Eternals ★★★

this movie does a lot of stuff i love, but it's in conflict with itself a lot of the time. chloe zhao's style for one seems to be at odds with the editing, her usual long takes that hold on shots are interrupted by the standard studio-required shot-reverse-shot scene structuring. for as long as the film is, it feels roughly choppy and trimmed back in a lot of instances. but when the visuals get the chance to shine it's a lovely, really interesting style for marvel to take on. zhao got a lot of time to shine in flashback sequences, and in beautiful locations. it really makes a difference when they're not shooting on a soundstage.
i wish this film found its focus in giving us a clear, relatable theme or point.
again i find the film is at odds with itself, at times it's this grand epic story about godlike beings tackling with the fate of the entire existence of the human race, sometimes it's nice fun scenes of characters around a table having some marvel-banter.
this film could have easily been about a found, dysfunctional family of godlike beings. and it almost was, but it just didn't feel like we were ever given enough of that found-family angle to engage me with the multi-millennium-long relationship these people share.
a huge missed opportunity to have characters resolve the conflict by coming together as a family. have everyone return together to become that collective. become one.
would that be a bit more basic? maybe a bit too guardians of the galaxy? yeah, but it works. it's what the film needs. a stronger bond.
the film is lost in being this universally massive cosmic story that it loses some of that humanity that it longs for.
my favourite parts were when the characters all arrive to meet up with gilgamesh, sit around a table and chat, or when they arrive at the house of phastos who may have found a new life for himself. these elements were the core of the movie for me and it felt lost amongst how much bigger and beyond that which it wanted to be.
but at the same time, i like the interesting questions it raises about these gods questioning the choice to interfere with humanity or not. 

imma spoil;
enough said.

all in all, the discourse in the ranging disparity this film has in critics scores makes sense. people will either like it or not like it, it's a big 50/50 split i think. it's very long, very slow, a lot of characters and names to remember. but at the same time it's a decent sci-fi film that's got good action, some fun character stuff sprinkled in and some wonderful cinematography and visual effects here and there.
but in a world where everyone is hyper fixated on alternate realities and tobey macguires and cameos and shit, it might be a bit of a dry taste for most people leading up to the sugary diabetic dessert that the next spider-man seems to be looking like for the masses.

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