Eternals, Is It Worth Watching?


Image courtesy of Marvel

Anthony Rousseau and Joe Shivell

The much anticipated Eternals opened in theaters on Friday, November 5. There was a lot of hype for the film because of the largely unknown Marvel characters  and the director Chloe Zhao, a two time Oscar winner. There were also a lot of firsts with Eternals. However, upon release, Eternals received the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score since Thor the Dark World(2013). With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 51% rotten in its first week in theaters along with a 6.9/10 from IMDb. Critics have slammed the movie, but is it still worth seeing?


The 2 hour, 37 minute movie dives deep into the group of Heros, the Eternals, a superpowered team from outer space who protects humanity from the monstrous deviants, who are instructed not to interfere in human conflicts. Upon learning of their true purpose on Earth, which ends with the destruction of the planet and the birth of a new galaxy, the group must decide whether to complete their mission or disobey their extremely powerful creators,and try to save humanity. Following thousands of years of human history, Eternals captures the rocky family dynamic that comes with being extremely powerful bystanders. If you name it, Eternals has it. Whether it be comedy, romance, or action, the latest entry into the MCU is jam packed with ever evolving story lines. 


However, the overcrowdedness has garnered some criticism. Rotten Tomatoes approved critic, Kshitij Rawat, reported that, “Eternals is a mess, a beautiful mess, but a mess nonetheless. There is a far more interesting movie under all that flotsam.”  A consistent criticism when rating this movie is that the “movie’s overly long and occasionally clunky story-telling fails to match the soaring ambition of its plot and themes,” according to Screenrant. Another explanation for the mixed reviews was because of its attempt to pursue an entirely new direction in Marvel movies, which was also according to screenrant. Unlike the previous movie released, Eternals introduced a whole cast of new characters who were largely unknown, who have a profound impact on the future of the franchise. The success of other previous Marvel releases this year such as Shang Chi and Black Widow have been well received and more critically acclaimed as Shang Chi received a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Joe Russo, a very successful MCU director, stated that,  “The great thing I was saying all the time was, ‘People tell you how much they love chocolate ice cream,’” he said. “You give it to them six days a week, they’re going to throw it in your face on the sixth day.” Simply put, Eternals was not up to the standards of Marvel’s previous movies. 


Despite the criticism Eternals has received it is 100% worth watching. The long, unique movie is different from the other marvel movies, but still succeeds in being enjoyable. Action sequences between our heroes and the deviants, as well as between themselves are enough by themselves to keep any watcher engaged. Another Rotten Tomato approved critic, Karen Peterson, remarks that Eternals,” is an  exciting peek into the future of the franchise… with grander ideas and new types of storytelling.” Eternals has clever transitions in story telling and twists that will have watchers worried about what comes next, not only in the movie, but in the future of the MCU. The post credit scenes at the end of the movie are maybe the most important reason for watching. Ending on a massive cliffhanger, Eternals finishes with the introduction of three new characters, setting the stage for the entirety of phase 4. Eternals has also become the number one movie in the world. 


I personally enjoyed the movie’s action, comedic, and unique touches, and am eager to see what comes next for the heroes.The movie has much better acting than previous Marvel origin films in phase 1. The cast is very talented including big name stars such as Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington, and Angelina Jolie. Jolie excels in the movie as she brings the most emotion to the film. On the other hand, comedy actor Kumial Nanjiani, adds a nice balance to the film with his comedic touches. I thought that the storyline was decent as it provided enough focus on each hero on the team. However, the team’s leader Ajak, played by Salma Hayek, was very under utilized in the film, as she was killed off during the first act. The action scenes in the movie were good, but not great. The recent entry of Shang Chi raised the level of action in Marvel, which the Eternals could not match. The CGI was flawless, but used heavily in the movie. I would give Eternals 3.5/5 as it is not as good as other Marvel entries, but definitely way better than it’s Rotten Tomato’s score. Any person who is devoted to the franchise should absolutely watch Eternals despite the reviews of critics.