I usually have a built-in level of excitement for new chapters in the MCU, but I wasn’t feeling much hype going into Eternals. Obviously due to the lack of familiarity with the property and the fact that nothing in the marketing really wowed me. Truthfully, the only thing that made me excited about the Eternals was knowing that Chloe Zhao was in the director’s seat. That said, I came away liking the movie a bit more than I was expecting.
The characters in Eternals are thousands of years old, existing on Earth in secret since the earliest days of human civilization. Of course, that raises a number of big questions about their involvement (or lack thereof) in MCU events up to this point. I liked the reasoning given as to why they didn’t intervene in human affairs that didn’t relate to their mission. I thought it gave some depth and complexity to the characters.
As we learn more about the Eternal’s role on earth, there are a number of flashbacks that show their involvement with major events in history. I’m no history buff, but I love seeing historical events through fictional/alt-history lenses like this in movies and TV, so I really dug those moments.
I also loved the group’s family dynamic. A good chunk of the film sees them all finding each other and catching up after being apart for several years, and it's one of my favorite sequences in the movie. Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo was one of my particular standouts. One thing I couldn’t buy, however, was the relationship between Sersi and Ikaris. Richard Madden plays the role incredibly cold, which is fine. But you can’t convince me that those two characters are (or were ever) in love with each other.
Eternals also does the superhero movie thing where the finale is a CGI explosion-fest, and I was hoping to see something a bit more creative from such a talented director, but MCU gonna MCU, I guess. Still, it didn’t ruin the movie for me. There’s twists and reveals that I honestly didn’t see coming, which really boosted my overall enjoyment of the film. It’s not the next Guardians of the Galaxy or anything, but Eternals is a really solid adaptation of a lesser-known Marvel property.