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The Mass Media

Should you go see ‘Eternals’?

Promotional+poster+for+%26%238220%3BEternals%26%238221%3B+from+Marvel.+Used+for+identification+purposes.
Promotional poster for “Eternals” from Marvel. Used for identification purposes.

Reviews for Marvel’s latest film “Eternals” have been…mixed, to say the least. As of writing this, the movie is sitting at 47 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, unlike many of its fresh predecessors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, maybe the mixed reviews have you on the fence about seeing it or maybe you couldn’t care less. As someone who has seen the film, I can confidently say that it isn’t for every taste. Is it for yours? Let’s see if we can figure that out.
Does it have action sequences? It’s a superhero film, so of course it does. However, it’s not the same fun and colorful type of action that one might expect in a “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie. The violence feels…well, more violent. That may sound somewhat obvious, but the fights in many PG-13 films are more related to choreography than actual violence. There isn’t more gore in “Eternals”, but things just felt less glamorized than usual, even though it was cosmic and fantastical. It was an interesting juxtaposition that worked for me, personally.
Is it funny? There are jokes, so in a sense, yes. At the same time, it doesn’t have the same level of humor as films like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Ant-Man”. The quips that were given were spread throughout the film’s long runtime of two hours and 37 minutes. So, while there are jokes, the movie itself isn’t funny. For those who complain that the MCU is nothing but quips and immature humor, this should be a huge plus. If that’s exactly what you go see these movies for, then maybe this won’t be one of your favorites.
As mentioned before, the movie is significantly long, especially for these characters’ first film. However, that raises another question: Is it too long? Personally, I didn’t feel that way, but I know for a fact that other people will think the opposite. There are many shots meant to establish the grand-scale of this story that probably won’t work for those who prefer dialogue and plot advancement. In a word, “Eternals” feels slow, which is absolutely not everyone’s speed.
Ironically, even though the movie is slow, it is also jam-packed with ideas. A lot of ideas. It was a bit overwhelming at times, and I say this as someone who was familiar with the source material. If this film had one major flaw, it was that it couldn’t quite develop each of the concepts it introduced. In attempting to introduce an entire mythology, it ended up centering on one extremely specific part—the Eternals, who were the Gods of the myths. For those of you who like reading myths about Zeus and Poseidon, as opposed to Medusa and the Minotaur, that may not be such a bad thing. However, the monster lovers out there will probably find themselves disappointed.
Finally, and most importantly, how are the characters? Are they likeable? What about sympathetic, annoying or repulsive? As can be expected with an ensemble film like this, the answer varies from character to character. Kingo? Oh, he was great. The combination of being both a celebrity and an actual godlike deity—as opposed to just egotistically seeing himself as one—was a great deal of fun to watch. Ikaris? He had his moments, most being just fine. Collectively, there was always this sense that the characters were above humanity. That can be an annoying trope, as it makes them seem condescending and unrelatable to some.
However, little bits of humanity always slip through the “mightier than thou” façade. The struggle each of these characters faces, in some way or another, is what to do with their powers and whether they want to help humankind or ignore it. That is definitely a concept that has been visited before; if you didn’t like it when you last saw it, you probably won’t like it this time around.
Hopefully, this gave a sense of what taste “Eternals” appeals to. If you’re one for slow, mythic storytelling then it may be worth giving this MCU installment a chance. If you’re more of a fast, action packed and fun movie-lover, then this may not be the one for you.

About the Contributor
Kyle Makkas, Humor Writer