In the past I haven’t talked all that much about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is not because I don’t love the MCU, as I really do. I just have never really had a good reason to talk about it. Released last year I never went to see Eternals in theaters as there wasn’t anything particular about the film that made me really excited to go check it out. Generally speaking people seemed to have more mixed feelings on the movie as it is one of if not the lowest rated MCU movie released so far. With all this said I didn’t know what to expect as I was obviously still going to see it as it is a MCU film after all, but I had tempered my expectations. Eternals takes the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an interesting direction creating an entertaining movie, but ends up being one of the weaker films in the MCU lineup.
The Eternals tells the tale of a group of ancient aliens (Eternals) who have been living in secret on Earth for thousands of years. Throughout history they have protected and guided humans against an enemy known as the Deviants. While the Deviant threat has been minimal for hundreds of years, the threat has reemerged threatening the entire planet. The Eternals must reunite to stop the threat before all of humanity is put in danger.
After watching Eternals I have to say that the movie is kind of odd. In some ways it follows the MCU formula pretty closely, and in other ways it takes it in some interesting new directions.
Lets start with the similarities. The movie has a similar sense of humor than most of the films in the MCU. I would say that the movie is more serious than a lot of the films, but it has its moments as well. The movie has its staple of quirky characters and genuinely funny jokes. If you generally like the Marvel style of humor, you should laugh at least a few times throughout the movie.
On top of this Eternals has some good action sequences, special effects (most of the time), and various other set pieces. Anyone who is a fan of the MCU will likely appreciate the action sequences. The fighting is generally well done. The movie does a good job with your typical superhero big action scenes. Anyone who is a fan of superhero movies should enjoy these sequences.
Where the film differs from a lot of the MCU is that it seems to take a more thought provoking look at what a superhero is and goes into some topics that aren’t really addressed in other films in the universe. I am not going to go into too many details to avoid spoilers, but the overall story feels different than your typical Marvel movie. Part of this is because the story jumps back and forth through thousands of years of history. The movie takes the cinematic universe in some interesting new directions. There is some genuinely interesting ideas in the movie that I am curious to see where they go in the future. I don’t know how many of these ideas will be implemented into future storylines, but Eternals could actually have a pretty big impact on the future of the MCU unless Marvel decides to mostly ignore it as it didn’t do as well as they would have liked.
Generally speaking I would say that Eternals is a more serious movie than most Marvel movies. The movie still has its typical Marvel moments, but it generally has a more serious tone. This is not necessarily a bad thing and I think some people will appreciate it. It just feels like Eternals is missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on. This is why I don’t think it reaches the levels of most of the other Marvel movies. I wouldn’t say that it is the worst Marvel movie, but I would say that it is in the bottom tier of Marvel movies.
I think some of this might be due to the fact that it is an origin story. Most of the origin story movies are slower in my opinion, where the sequels can start right up without having to introduce a bunch of new characters. If the movie would ever get a sequel, I would like to see where they take the story. Part of the movie’s issues are due to the fact that the movie is longer than it had to be. The movie is two hours and 37 minutes long. That is too long leading to some slow moments. The movie could have been trimmed down and I don’t think it would have adversely impacted the movie.
Before wrapping up I wanted to quickly talk about the special features included in the digital and physical releases.
- Chloé’s Vision for Eternals (1:20) – A feature about the director’s vision for the film.
- Immortalized (10:44) – A overview of the Eternals place in the comics, and an overview of how the film was made.
- Walks of Life (4:59) – A talk about the characters and the diversity of the cast/characters.
- Gag Reel (2:27) – Your typical gag reel.
- Deleted Scenes (4 scenes) – Outside of the movie already being pretty long, I think some of these scenes should have been left in the movie. Most of the scenes are only a minute or two long and can be kind of funny or add context to the movie.
- Audio Commentary with Chloé Zhao, Stephane Ceretti, and Mårten Larsson
For the most part the special features are basically what you would expect them to be. I am generally not a huge fan of special features as I usually only check them out if there is something particularly interesting. Eternals’ special features are solid, but none are a must watch. Immortalized is probably the main feature and has some interesting parts especially when talking about the comic origins of the characters. Basically if you are the type of person who generally likes special features, you should check them out. If you don’t generally care about them, I don’t know if there is anything that you absolutely must see.
Ultimately I enjoyed Eternals. It is kind of a strange addition to the universe though. In some ways it is like your typical Marvel movie. The humor is similar and the action and special effects are generally quite good. The movie seems to take a more serious tone than most movies in the universe though. The movie actually explores some interesting ideas and I am curious how they will impact the future of the MCU. The movie is on the longer side though where it tends to drag a little. I think the movie could have been shortened without adversely impacting it. Eternals is an enjoyable movie and worth watching, but I would probably place it in the bottom tier of Marvel movies.
My recommendation for Eternals is pretty simple. If you have never really cared about the MCU, I don’t see it being for you. If you have watched the rest of the MCU movies I see no reason not to check out Eternals as well as it entertaining enough for fans of the series.
Eternals is now available on Digital and will be released on 4k, Blu-ray, and DVD February 15th, 2022.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Walt Disney Studios, and Marvel Studios for the digital review copy of Eternals used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the movie to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.