Marvel’s Eternals Has Its Ups and Downs

On January 12, 2022, the Marvel Studios movie Eternals was released on Disney +. The movie follows a group of people from the planet Olympia, who have lived on Earth for thousands of years. Their mission was to protect Earth from Deviants, who they thought were gone until present day. The characters have all gone their separate ways over the years and must reunite to fight this new crop of Deviants.

The costumes for this movie were absolutely breathtaking. Marvel Studios is a franchise that likes to put a lot of details into their costumes. The use of gold and solid colors for specific costumes was beautiful. They emanate an ancient look, which was understandable because the characters had been on Earth for so long.

There were some issues with the lighting, however. Most of the scenes appeared to be too dark and it was hard to tell what was happening. There were very few scenes that were well lit, which made it hard to tell who was doing what unless they were fully suited in their costumes, but even then it didn’t help much. The scenes that were well lit however, were amazing. The viewer feels as if they are alongside the characters in their experiences. 

The acting was great overall. Kumail Nanjiani, who played Kingo, was very comedic yet able to switch smoothly into a more serious tone when needed. Lia McHugh, who played Sprite, was also in the comedic spotlight with her perfectly timed, witty sarcasm. Salma Hayek, who played Ajak, was spectacular with her mother-like presence to the young actors. Unfortunately, it was difficult to understand what Richard Madden, who played Ikaris, was saying due to his accent. The movie also featured Lauren Ridloff, who played Makkari, Marvel’s first deaf superhero. Her deafness didn’t stop her from working to save the world, using American Sign Language to communicate with the other Eternals. Her chemistry with Barry Keoghan (who played Druig) was very playful and entertaining to watch. 

This movie was directed and co-written by Chloe Zhao, who recently directed the drama film Nomadland. She has won several awards for Nomadland, such as an Oscar for Best Picture in 2021. She has been known to direct dramas, making Eternals a big leap for her. She hadn’t dipped her toe into the action movie or blockbuster pool prior to filming Eternals, which is very evident through the lack of action in the movie. 

This movie overall was alright. No one seems to be rushing into the movie theater to see this particular movie as there doesn’t seem to be much excitement surrounding it. The movie has its highs and lows like any other movie. The costumes were amazing and most of the acting was good. Unfortunately,  it was difficult to see certain scenes due to the lighting and difficult understand the actors. Marvel took a big leap in hiring Chloe Zhao to direct this movie. As Uncle Ben says in the Spider-Man movies, “with great power comes great responsibility,” but Marvel wasn’t really that responsible when hiring a director who could do justice to this franchise.