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‘Eternals’ one-on-one: Exhausting or electric

Graphic by Kyle St. John

It could’ve been better 

Jade Sewell

Last Saturday, I attended the premiere weekend of Marvel’s “Eternals” in IMAX. While I enjoyed the show, I was less than impressed with this Marvel production.

First, the film rushed audiences to connect with new characters. In an attempt for us to connect with this new cast, we were pushed through a sex scene, a family montage and several cataclysmic events in order to bond us with this new flavor of Marvel superhero. Ultimately, we were expected to feel for characters we had only met an hour before.

Usually, this isn’t a big issue for movies, but when Marvel’s audience is used to getting to know characters over the course of several movies — or TV episodes — these character deaths and triumphs simply weren’t as sweet.

Another issue that contributed to this disorientation was the sheer number of characters. Ten new main characters plus a supporting cast is a hard deal to sell, especially when you’re attempting a plot-heavy movie. Because of this, many characters come off flat, reduced to tropes and archetypes.

My last gripe with the film is how overpowered the Eternals are. Seriously — they make the Avengers look like children playing dress-up. 

Sure, the film countered their abilities with the fact that they couldn’t use them in human conflict, but now that their chains are off, what need do we have for our precious Avengers?

My main concern with the MCU is as follows: what’s going to happen when Marvel screenwriters can’t figure out an even bigger villain for their superheroes to face? The current threats to the MCU are a fragmented timeline and sentient entities that create solar systems, and quality plots from the comic books have been almost entirely exhausted. 

Where else can Marvel go?

 

Marvel’s best film of the year

Daniel Kerns

“Eternals” is a beautifully crafted movie. Recent Academy Award winner Chloé Zhao brings audiences on a journey across the vastness of space and through the course of human history.

This film had the difficult position of introducing 10 new characters along with one of the MCU’s next big plot points. Fortunately, “Eternals” deftly balances its Herculean task.

One of the biggest draws before its release was the stellar cast. Seeing big-name celebrities like Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie mix it up with Gemma Chan and Richard Madden was a treat. 

The standouts of the movie, however, were definitely Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan and Lauren Ridloff. Each actor had a captivating on-screen presence that kept me engaged over the admittedly lengthy runtime.

While watching, I thought that each character was developed as much as they needed to be for their first movie with room to grow in the future. Each Eternal got the chance throughout the story to stand out and get us invested in their journeys.

The visual effects department put out their A-game for the locations and the Eternals’ powers. I especially liked how the super speed scenes showed off a unique look from other speedsters like Quicksilver and the Flash.

I don’t understand why everyone’s making such a big fuss about the sex scene. It doesn’t contain anything you wouldn’t see on a network TV show. Plus, Tony Stark has sex with a reporter toward the beginning of the first “Iron Man” film. Stop making a big deal where there isn’t one.

I think the biggest reason audiences have been disappointed with “Eternals” is that it’s different. Despite all the complaining that Marvel needs to step away from its well-worn formula, its effort to do so is called boring and overly complicated.

Personally, I just think that some people will never be satisfied, no matter how many visually stunning and well-acted films they watch.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.