Marvel Eternals Movie Review: Expectations vs. Reality

As we know, the world has been over once. After snapping his fingers, Thanos eliminated half of humanity parting the door open to future possibilities of parallel galaxies and superheroes; to decide how to rescue whatever is left on the blue planet. In Marvel Eternals, the fight is not so much to raise from the dead life on earth as it is to look after it from the evil forces known as Deviants. Unlike the movie The Avengers and what they are willing to do, the team of the the10-member Marvel Eternals has one main reason to exist. The reason is to protect humanity and lead to their development. On the other hand, the plot is not as simple as it sounds on paper.

Cast of Marvel Eternals

The star cast belongs to all A-listers, boasting of the biggest ensemble put together after Avengers. Eternals has Salma Hayek leading the team by reprising the role of their spiritual leader Ajak. She is the all-seeing Oracle who leads her fellow superheroes and ensures that they do not stray. But, they stray, anyway.

Marvel Eternals Official Poster
Marvel Eternals official poster

Angelina Jolie, who plays the role of Thena, has the most diabolical character construct among the Eternals. What makes her stimulating is that her fight is as much so with the evil Deviants as with her own mind. Ikaris is the Alpha of the group, who is played by Maiden. While Lia McHugh takes up the role of Sprite, a woman who is trapped in a girl’s body. The other Eternals are Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Sersi (Gemma Chan), and Druig (Barry Keoghan). They provide everything ranging from a romance plot, some comic relief, diversity, to the Marvel Universe’s ultimate adventures.


To start with, Eternals has a runtime that crosses two and a half hours, which is only second to the approximately three-hour runtime of Avengers: Endgame. The matter is not so much with the time length. It was about how director Chloe Zhao struggled to weave in as many backstories and sub-plots as possible to provide the A-list star cast its due. As a result of which, some characters, regardless of coming across as lackluster, get additional screen time than the others. We get to see Ikaris and Sersei complain over their failed relationship, but Phastos and Makkari do not get enough screen time to let us know about their past-life experiences.

Visually, Eternals is spectacular. No frame is deprived of imagery, and the action scenes, particularly the opening montage, are strikingly choreographed. That being said, when it comes to constructing up characters that clutch onto the interest and subplots that you can essentially invest into, the movie falters.

Chloe Zhao's Eternals
Chloe Zhao’s Eternals

Chloe Zhao’s attempt to tick the variety and inclusivity boxes seems a bit artificial. Yes, we care for a gay superhero, and it is about time an LGBTQ demonstration feels organic in an MCU film. Yet, it is Phastos’ love story with his partner that does not get the screen time that it deserves.


Eternals tries to be all the things but ends up coming closer to being nothing. The comparisons to Marvel’s Avengers only make the experience poorer. On the other hand, there are fleeting references to Avengers. Every time you hear a familiar name you cannot help but plaster a huge wide smile on your face.
Marvel Eternals could have worked. If it had used up as much time in the writing area as it did in the VFX studio. For the fans of the Marvel Universe franchise, Eternals is no Avengers. Do not go walking in with a lot of expectations, and you might have an okay-ish time. Eternals has an army of superheroes but not one that deserves some cheering for.

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