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Eternals (Spoilers)

Stalker0

Legend
Just saw Eternals and wanted to put out my thoughts in a spoiler friendly area.

So currently the Rotten Tomatoes Audience score is about 80%, and that's how I generally feel about the movie. All of the pieces felt great, but somehow when put together it felt like something was missing. Something was just a little....off, and its hard to exactly put my finger on it. Yet I want to applaud Marvel for this movie, because I feel like its going out of the comfort zone. Its an attempt to combine more traditional Marvel fare with a grander more artistic piece, and I think its mostly works....and I definitely want to see more of that from the Marvel machine.

Graphically its stunning. They truly make the Eternal powers look otherworldly and alien. Their costumes are gorgeous. The ancient world sets are beautiful. Thena's weaponry is just seamless. The celestial does seem truly cosmic and impossibly grand of scale.

So we get a true twist in this movie, and I do give Marvel some credit....apparently their seemingly nonstop rollout of trailers just kept distracting us from what they were truly going for in this movie, and so the twist was a good one. But at the same time, it also comes very abruptly and pretty early, it feels like we have barely stepped on the carpet before its pulled from under us. Yet I also appreciate that when the common critique in a marvel movie is the "faceless horde", we are given a conflict that is both impossibly grand in scale and yet.... very human. I also appreciated that the Eternals did not just side one way or another with the whole "should we birth an eternal and let humanity die". There was division, there was conflict.... to beings that had lived for 7k years (technically much much much longer if you get into their pasts lives), there is still the capability of real big picture thinking....and to some of them we are talking about killing billions to create trillions across the universe, and that conflict was shown in the various divisions. That said, once the ball got rolling, pretty much everyone picked a side and just went with it (especially Kingo who was ready to walk away from the whole thing, but then just came back once it was time for the shakedown).

The Indian Valet was in some ways the star of the show, and I think its no coincidence that is basically the embodiment of humanity's best qualities. He's loyal, brave, kind, humble, always prepared (seriously how many cameras does he have)..... he really does feel like the prism of humanity the Eternals channel when they choose humans over an Eternal.

Now does the plot truly "work"..... eh it does and it doesn't. On the one hand, the fact that the Eternals were told not to interfere in human conflicts makes a lot more sense, because in many ways "they don't care". But I mean on the other wouldn't it be more efficient to just have Druig get everyone to bang like bunnies and have a million kids.....or have Phaistos start developing super medicine to keep everyone healthy and populating as much as possible. Or hell.....have Eternals going around and collecting the Infinity stones, that seems a great way to just birth Celestials (especially when several of them have been on Earth for centuries). Then you have Guardians 2.....so Ego (a celestial) put a seed on Earth....where there is already another Eternal? So did Ego know.....did Arishan?.... while I can respect the Eternals not getting involved in a lot of things, did they not do anything when Ego was just hanging around on Earth? How about when Ultron was going to launch an asteroid and muck up their beautiful little birthing bed? Funny enough while it makes perfect sense they didn't interefere with Thanos (at the end of the day that's just a minor setback on galactic timescales).....but the actual single world ending threats should have been an immediate Eternal response....because now you are killing a celestial.

Also if we want to dig in deep.....why would Arishan make different types of celestials in the first place? The whole point was to create unchanging beings capable of killing deviants....why not just send like 5 Ikaris' (super powerful and incredible loyal) and just take care of business? there is no reason given why each celestial is so distinct and unique in form and powers. Or if you are going that route, why wouldn't you tell them the real mission right at the beginning so they don't form attachments. And if they object....then you take that model offline and replace them with a new one....you don't leave a possible traitorous model on mission and just "hope" they don't find out the master plan. The problem is when you are dealing with plots of this scope....the cracks really do start to form.

Ultimately I think my issue with the plot at the fundamental level is.....for such grand of scale at the end of the day it felt like very little changed in the grand scheme. Earth has a big new marble mountain....cool. The Celestial is going to judge earth one day in the future....eh what else is new we have a world ending event every other week at this point. Maybe they will do something where the death of the celestial has some real consequences (perhaps in like the next Captain Marvel where we seen some galactic consequences)....but for now it just felt like another day at the Marvel office.

