Eternals: Not a Complete Failure

Marvel’s highly anticipated movie “Eternals” has done poorly during its weekend debut in the United States, after its premiere on Friday, November 5, 2021.

“Eternals” instantly became one of the most anticipated movies from 2021 for Marvel fans. The astonishing cinematography shown in the trailers, the premise of not falling to the well-known Marvel formula, and the Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao directing the film, all led up to the fans raising their expectations too high, a bar that was too difficult to even reach.

“Eternals” is a movie that portrays a team of 10 members: Ajak, ‘The Leader’; Ikaris, ‘The Loyal Soldier’; Thena, ‘The Goddess of War’; Sersi, ‘The Wizard’; Kingo, ‘The Warrior’; Makkari, ‘The Speedster’; Phastos, ‘The Smartest’; Sprite, ‘The Illusionist’; Gilgamesh, ‘The Strongest’; and Druig, ‘The Manipulator’. These immortal, alien beings were sent to Earth thousands of years ago by the Celestials, gigantic and powerful cosmic beings, with the purpose of nurturing mankind and protecting them from the dangerous Deviants. However, once the group separated, they have lived hidden among humanity ever since. And now, with the return of the Deviants, they are forced to reunite once again to defeat the deadly creatures.

Before its global release on November 5, 2021, “Eternals” became the worst-reviewed movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has a critic score of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, becoming the first ‘rotten’ MCU film. At that point, the only thing that could save the movie was the opinion of the audience. However, the support from fans and viewers wasn’t enough, only earning $71 million at the United States’ box office during its weekend debut. It has been the lowest of the three MCU movies released in theaters in 2022, with “Black Widow” earning $80 million, and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” with $75 million.

According to critics and fans, the big problem with “Eternals” was its bounce from having too little to having too much going on on-screen. The first half of the movie talks about the separation that the Eternals went through 6,500 years ago, to then lead up to the slow process of reassembling the team to fight against the returning Deviants. It isn’t until the second half of the film, once the team has reunited, that the actual plot starts. However, a lot of things take place at the same time, leaving no room to unpack everything.

Apart from its flaws in terms of plot and pacing, “Eternals” is praised for its beautiful cinematography, such as the use of real-world locations and the breathtaking fight scenes, giving the audience a pleasant experience for the eye. Additionally, the movie takes its time to get to know each one of the characters, with their past, vision, and aspirations. As a result, viewers get to effectively know every member of the team, and experience a beautiful reunion of a family to accomplish the mission they came to Earth for.

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