Eternals – Film Review
by Katie McCann
Director – Chloé Zhao
Writers – Chloé Zhao (screenplay), Patrick Burleigh (screenplay by), Ryan Firpo (screenplay by)
Stars – Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Barry Keoghan
Eternals is the latest instalment to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and at its helm is the Oscar-winning director of NomadLand Chloé Zhao, so you know this is not going to be like other Marvel movies. And honestly, it is and it isn’t. Yes, there are superheroes and bad guys and the world is about to end but there is also something bigger at stake. Like what it means to be human and what prices are we willing to pay to do the right thing.
7,000 years ago the Eternals were sent to earth to fight the Deviants that were quickly overpowering the human race. Thanks to their superior fighting skills and fancy tech the Deviants were subdued and humans were able to evolve to the level we are at now. This allowed each of the Eternals time to go their separate ways and blend in with the human race forming their own hopes, fears and disappointments about how we’ve handled things. Then one day there is a massive earthquake and we learn that the Deviants were not as extinct as we once thought they were.
What follows is at times a fairly over-stuffed storyline (there’s a lot of subplots coming at you so that at times it can feel a little muddled) but what Eternals does that previous MCU films have avoided is really make this about the big questions. This is less about how with great power comes great responsibility and more about grappling with huge existential questions about life and which of us gets to decide who is worthy of existence. And honestly, it’s quite beautiful. The cast is refreshingly diverse which is currently making a lot of incels and white supremacists very angry on the internet. The cinematography in this film far surpasses any that has come before it, as Zhao has managed to root this film in the natural world alongside all the obvious CGI.
Is this the best MCU film in the last year? No, Shang-Chi still holds that title, but is it as bad as the angry white men online are saying? Absolutely not. It’s a film that sticks with you and really makes you wonder if they are doing the right thing in the end. It’s a brave new step that Marvel are taking and I for one can’t wait to see what is coming next.