As this is the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it was only released a few days ago, I’m gonna keep this as spoiler-free as possible. But if you haven’t seen The Eternals and want to go into it knowing as little as possible, you may turn back now.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or has read this blog for a long enough period of time that I consider myself more of a DC fan than Marvel. Not that I have anything against Marvel. I just grew up reading the DC Comics and really didn’t get into Marvel unless there was some sort of crossover. Really, the only way I was familiar with any Marvel characters came from watching Spider-Man and X-Men on Fox every Saturday morning. So I knew all about Spider-Man and most of the X-Men…
Well, I knew about what was okay to put in a cartoon for kids on Saturday mornings.
But when the MCU kicked off, I wasn’t exactly ignorant of who these characters were. I had a vague recollection of knowing that Iron Man was Tony Stark. I remembered that Bruce Banner was the Hulk thanks to the old Incredible Hulk TV show. I knew that Hawkeye was pretty much the Green Arrow of the Marvel Universe. And everyone knows who Captain America is. Oh, and all I knew about Thor, aside from Norse mythology, was that the little girl from Adventures in Babysitting was obsessed with the character.
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe has progressed, it’s been impressive how they have been able to utilize characters that have not been so well-known. Like the Guardians of the Galaxy… Who would have thought that a movie about a team of characters in space that I had never heard of would turn out to be one of my favorite films in the franchise? Then again, why should it matter if the characters are familiar or not? Lots of great movies are made with original characters that none of us have ever heard of before.
That’s where I was when The Eternals was initially announced a couple years ago. I had no clue who these characters were or how they connected to anything else in Marvel Comics. I didn’t study up on these Eternals. I didn’t take time to learn where they came from, who created them, or what their power set was. So going into the movie, I still knew little to nothing about the latest ensemble to hit the MCU. And that was kind of refreshing.
I had no expectations going in. I mean… it’s a Marvel movie and since I’ve found all of the MCU films thus far to be entertaining at the very least, I expected to be entertained and hooked into what could be coming in future Marvel installments. But when it comes to a Marvel movie, those are low expectations. On the other hand, if you were to ask about my expectations for the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, they’re real freakin’ high. First of all… Spider-Man. Plus Doctor Strange. Plus they’re breaking open the multiverse. And they’re bringing in past villains from completely unrelated Spider-Man movies.
Anyway… I’m just going to say The Eternals is pretty good. If I were to rank all of the MCU movies in order of worst to best, I’d put this one somewhere in the middle.
There are a lot (A LOT) of new characters being introduced in this movie. There are a lot of new names to learn. There are a lot of new powers to understand. And this is a new branch of this universe that the audience is being introduced to. Which, of course, means lots of exposition. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s incredibly necessary in a movie like this if the powers that be want us to fully understand what we’re seeing on the screen.
Can I say I connected with each of these new characters in a way that would make it heartbreaking if I saw one of them snapped away by Thanos? Probably not. I mean, I had a little over two hours to figure out who these individuals were and how they worked together as a team. And some obviously got a lot more screen time than the others. That’s just how it goes.
But the story was good and the stakes were high. I would also say it was different than most other Marvel movies in that it was a lot more subdued… or somber, maybe? Again, not saying that’s a bad thing. There just wasn’t necessarily a character on this team that was throwing out quips like we have come to expect from Tony Stark.
If you’re a fan of the MCU, you definitely want to see this movie. If you’ve never seen a Marvel movie, this isn’t the one to start with. But I say it’s worth seeing and you’ll walk away entertained.