The Stream: Way too long!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Big Screen: Looked great and a nice ensemble cast
The Final Bill: An unwieldy runtime that dulled the vibe but full of cast chemistry and artisty– S2S: Movie Review
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, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Ma Dong-seok
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rating: PG-13 (for violence)
Runtime: 2 hours 33 minutes (plus the 2 post credit scenes)
Production Companies: Marvel Studios, TSG Entertainment
Platform: Released in theaters November 5, 2021
Streamers, this past week had a solid opening that was headlined by Eternals. This behemoth has an ensemble cast of MCU newbies, packed with star power in a new storyline. This movie introduces us to the semi-immortal champions of the Earth that the Earth had forgotten. But now it’s time for them to spring back into action. They’ve been through 7,000 years of humanity’s progress to protect them from Deviants that threatened them. But, why did they just let mankind destroy itself along the way when they had the powers to stop it? And the powers to possibly stop Thanos! I know you’re intrigued and so was everyone else clamoring for this to come out. Let’s see how this stands up to the other Marvel blockbusters.
Ok, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I think Kevin Feige/Marvel/Disney, or whoever, chose the wrong director and writers to lead this project. Chloe Zhao, while pretty masterful in her latest Academy Award winning film Nomadland, I don’t believe was the right fit for this film. One of the bigger knocks for Nomadland to me was how boring it was even if it was beautifully shot. She brought that same energy to Eternals. The movie looks very clean, beautiful, nice angles, camera movement, huge scale piece, and ultimately each character has their moment where you can feel the emotion; yet, at 2 and a half hours, the runtime was just simply too long. There were scenes that could be cut or shortened due to the repetitive nature of the story. In my opinion, this same thing happened in Nomadland… I feel like you can get away with that in a drama like Nomadland. You can not get away with that in the MCU. Infinity War and Endgame had a similar runtimes, but they were jammed packed with storylines, set ups, and entertainment. This movie didn’t have that especially because the audience is just learning about these characters and ultimately the characters are filled with basic superhero tropes. Shortening this film would have done wonders. Disney should absolutely learn from this movie that a tigther runtime and condensed edit is not a bad thing. I’d be absolutely horrified at the deleted scenes that didn’t make the cut. Let’s get to the good.
Without the pressure of being part of the MCU, Eternals is otherwise just a very good superhero flick. It’s plain and simple. Marvel didn’t miss with this film at all, but it will never be held as a top MCU movie. In a way, this movie feels like a vehicle to get us to the next phases of movies and shows from the MCU. It is strange because it’s such a big film with huge Easter eggs and fan fare, especially with the post credit scenes, Kit Harrington, in general, and surprise cameos. Ultimately, you’re left feeling a bit like ok what’s next. On the other hand, I could’ve skipped this and probably still been good to move on in the universe. Either way, the movie is beautiful. The cast from Angelina as Thena to Bryan Tyree were all very good. Sprite, you were extra annoying but I’ll choose to believe that’s just what they were going for. I loved the diversity of the cast and settings. There is tons of chemistry between cast members and every emotion is able to be captured. We laughed, we cried, and we kept hope alive. I’m sure we’ll see more from this Eternals group and others.
Long story short, if this weren’t connected to the MCU at all this would just be a good superhero team movie. However, because this is in the MCU and following epic movies like Endgame, it feels like it falls a bit flat. Nevertheless, Marvel fans you have to see this movie for the culture. You’ll enjoy a bowl of popcorn to this but the ending and set up of the universe is definitely a big box. Head to the theaters to see this when you can but absolutely do not miss it when it comes to Disney+, in a few months.