Luke’s review published on Letterboxd:
July 2, 2019. The day I watched Spider-Man: Far From Home for the first time. I enjoyed it to some extent, but on the way home, I couldn't help but think something had been... off. I had liked the plot, characters, everything, but I still felt disappointed. It took me a few days to figure out why: it was the same. As Doctor Strange, as Captain Marvel, name an MCU film that wasn't directed by Taika Waititi or James Gunn, and it was the same. I revisited some MCU films, I sleuthed on the internet, and slowly but surely, my adoration and idolizing of Kevin Feige and the Mouse began to erode. Maybe it was the euphoric high that the last hour of Endgame provided, or the excitement that a female was finally lead an MCU film with Captain Marvel, but I didn't notice it then. But now I did.
July 9, 2021. I watch Black Widow, knowing I probably won't wnjoy it. But since it has been two years since the last MCU installment(not counting T.V shows), I gave it a shot. And I disliked it. But then I thought. Thought about how it was the most formulaic an MCU film had ever been. Thought about the countless poor decisions, mediocre action set peices, and bland characters. I grew to hate Black Widow, and more than that, I hated what it stood for. A franchise so confident in its popularity and ability to fill seats that it had been stripped of all personality and originality, if it was ever there in the first place.
After this fiasco, I decided to take a deeper look into the future slate of MCU films. I knew all about Shang-Chi, but I had little knowledge of what came after. So I discovered Eternals, and more importantly, the fsct that it was to be directed by Chloé Zhao, director of the Academy Award winning film Nomadland. This gave me hope. I thought to myself that maybe they had done it, they were fufilling my hopes two years in the making. For the first time in years, the future of the MCU was a bright one in my eyes, instead of the burning-out candle I had become accustomed to.
Then the reviews came in, abd I dialed back my excitement. I became concerned that Chloé Zhao as director was simplya guise to appease people like me into eating up another generic Marvel film. I assured myself that it couldn't be as bad as many reviews suggested, and that it wiuld still be what I'd hoped for.
November 7, 2021. The night that I watched Marvel Studios Eternals. The night that I fell in love. Eternals is no perfect film. It is flawed, and I would even call some decisions bizarre. But I don't really care. Because it is different. Its so different. This is a film about humanity, about the beauty of life. And while it does ask a pose a few too many thematic questions for its runtime, it is still a dozen times more than any film in the franchie has ever attempted. Richard Madden's Ikaris is clearly untrustworthy from the first scene in London, but his betrayel abd eventual death still work perfectly. He is a man divided between family and religion, between love and duty. And to quote the best line in Game of Thrones, "Love is the death of duty." He is, far and away, my favourite MCU villain(not counting the Netflix shows), and might be my favourite character in any MCU film. Everything, from all the amazing performances, to the great characters, to the perfectly gargantuan Celestials, works to perfection. The only real thing I didn't like was the ending with Kro.
Eternals may not be perfect. But it is perfect to me. And maybe thats why I love it when it seems like so many other don't. Becaue this movie is for me. It is everything I've wanted the MCU to do for years. And, with all it's flaws, I would take one Eternals over a dozen Black Widows.