And lastly there is always the "eternal issue" (hehe) of why aren't "XYZ" people involved? Now most of our current hero pool I could respect are just not people that the Eternals would call up. There is however one good exception.... Dr Strange. Especially when there was a time when they needed a "lot of juice" to power up Druig......seems the Sorceror Supreme would at least get a mention. But frankly I think Marvel has just decided that once you go down the lampshade route, forever will it dominate your destiny. I mean you could literally just add 30 minutes to every movie explaining why XY and Z hero isn't involved..and I think Marvel has just decided to let that go. That said, I think its high time we got some "rules" on the magic side. Wizard magic right now just seems ridiculously, incredibly powerful....like anything is on the table.... and so every problem is starting to feel like a "why not just bring in the wizards".


One thing that I feel very strange saying considering the star studded cast.....the acting feels "wooden" at times. When they were like "oh its because Sprite is in love with Icaris" I was like.....um, she is? Like there was 0 moments of chemistry there.....none. Even Angelina suffered from it at least at the beginning, and it got a little better over time. It was so noticeable to me that I wondered if it was an intentional direction....aka make them feel more "robotic" in some ways. And of course, the movie is both long and not long enough. With so many characters, it feels like we just scratch the surface. I respected it for some of the characters that were basically backdrop (I loved Gilgamish but he was a background character and they treated him like one, which I can work with)..... I think it was Druig that I felt it the most. Druig seemed both this important character with a lot of incredibly interesting history, but he also got very little characterization.

So yeah, a lot to say.... I'm not fully sure how I feel about this movie. Compared to a Shang Chi that I left the theater going "that was great!", this movie did not hit that mark. But I think a few years from now I might think about this movie when many of the others have faded to grey. Time will tell.
 
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Argyle King

Legend
Thinking more...

Overall, I enjoyed it.

I think it's a pretty good sci-fi film. It does a good job of fitting a lot of information into the length of a single film.

2 negatives stood out to me:
1) It appears to follow a trend set by newer movies and shows (such as Captain Marvel and Loki) to downplay the importance of characters and setting elements established in previous films.
2) It also seems to follow the trend of being less consistent with established in-setting rules set by previous films.

Is it weird that I find MCU Celestials more interesting than the Eternals?

Likewise, I was intrigued by the evolving Deviant.
 
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The Lizard Wizard

Adventurer
So yeah, a lot to say.... I'm not fully sure how I feel about this movie. Compared to a Shang Chi that I left the theater going "that was great!", this movie did not hit that mark. But I think a few years from now I might think about this movie when many of the others have faded to grey. Time will tell.

Thanks for starting the thread, I was interested to hear what other people think.
I agree with you that Shang Chi was a more enjoyable / fun movie experience, but I already find myself thinking more about Eternals, and I'm keen to see it again.
 

Mirtek

Hero
My main issues with the film

A) Enemies
what was the point of that one deviant developing sentience, reasoning and speech when he never reasoned or really spoke with the eternals? Completely uncessary plot point

B) Scale - Size
The emerging Tiamat was way too small. No friggin way it would have been planet sized. From it's head and hand it wasn't even Mt. Everest sized. Beside ruining a lot of peoples day due to causing tsunamis, it's emergence would should barely effect earth as a planet

C) Scale - Time
They've been doing this for millions of yeas? Sorry, but that's way too short. How many friggin celestials do they need if one needs to be born every couple (even if that means hundred of millions) years? By their job descriptions it should be billions instead of millions
 
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Randomthoughts

Adventurer
I really enjoyed the movie. Not my top (that's Infinity War, Endgame and Winter Soldier, for me) so 4/5 stars. First, the cinematography was just gorgeous. I found acting to be good enough, especially conveying a sense of (often dysfunctional) family dynamics. I'm also intrigued enough to see it again, mainly for the world building elements. I sense this movie lays the foundation for a lot to come in Phase 4.
 
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Something was just a little....off, and its hard to exactly put my finger on it.
For me, it's that the main character doesn't make a choice at the end that she couldn't make at the beginning.

In their intro movies, Iron Man, Thor, Spidey, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther each get humbled, which gives them perspective. Captain Marvel realizes she's been gas-lit and doesn't have to prove anything to the people she once was subservient to. The Guardians of the Galaxy realize their petty selfishness is going to get a lot of innocent people hurt, and they decide to give a naughty word for a change.

(Captain America is basically the perfect human in his first movie, but in his second movie he gets disillusioned about working for the powers that be.)

But about the only thing about Sersi that changes in Eternals is her knowledge of the situation, and her ability to use her powers. She doesn't undergo that much of a change, right? Her morals stay the same.

