By Jay Bend
Marvel’s “The Eternals” is an amazing experience that thrusts the audience into the studio’s new and interesting take on out of this world level beings.
Starring such actors as Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Selma Hayek and Angelina Jolie, the film follows powerful beings known as Eternals as they watch the evolution of humankind. The Eternals find themselves in a direct conflict with their creator’s plan for the population of Earth and the planet as a whole.
There are three reasons that make this film enjoyable.
The first reason is the amazing directing, visual effects and cinematography. Chloe Zhao, director of “Nomadland,”100 % places her stamp of creativity on this film. So much so that it doesn’t even feel like a Marvel film. Her directing style mixed with cinematographer Ben Davis is the perfect balance between creative vision and traditional camera composition.
Also, the VFX were amazing. The blending of natural light and the golden motifs of the Eternals powers gives for an interesting visual show.
The second reason is the acting. Everyone performed masterfully in this film. Four actors that really stood out to me were Richard Madden as Ikaris, Bill Skarsgård as Kro, Angelina Jolie as Thena and Gemma Chan as Sersi.
Chan and Skarsgård sell the emotional aspects of both the Eternals and the Deviants and coming to grips with what their true purpose on earth is; which is basically to stand by while humanity is sacrificed for the emergence of a new Celestial. Jolie and Madden really make me feel the more militaristic standpoint and the ramifications of following through with plans and internal conflict of either allowing it to happen or doing something about it.
The final reason is the characters and the references the film was based on.
The Eternals comics were highly inspired by characters from mythology from different cultures but mainly Greek mythology. It is implied in the film that such characters from Greek mythology as Athena, Icarus, Circe and Hephaestus were inspired by the Eternals with similar sounding names and abilities (e.g., Thena, Ikaris, Serci and Phastus respectfully).
Zhao compares and contrasts the Eternals to other groups of divine-levels beings as well as other superpowered teams; two interesting examples of this are literally the Olympian Gods and, ironically, the “Justice League Animated Series.” The latter is paid homage to in one of the posters for the film.
Overall, “The Eternals,” similarly to “Shang Chi and the Ten Rings,” is breath of fresh air for the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is much needed and extremely well executed. Its post credit scenes also set up for the rest of Phase 4. So, whether or not you are a Marvel fan, give it a watch.