It is not the first time Marvel Studios and Disney have decided to make a movie out of a lesser-known comic book story.
Just like "Guardians of the Galaxy" in 2014, the "Eternals" are a group of heroes that are only familiar to die-hard comic book fans.
Hoping to achieve the same level of success, academy award-winning director Chloé Zhao adapts a story spanning centuries that delivers on the action we expect from a Marvel movie but falls short on some of its character developments.
Based on the 1976 Marvel Comics series, "Eternals" follows the story of ten heroes created by the Celestials. These are powerful beings responsible for shaping the universe as we know it. Each possessing different abilities, these ten heroes were sent to Earth to protect the humans from the Deviants, who are creatures that are dangerous in nature. The Eternals were instructed by their creators not to interfere in any human conflicts unless the Deviants were involved. Spanning over 7,000 years, they see humanity fail, stumble but ultimately progress under their guidance.
"Eternals" is the 26th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and when it comes to the action, it seems like these films never get them wrong. Set between 5,000 B.C until the present day, we see thrilling action scenes take place in famous cities throughout history. The movie is visually stunning. The recreation of cities such as Babylon are all well made, and the variety of scenarios is definitely a positive in the movie.
The cast is strong across the board, with Richard Madden as Ikaris and Gemma Chan as Sersi being the standouts. Ikaris and Sersi, both Eternals, carry a lot of the emotional elements of the film, and their romantic relationship worked perfectly, which is rare in movies like these.
As a matter of fact, the film works best when it focuses on the moral and human conflicts amongst the heroes. They are helping humanity progress, and sometimes that means letting civilizations fall so that humans can learn from their mistakes. The constant struggle of not saving the lives of the people around them is a fascinating moral conflict all the protagonists face.
Ramin Djawadi, the man behind the "Game of Thrones" score, crafts one of the best soundtracks Marvel has ever done. With so many superhero movies out there, it is easy for a score to be more of the same, but the "Eternals" theme is unique and instantly recognizable. From all 20 instrumental tracks in the Eternals album, "Across the Oceans of Time" is the best of the bunch.
Even though "Eternals" succeeds in many areas, oftentimes, it tries to accomplish too much without properly developing its characters first. The movie features ten main protagonists that we have never seen before on screen, and some of them do not get enough screen time or development to make the audience care about them. Ikaris and Sersi are the only exceptions. The focus of the film is on them, and they are definitely more fleshed out than the rest.
Another downside of the film is the antagonists. Marvel films have featured some of the best superhero villains throughout its franchise, but the Deviants are definitely a step-down. There is no real reason behind their actions, and some of the mythology behind them could have been handled a lot better.
In the end, there are enough positives that make "Eternals" an enjoyable movie. It has great action, visuals, soundtrack, cast and an interesting moral dilemma. Some of the characters lack development, and the villain is not a memorable one; however, this is still a must-watch if you are a Marvel fan.