I think to fix that, you could maybe have Sersi be the one interacting with the smart deviant?
 

Stalker0

Legend
But about the only thing about Sersi that changes in Eternals is her knowledge of the situation, and her ability to use her powers. She doesn't undergo that much of a change, right? Her morals stay the same.
I agree, though the movie actually hones in on that as a positive. In fact in Thena's little "Captain America speech" to Cersei.... she notes that the reason Cersei was chosen was because her love of humanity has never wavered....it is in fact her unchanging quality that made her the right one to lead them. We could argue that Cersei's journey was very similar to Captain America in his first movie. Ultimately her unwavering faith in humanity inspired and changed others, and the story was not about her changing....but finally getting the spotlight and showing the world what they could really do.

The movie instead focuses on the change in the secondary characters. Phaestos goes from hating humanity to having a family, Spryte lets jealously corrupt her to the point where she stabs her "best friend" in the back. Thena has to relearn who she is. Druig struggles with the nature of his powers, and his ability to "save humans....by removing their humanity". And of course Ikaris....the most loyal to the mission of them all..... ultimately fails his mission for love. So there was a lot of change....just not in the main character.
 

Stalker0

Legend
A thing I think is interesting in the movie. This is the first time we have gotten some implicit confirmation that humanity is "special" in some galactic way.

I mean the fact that Earth has housed so many heroes, wizards, powerful XYZ, and of course an infinity stone hanging out on the planet was already a pretty big clue, but now its called out. Ajak, who has served on who knows how many thousands of worlds over millions of years.....effectively said "I was willing to blow up all of the rest....but something about humanity is special and worth preserving"

Now you could just chalk that up to homocentric bias and giving the audience a feel good (yeah go humanity!)..... but I also think it helps frame the MCU's metaplot. If humans are no better than any other race out there.....it is awfully strange that we have these super powerful humans all the time, and super wizards, and that multiple infinity stones found their way to our planet. I mean the chance of that by coincidence is just astronomically low.

BUT.... if humanity is special and "just better than all the rest", than that helps a lot of other things in the MCU that keeps happening to Earth make a lot more sense.
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Saw it and liked it, the mythology was fun (battle of Gilgamesh and Enkidu and Peter Pan reference made me grin) and would have been fun to see more adventures in history - but alas time constraints.

I really liked that it didnt feel like an Avengers movie and the story brought that soap opera sensibility and actual deaths.. Changing the origin of the Eternals and Deviants was an unexpected but imho great change that adds to the tragic nature of the group.

There were too many characters to really get attached though, and would have loved to have seen more of Kro (the deviant leader) and an insight into his psychology. He came across as similar to Ultron but ultimately with less screentime
 

Caught up with the movie last weekend.

I enjoyed it. (I admit that I have enjoyed almost everything Marvel so maybe that ain't saying much.)

I liked the dysfunctional family dynamic. The competing themes of family and duty were handled well and tied into/moved the plot nicely.

Loved the look of it. I especially loved CGI Babylon, I mean really loved it... Just gave me little chills although I can't put a finger on exactly why.

I don't think the acting was "wooden." I think it was a very definite directorial choice, to give the character's a sense of otherness, yes, but also of guardedness. Most of them went their separate ways centuries ago and were pretty tired of one another's company even then. So, now that they're getting the band back together, everyone is feeling very wary. Druig, for instance, has some very strong differences of opinion with the rest. We don't see him begin to relax until he's back in the same room as Makkari. And it's not a big surprise that Ikaris is very guarded and even traumatised. We see it even with Sersi and Dane at the very start of the movie. She is super guarded around him. Dane, to contrast this, is super open about everything. (Almost everything.)

The Deviants were a red herring, both for the audience and the characters. Which is a nice parallel, gives me a smile.

Over in the Eternals Trailer thread it was mentioned that Arishem's version of events is open to being debunked later. I suspect we'll get some very different points of view later as Phase 4 develops. I mean, I certainly hope we'll discover that "the Celestials create energy by something... blah blah" is just Arishem blowing smoke. Arishem's unreliability is suggested by Starfox in the post-credit sequence, so let's hope that particular bit of "lore" gets written out/retconned. Also, Arishem tells Sersi that the Eternals are robots who can't evolve... yet she later discovers she is capable of growth and augmenting her powers, which seems to contradict this.

Anyhoo, must dash.
 

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