Eternals: A visual masterpiece that lacks the Marvel effect

For over 7,000 years the Eternals lived among humans in secret. Yet their grandiose entrance lacks the Marvel effect that makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe unique.

Salma Hayek plays Ajak, the wise and spiritual leader of the Eternals.
Salma Hayek plays Ajak, the wise and spiritual leader of the Eternals.  © Imago/Prod.Db

Eternals will dazzle audiences with beautiful imagery but doesn't have the same Marvel effect as its predecessors.

This newest offering has all the ingredients that should make a superhero flick work.

However, its stunning cinematography and ensemble cast weren't enough for the Eternals to live up to the hype.

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The movie did decently well in the box-office, grossing $71 million in North American box-offices, but still fell short of it's initial expectations of $80-$85 million.

To be fair, the Eternals had some pretty big shoes to fill.

Following Avengers: Endgame, the nearly three-hour film was the first one in the Phase Four to feature a new group of Earth's mightiest heroes. It's only natural that it would be a bit burdened bit all the introductions it has on its plate, as well as the task of setting the tone for future entries.

Yet the movie failed to use its allotted screen time to properly tell the story of the celestial beings who were sent to live among the humans.

The cast of the Eternals from l to r: Lia McHugh as Sprite, Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
The cast of the Eternals from l to r: Lia McHugh as Sprite, Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, and Angelina Jolie as Thena.  © IMAGO / Prod.DB

Will the Eternals fit into the already complicated MCU?

In the Marvel film, Eternals, the beings are sent to Earth to protect humans from their enemies, the Deviants.
In the Marvel film, Eternals, the beings are sent to Earth to protect humans from their enemies, the Deviants.  © IMAGO / Picturelux

Let's face facts, the MCU is a bit congested at the moment.

Fans have already been introduced to an army of new characters and a vast multiverse.

The build up to just how crazy the alternate universe is teasingly slow.

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But that's exactly what could have made the Eternals a welcome and fun distraction from all the complexity – if only it lived up to its potential.

Admittedly, it still had enough to very entertain. And with stellar performances from Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie, no one could argue that the newcomers brought a little bit of excitement to the MCU. The same can be said about the admirable efforts to include some diversity, with the first deaf and gay superheroes in the MCU making their bow.

What's more, one thing Eternals does get major props for is finally putting some more mature content on the table. For years, Marvel has played it safe with depictions of violence and sex. The Eternals is the first film to tastefully show a love scene.

But despite all this, there was a distinct lack of heart in this entry, giving it a harder start in the well-established MCU.

Still, a slow start isn't the end of the world and the Eternals will have plenty to offer. Plus, Harry Styles makes the most stunning and surprising cameo fans won't want to miss.

With the multiverse at play, if Marvel is smart, the group of intergalactic superheroes could prove useful since the world is short a few heroes.

In short, the Eternals was an ambitious film that is still with worth watching.

Marvel's Eternals is now in theaters.

Cover photo: Imago/Prod.Db

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