This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Phill Hill’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
That was kind of like watching an 8 year old trying to eat a 72oz steak and fries.
This is not a terrible movie, and I read a lot of spoiler free reviews prior to watching this, so let’s address some of the consistent complaints I read.
People who say it’s grey and bland mess of VFX :: those people are saying that about everything, and would likely rather watch something light hearted like Marriage Story on repeat. Joyless buzzkills, and snobby hipsters
People who say Marvel crushed Chloe Zhao’s “visionary expertise” :: The word visionary is thrown out too much these days, they’re are very few visionaries in this world and we’ve lost the true meaning of the word. Chloe and (maybe more so) her claim to visionary fame Nomadland are both HIGHLY overrated. I thought Nomadland was a beautiful film, and well directed, but I will eternally despise it for the unintentional (until proven intentional) misleading of some of the real nomads to believe it was a actual documentary and not a narrative. I will stand by it would have been better to be all one or the other. I saw some of the same directing moves I saw in that, in this! So I think she worked the system well enough, because she helped make me feel and connect with every Eternal character, and that is a impressive feat.
Well then what is the issue Phill? Why is this getting reviewed so poorly?
It’s the world building :: It was too much new information, too much exposition needed, a little clunky on the story structure at the beginning. You have to learn new characters and they succeeded there but for the average viewer the new expansion to their MCU known universe, is more exhausting and a mental beat down than a breath of fresh air in this new adventure. Even the two post credits scenes introduced MORE new characters, than just furthering the ones we know.
I think Dune spoiled us on successful and succinct world building. They did it so masterfully, but I think the world building element of this film is the Achilles heel or the one too many apples in the grocery bag that made it stretch and burst…so yeah I think that is causing all these negative reactions. It’s too much to ADD to the universe we know. It’s on a cosmic nearly gargantuan scale, it’s hard to understand the boundaries of Celestials and Eternals. They seem so much bigger than even Thanos…so it’s hard to wrap your brain around it all.
- The sex scene lasted about ten seconds too long, dipping into uncomfortability for the MCU’s first on screen sex scene.
- The story arc of the prime deviant was probably the most in my face disappointing writing failure of this movie. It was almost Spiderman 3 as to the fact that we kind of had too many villains for these very new heroes to focus on. And when they realized that too late, they bailed I just killed them off. It seemed very unearned and lacking any impact to the story of the Eternals. Which is a shame because I thought it was honestly one of most interesting arcs in the movie. #wastedpotential.
- The score by Ramin is phenomenal and so perfectly fitting to go from Game of Thrones to this corner of the MCU. (I didn’t realize he also did Iron Man 1)
- I wish there had been more backstory on the speedster, but I really liked what I got of her.
- I was glad that they were able to kill off a few characters and make it have impact, while not unraveling the group as a whole.
- It is pretty wild to me that they didn’t show Salma Hayek‘s character pleading to Arishem to allow them to get involved with Thanos battle, it seems like such a minor scene to film that honestly would’ve carried a lot more weight and confidence in these characters than even the Hiroshima cut scene. #missedopportunity
- Genuinely surprised that the two post credit scenes focus on the future introduction of even more new characters, as opposed to involving Shang Chi or Doctor Strange. It feels like Shang Chi was almost a false start to Phase 4 and this is the really should have been the first of the next phase timeline?
This movie made me laugh, and feel emotions for the characters. All in all this is not as bad as people are saying, it’s something new and interesting and I’m open to see this play out.