George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
The time has come, Marvel’s Eternals has hit screens across the world and, while it’s a perfectly good, well made film, it fails to reach the true greatness many of us desperately wanted.
I won’t lie to you all; Eternals was one my most anticipated of the year and given the score I’ve just given, it’s only natural to say it somewhat disappointed me, leaving too many questions hanging to fully immerse me. Now, the looming questions I can forgive, there’s always the possibility of a sequel (given the ending I bloody well hope so!), but what really got under my skin was how tiresome the humour was. Sure, the occasional one liner made me chuckle (that IKEA joke is gold! Don’t hate me), but the vast majority of them failed to garner almost a whimper, feeling forced into the script as a last-ditch effort to make this beautiful film feel ‘funnier’.
However, despite the humour taking me out of the movie a tad, there were some genuinely breathtaking moments within. The story, while not being 100%, fits into this universe perfectly. Watching how the Eternals helped shape past civilisations gripped me, with the set design and cinematography standing out in particular, bringing with it a unique feeling to this franchise, one I hope they continue with in the future. In addition to the beauty of Eternals, the incredible cast, made up of: Gemma Chan (Sersi), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Barry Keogan (Druig), Ma Dong-seok (Gilgamesh), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Angelina Jolie (Thena) and Kit Harington (Dane Whitman), all play their characters to perfection, not only leaving me intrigued by their abilities but excited to see what direction they’re taken in the future.
Nevertheless, Eternals is a whole lot to take in upon first viewing. With far too much going on and too many characters to fully develop, it’s easy to see where some audience members will get lost. Yet for me, while it’s not the masterpiece many fans wanted it to be, it did do enough for me to still have a good time and enjoy it. Chloe Zhao’s direction is unlike anything this franchise has experienced, she enhances every aspect of this mediocre screenplay and while it may not be the perfect start for her, I believe she’s the perfect choice for the sequel. Setting up these incredible characters was a hard task and while yes, there are too many characters to develop all at once, I still found myself interested, even caring, about them all as individuals. While it’s certainly got its fair share of problems, Eternals is a beautifully made, well-acted film with characters I can’t wait to see more of.
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