Review: Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ is eternally boring


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Chloé Zhao’s “Eternals” is the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe starring big names like Gemma Chan, Richard Madden and Angelina Jolie.

Connor McHugh, Sports Editor

The Marvel Cinematic Universe adds another crew of characters to its extended cast with Oscar winner Chloé Zhao’s “Eternals.” 

It follows a group of immortal beings, the Eternals, that are sent to Earth by the all-powerful Celestials over 7,000 years ago to protect early humans from space creatures known as Deviants. Thought to have exterminated the last of the Deviants over 500 years prior, the Eternals go their separate ways to live out their never-ending lives. However, they are forced to come back together when the Deviants return.

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All members of the Eternals and their companions are entirely new to the MCU. That is this film’s first major flaw. It fails to fully, or even partially for that matter, develop any of the titular new characters. 

This movie seemed doomed at its conception. With 10 separate Eternals, it would be a logistical nightmare to develop any of the characters in-depth in one movie. They attempted it, which contributed to a  lengthy 157-minute runtime. The Avengers had the advantage of having several solo movies to allow for robust insights into the inner mechanisms of each character. 

The Eternals did not have this luxury. What the audience received is a half-baked backstory on a few of the leading immortals, with some getting no backstory or development at all. If this movie focused as much on character development as it  did on slow-mo wide shots, then maybe it could have been salvaged.

As a result, I felt no attachment to any of the characters. Even when their lives were at stake, I did not feel any strong emotions for them. I simply did not care. How could I? I did not know anything about these people and their lives, so what would make me want to care? 

I hoped that the movie would be the rare case where the villain outshone the protagonists in backstory and pompousness.

These dreams were not realized.

On the contrary, the villains were even duller than the heroes themselves, considering not a single main villain was established. The Deviants themselves were in no way a compelling opponent and did not add any true substance outside of the exposition. When other antagonists were introduced to try to rival the Eternals, they were once again not given any substance or thought. It seemed like the creators of the movie didn’t even know what direction to take it. 

I figured a lack of character development would be made up for by top-notch action sequences. I was sorely mistaken. It was a culmination of all the worst aspects of superhero movie action tropes. Choppy fight sequences coupled with poor CGI made for a lackluster viewing experience that left me unsatisfied. It was a big step down from the beautiful fight sequences we got in Marvel’s last venture, Shang-Chi. 

Bad action sequences with bad character development do not fare well for the overall enjoyment of a movie. “Eternals” was just plain boring. 

Never before have I been so tempted to physically get up and leave the theater out of boredom. With no attachment to the characters and no interest in the bland action sequences, the only thing keeping me in that seat was pride. 

Looking back, it would have been a better use of my time to do something else. Literally anything else.

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