Eternals ★★½

Marvel’s Eternals is well-meaning in places and my previous thoughts very much still stand after this rewatch. However, in spite of an overly long and dull story, I did find myself discovering a couple more redeeming qualities.

While it is a film of peaks and troughs, I do think there’s some substance to the predicament faced by the Eternals, whereby throughout time they’ve advanced society but inadvertently armed them. The notion that these beings are strictly forbidden from intervening to right their wrongs and watch society tear itself apart is rather thought-provoking. The familial disputes make sense as a result, but come the second half, the conflict is just exhausting. Druig rocking(?) Sprite over the head was such a satisfying moment 👏. Although the obviously CGI’d characters during the action sequences are SO BAD. More over, I do think the whole world exploding to give birth to a god-like celestial is absurd…for Marvel standards.

The characters remain a mixed bag with most forgettable and underdeveloped. However, the standouts are still Phastos, Kingo, and Druig. As soon as events cut to “Mumbai” for Kingo’s Bollywood dance film shoot, I remember Jason and I turning to one another, our interest temporarily piqued as Eternals was injected with some desperately needed pizzazz. The musical number has a visual flourish that’s far too short-lived, but Nanjiani’s comedic timing is used to effect and his cultural background provides welcome representation, especially for me as a fellow South Asian. The unfunny cameraman is still problematic though. Additionally, the gay representation with Tyree Henry’s Phastos makes for a strong and tender character arc. He is the MVP here. I also just love his delivery of that IKEA line.

After being disappointed that Kit’s Dane didn’t have enough screen time, I was surprised to hear that he in fact appears once more in the final end credit sequence. It was a rookie error on my part for leaving the cinema prematurely (I hear the cries of “real fans stay ‘til the end” 😂), but that scene has such tantalising ambiguity I actually prefer it to the near-gimmicky mid one that came before. Despite my reservations, I’d come back for a follow-up, especially if Dane and Phastos are on board. Also, Ramon Djawadi’s Eternals theme is a blast with many a repeated listen.

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