Where “Eternals” failed

New Marvel movie reaches an all-time critical low


Marvel Studios is well-known for their consistent, high-quality films that have never once been deemed rotten by critics. That was before Eternals hit theaters early this November. The new movie promised to build on the galactic side of the Marvel universe, but it didn’t quite hit its mark. Eternals received a Rotten Tomatoes score of 47%, making it the lowest by far of all the MCU movies. That begs the question: what went wrong?

   Previously, Marvel created formulaic, safe films in their franchise, hesitant to take risks. However, Eternals attempted to break the MCU mold with its endless ambition and foreign concepts. Award-winning director Chloé Zhao and the rest of the film’s crew took a risk, and all risks have a chance at failure. Unfortunately, Eternals transpired to be especially sloppy and convoluted.

   Throughout the runtime, the movie tried to balance an overwhelming number of new characters, complex lore, and even time periods. It failed to juggle all these aspects properly, which resulted in a visually stunning mess. There were a total of ten members in the Eternals, and they all had their own unique personalities, powers, and motivations. However, the story only shines the spotlight dimly on a few characters, leaving many of them undeveloped and the audience emotionally detached even with the more important characters. Unlike films like Guardians of the Galaxy that handles a small roster masterfully, the large roster of Eternals ends up self-destructing. Its redeeming quality is the talented cast who breathe a little more life into their characters.

   As a passionate Marvel fan for many years, I still found myself confused during the worldbuilding exposition. Eternals covered so much new ground for the Marvel universe, but the movie trips over itself in the process. Despite being the audience’s first-ever experience with the Eternals, the film introduces too many unfamiliar ideas into the story. Some aspects of the exposition work, but the other parts damage the overall narrative.

   It wasn’t all bad, though. Eternals redeems itself somewhat through its breathtaking visuals. Although it had a choppy story, Marvel never fails to impress with stunning shots and epic action sequences.

   With all of the new characters and lore, perhaps the Eternals would have worked smoother as a show rather than a movie, giving the story more time to properly develop. By no means was Eternals a terrible movie, but it struggled to balance everything it promised.