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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review: ‘Eternals’ decides to follow generic route

Photos courtesy of Disney “The Eternals” are a team of superheroes who have been around for hundreds of years. They’ve been assigned by an ancient power to protect Earth from “Deviants.”

Jose Romero

Marvel’s latest movie, “Eternals,” is a beautiful façade.

It lures the viewer into a false sense of security, making them believe this adventure will be different from the other 20 plus films.

It’s directed by Academy Award winner Chloe Zhao of “Nomadland” fame. Even though she’s an award-winner, she’s a risky choice because she hasn’t done anything like a big-budget action film before, which potentially alludes to a film that strays away from the typical formula. But, that’s not the case.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

Salma Hayek plays Ajak, the leader of “The Eternals.” She continuously guides them throughout history, ensuring they don’t interfere in human activities.

A team of superheroes rallies against an ancient antagonist to save Earth from destruction. Along the way, there is an obvious traitor, large computer-generated villains and bombastic action set-pieces.

It would be disingenuous to act as if there isn’t something interesting about this team, however. They’re all centuries-old, commanded by a higher power to only assist humans when it comes to fighting a breed of aliens called “Deviants.” But, even that slight alteration to a tale as old as time doesn’t make it stand out.

“Eternals” hides its imperfections with gorgeous wide shots, filling the frame with dynamic landscapes. But, it’s a smokescreen, because it tells the same story as most movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

An impending “world-ending” event is approaching, so the heroes should go stop it. Such a drab plot decision considering that this could’ve been Marvel’s chance to do something vastly unique, especially with Zhao under its belt.

But, one thing is for sure, Marvel movies aren’t about intricate plots or thought-provoking narratives. The movies heavily rely on the characters to carry the film and connect themselves to the decade-old narrative. Which it does manage to do, expanding upon the MCU’s seemingly endless lore.

The characters are OK, but there is a standout. Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, is a father — and the MCU’s first openly gay character — that has helped humans advance their technology. He sees the craftsmanship in the tools humans create, but he also sees the destruction they make with the tools he gave them. Realizing what he’s done, he steps away from being a deity-like figure to living in the suburbs with a husband and kid.

Here’s the thing, the other actors and characters aren’t bad, but there are just too many to keep track of. It’s easy to lose your ability for object permanence when you haven’t seen a character in half an hour, and they randomly appear again for a flashback scene.

It’s all just so meh. It’s not bad. It’s not good. It’s an intricately designed flower vase with wilting flowers put inside of it. Burnout to these films was bound to happen after “Avengers: Endgame,” but this plot is beyond lazy. Hell, there is even a scene where the antagonist explains their plan for world domination. It’s a shame too because there are certain times where the film offers a glimpse at what could’ve been if it didn’t take a familiar route.

The morals of the heroes are questioned, asking them if they’re making a selfish decision. It leaves room for the audience to come to a resolution themselves instead of feeding it to them. If the movie would’ve taken more time to flesh that out instead of resorting to having a generic final act, it could’ve been one of the best in the MCU. Instead, it played it safe.

“Eternals” could’ve been a step in a new direction for Marvel. But, it wasn’t ready to commit. Pretty cool post-credit scenes, though.

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