Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Marvel takes a slight turn into existentialism, as we are introduced to a new team of heroes questioning their purpose as detached protectors of humanity.
"Could our mission have been a mistake? Are we really helping these people build a better world? We're just like the soldiers down there: pawns to their leaders, blinded by loyalty."
While Eternals is cut from the same MCU cloth as its predecessors, it also takes on a different feel and pace reminiscent of Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel', but with the more delicate touch of Writer and Director Chloé Zhao. Over the course of these two and a half hours, we get an intimate look at these characters and relationships of the team, while still getting an occasional signature MCU action scene or punch line.
(Quick Hits) ... Spoilers:
- It baffles me how some people complain about wanting a different kind of comic book movie. But then when they get it, we then hear complaints about it having a different tone and the characters being new
- While my attention did wander some while being introduced to Shang-Chi earlier this year, I would say I was locked into the character development throughout in Eternals
- So the Eternals are super people sent by a huge space dude named Arishem, with the purpose of defeating all these monsters known as Deviants on earth
- Once the Eternals accomplish their mission many of them go their separate ways as they struggle with their instruction to not directly have an impact on human history, as they await guidance from Arishem
- Figuring out who each Eternal is, was a lot to take in. Especially since there is some jumping back and forth in the timeline
- The biggest downside with that was being confused by Ajak's death, but turns out they do let us know what happened to her later on
- If you have seen 'Nomadland', then it is clear to see Chloé Zhao's touch on this with all the beautiful open landscape/sunset cinematography, and humanity in the characters
- So who are these Eternals:
1. Sersi - The hesitant new leader who can transform matter and heal
2. Ikaris - Discount Superman with him flying around and using laser eyes
3. Angelina Jolie plays Thena - She can conjure ancient light weapons. She also randomly gets possessed and tries to kill her friends.
4. Salma Hayek as Ajak who was the original leader.
5. Kingo has become a big-time actor in Bollywood, and he is the comic relief, but I don't recall what his power was.
5.5 Karun is Kingo's human right-hand man who brings even more comedy into the mix, as he attempts to shoot a documentary about the Eternals
6. Sprite - Discount Loki, but she is disgruntled since she is stuck being a kid
7. Phastos - Can conjure light tools and engineering designs.
8. Makkari - Discount Flash or Quicksilver.
9. Druig - Mind control.
10. Gilgamesh - Has super punching, and I did a double-take since he reminded me of Wong from 'Dr. Strange'.
- Eternals succeeds in utilizing this new team of heroes with varied abilities to make the action collaborative
- The actual enemies are these deviants that show up when we need an action scene. But instead its the eventual infighting amongst the team about completing their actual mission, which made for a unique final conflict
- The way they all linked their minds together to make Sersi more powerful, was a more subtle and elegant way of pulling off a superweapon to save the day
- This is also not your typical final battle, since they don't fight the new Celestial ... but rather stop it from emerging from and destroying the Earth. Although the Pitch Meeting video on this made a great point that a huge creature pushing through the earth would have a major impact on the planet's stability
- My two favorite characters would be Druig since he is snarky and wants to break the rules, and Phastos since he is innovative and likes to get stuff done
- Druig also helps bring in the theme of the Eternals being like Gods, with how they defeated the monsters of ancient lore. But are no longer supposed to have an impact on humanity
- I am excited to see what comes next with these Eternals as they eventually get merged into what the Avengers and Guardians are up to, as the Celestial threat in the MCU begins to emerge
- Mid-credits scene includes a weird troll creature and Thanos' brother who is dressed like Shazam
- End credits scene hints that Dane Whitman is Black Knight, and that the all-new Blade is coming soon!
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Skål! 🍻