“The Eternals” Raises Doubts Surrounding Marvel’s Phase Four

“The Eternals” is one of the lowest-rated MCU films to date.

Daniel Stell, Managing Editor

Marvel Studios have had challenges with trying to appeal to their fans with their films ever since “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019. The Disney Plus TV series like “WandaVision” and “Loki” have all gotten positive reviews, but the recent movies such as “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi” have been met with mixed reviews. Fans are still eagerly awaiting a more in-depth glance into the post-Endgame world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
“The Eternals” attempts to grant that perspective by introducing a new cast of superhumans more connected to the overarching cosmic conflicts within the MCU. The Eternals were created by Jack Kirby in 1976 to be cosmic-level superheroes sent to Earth by the Celestials, ancient beings from the dawn of the universe. The Eternals were tasked with not interfering in any human events unless the Deviants, evil alien creatures that oppose the Celestials, were involved. Now, after the events of “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” the Eternals must return to fight against the Deviants and their invasion, even though the Eternals thought they had killed every single one of the Deviants.
“Eternals” establishes very compelling themes and a more complicated story than ever before seen in an MCU title. The movie has many surprising twists and turns that make you curious about what is happening. Flashbacks to ancient times are utilized well to help us understand the characters and their relationships more. The visuals and special effects are some of the best we’ve seen in an MCU in the past few years. The aesthetic of ancient designs and sci-fi technology is very appealing and shows just how ancient these Eternals are.
“Eternals” brings in a lot of new lore and new characters. The Eternals themselves are varied with distinct powers and personalities. In this movie, we get our first deaf character in the MCU, which is the speedster Makkari, – played by Lauren Ridloff – and the first openly LGBTQ+ character in the MCU with the inventor superhero Phastos who is played by Brian Tyree Henry.
However, with all these things going for the film, it is, unfortunately, one of the lowest-rated MCU films of all time, with a 48% Critic Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Though it is gaining negative reviews and criticisms, the movie itself is not bad but it has many narrative and character issues that will hopefully be fixed as the MCU progresses into Phase 4.
The narrative structure is quite odd in this movie, not feeling like it follows three or five acts like most other films. Many parts of the film feel rushed while others feel too slow or focused on for much longer than they need to be. Though the action scenes are very fun, they’re bogged down by the long periods of dialogue between the characters and them explaining their perspectives on what is going on in the story.
Overall, “Eternals” is a fine movie that doesn’t deserve the amount of negativity it has been the victim of over the past few weeks. Though it has its narrative issues, it still accomplishes what it sets out to do, which was to establish a better view of the post-Endgame world of the MCU.