remains that Arishem is a fallible being, and the cataclysmic “emergence” triggered by the sudden return of half the world’s population will force the Eternals to question their maker for the first time in the 7,000 years since they landed on Earth.

In other words, Marvel has made a “Dune”-sized, “Dune”-length, and almost “Dune”-portentous superhero movie about literally confronting God.

~this review continues on IndieWire~

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