How Chloe Zhao’s bland MCU movie wastes its immense potential : Marvel’s Eternals
Eternals says that the Avengers were only the second superhero team on the earth, and the titular superhuman, quasi-immortal beings called Eternals, have lived secretly among humans since 5000 BC, about 7000 years before the Avengers initiative came to be.
They were told by their Celestial overlord called Arishem that they were earth’s protectors, and were tasked to destroy the Deviants, their destructive counterparts.
But Deviants seemingly died, but the good guys ostensibly received no further communication from the Celestial.
The premise certainly sounded interesting, and a capable director could have done a lot of good stuff with it. Zhao, however, in my humble opinion, is not one.
I have seen only one other film of hers, the much-celebrated, Oscar-winning drama Nomadland, and have a few reservations about it.
Marvel directors are often not given a lot of freedom, but it appears Zhao managed to prevail, for good or bad. There are aspects in Eternals where Zhao’s indie sensibilities do enhance the product.
The film looks exquisite for the most part the immense windswept landscapes, clever use of sunlight, natural lighting, and actual locations.
Even the CGI and computer-aided visual effects do not seem as intrusive and are actually pleasing to the eyes. Zhao has said she took inspiration from Zack Snyder’s DCEU films, and it certainly feels true.
Whatever your opinion of Sndyer, he certainly can create some memorable visual imagery. The action is pretty good too. In visual sense at least, Eternals is a step-up from most MCU movies.
The cast also does not disappoint, with a few exceptions like Richard Madden. The man cannot act, at all. Angelina Jolie’s character, easily the most interesting character in the film, is weirdly given short shrift for some reason.
Marvel Studios’ Eternals has divided critics and audiences like no other film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Previously, movies like The Incredible Hulk and Thor: Dark World disappointed many but still managed to wedge themselves in the “fresh” category on popular review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
The Chloe Zhao directorial, however, has a score of 48 per cent, which basically means less than half of the reviews thought it was worth their time.
Even most of the positive reviews of the movie read as if they are apologising for absolutely excoriating it.
On Metacritic, another review aggregation site that has a more nuanced system of awarding ratings to films, shows and games, Eternals fares slightly better, with a score of 53.
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