Review: “The Eternals”

Seiya Mutreja, Staff Reporter

“The Eternals” directed by Chloe Zhao, had very mixed reactions from Marvel fans. It was a slow-paced movie, and many believed it was a “swing and a miss.”

Throughout the movie, the idea of “the greater good” is questioned. Sersi, played by Gemma Chan, wants to protect people even if it may not be in service of the greater good, while Ikaris (her romantic interest) would

 do anything for the greater good. During the movie, they gather the Eternals to fight deviants (which have surprisingly returned) and attempt to protect humans from the birth of a celestial (a super powerful God-like being)

While every actor did a great job of portraying their role, in my opinion, the individual pieces of the movie were better than the movie as a whole. Each actor’s performance portrayed a deep understanding of their character. Yet, I feel like the director did not do justice to the characters. Because of the focus given to humor, we were not able to explore the characters’ impact on the plot. For instance, Thena, played by Anjelina Jolie was portrayed as damaged, with a complicated past, yet fierce. It would have been great if we could have seen more of her background and known more about it. The movie left the audience with unanswered questions and hopes that future films will do more justice to the characters.

The movie has also faced challenges due to a same-sex kiss between Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, and Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman. Phastos was the first openly gay main character ever portrayed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite the support, there has been backlash and many requests to cut out the scene. Because of the scene, the movie was banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, and in Jordan, the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon, all scenes depicting same-sex intimacy have been cut out.

In general, while this movie was a little bit slow, it was an important step by Marvel. The film shows more representation, diversity and inclusion than seen in previous Marvel movies. While I thought it was not as action-packed as the Marvel movies MCU fans are used to, it was the introduction of a new era for Marvel, and has laid the foundation for great movies to come.