Review: Eternals


Media by Marvel Studios

“Eternals” released November 5, 2021 and earned $161.7 million on global opening weekend while also being number 1 in box office.

From buying tickets a month in advance for opening night to spending hours researching potential theories, to me, Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao’s movie “Eternals” has been long-awaited. 

It’s safe to say I wasn’t disappointed, but there are some areas in which the movie lacks. 

“Eternals” follows a team of immortal superheroes who have secretly lived among humanity for centuries to aid in the evolution of humans and protect against monstrous creatures called Deviants. 

The team consists of 10 superheroes, each with their own powers and backgrounds: Sersi (Gemma Chan), who can change objects to different elements; Ikaris (Richard Madden), who has laser eyes and flight; Ajak (Salma Hayek) who is the “Prime Eternal” and leader with healing powers; Gilgamesh (Ma Dong-seok) who has super strength; Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) who can fire blasts of energy from his hands; Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) who has super speed; Druig (Barry Keoghan) with mind control; Sprite (Lia McHugh) who can cast hallucinations; Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) who is a super inventor; Thena (Angelina Jolie) who is a powerful warrior and can summon weapons. 

Yes, this seems like a lot of new characters and that’s because it is. Despite the 2 hours and 37 minutes, there wasn’t enough backstory to understand each character’s relationships, strengths and personality. It lacked the depth and breadth it needed, and so there was little character development.  

However, it is Marvel’s most diverse team of superheroes with the cast including a deaf team member, South Asian representation (which I was sincerely excited about because as a South Asian, I have never seen a huge superhero of South Asian descent) and an openly Black gay man. It’s even been reportedly been banned in South Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait primarily due to the gay relationship.

The inclusion opens doors to younger and older viewers who can finally see themselves as superheroes, despite other movies’ under-representation. 

I was however sincerely disappointed in the Bollywood dance scene, the dancing and overall setting was incredibly inauthentic. What makes South Asian representation so hard in comparison to East Asian representation? Marvel was able to accurately portray East Asians in movies like “Shang Chi” but failed to portray the one South Asian character correctly. 

Unfortunately, there was also a mid-movie bore when there was either too much going on or too little. Half the movie was spent on getting the team together which could have been spent better elsewhere elaborating on backgrounds. 

Some of the events fell flat and new concepts were introduced with no backstory. 

Even with all of this, I personally don’t understand the extremely low ratings like the 47 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s definitely different from the normal structure of a Marvel movie, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. 

The comedic relief, especially from Kingo, was phenomenal. In situations of crisis, the team dynamic never failed to make me laugh. Most of the time, the conflict and constant plot twists also kept me on the edge of my seat, especially during the end credits. 

If you have yet to see “Eternals” I do recommend a watch. I wouldn’t consider it a “masterpiece” or one of Marvel’s best movies, but I do think it’s worth watching.