According to Slate Zhao’s Eternals doesn’t feel different from the average Marvel offering. This is a movie with a prominently featured gay relationship, a (PG-13–rated) sex scene between two other major characters, the first deaf superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari), and the most diverse cast of superbeings in the franchise has yet offered. Eternals are as sociologically inclusive and as pictorially beautiful as any movie in the franchise, with scene after scene bathed in the warm light of Zhao’s favorite time of day, the pre-dusk “golden hour.” But it’s also one of the weakest Marvel movies, meandering, and wan. It takes place over a vast timespan in locations all over the globe (and the galaxy), yet it has the curiously claustrophobic feel of a Saturday afternoon serial filmed entirely in a windowless studio.
KEEP READING: Chloé Zhao Respond To The LGTBQ+ Scenes In The Eternals.
The Eternals must reunite as Earth is once again threatened by a species of creatures known as the Deviants—packs of vaguely lupine CGI animals formed of what appear to be bundled grey extension cables. Their commander, Ajak (Salma Hayek), comes, dazzling in a cowboy hat and shearling vest, from her semi-retirement on a magnificent South Dakota ranch, to assemble the crew from their numerous hideouts throughout the globe.
Each character has their own time to shine, some more than others with such a grand cast. Kicking off the lineup is Sersi (Gemma Chan) leading a fairly normal life in London, working at a museum, and dating Dane (Kit Harington). Fellow Eternal Sprite (Lia McHugh) also lives with Sersi and bides her time using her illusion powers to interact with others. When a mysterious Deviant return to destroy them, a much-needed reunion is called for this disjointed family. Ikaris (Richard Madden) quickly enters the scene as not only a former teammate to Sersi but a former lover as well. Their timeless love story is told through a series of flashbacks, though nothing to touch upon the demise of their relationship. The three unite to search for their former leader in Ajak and are unfortunately left with more questions than answers. (Via DiscussingFilm).
Extended periods of interplanetary hocus pocus and similarly long action set pieces are interspersed throughout the picture, which was written by Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan, and Kaz Firpo. However, the pieces only sometimes come together to form something like a whole. Zhao, whose last three films have all focused on the daily lives of working-class rural outsiders, seemed unsuited to a picture of this size and, to be honest, uninterested in the combat sequences.
Eternals will be arriving at the audience on 5 November 2021.