The Eternals is a part of the live action Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that brings a deeper understanding into the more cosmic areas of the popular franchise. If Doctor Strange opened an esoteric side to the MCU and Antman took us into the Quantum Realm, The Eternals challenged viewers with a deep story that called into question the nature of God like beings and their system of creation and destruction in order to create more. It is rather philosophically gnostic in nature because it does ask questions about why things are the way they are and whether or not the plans of beings more powerful and perhaps alien than we could possibly understand, have the best interests of their creations at heart and without getting into spoilers, I would say conflicting actions toward the end of the story left the jury still out on this one.
I liked The Eternals more than I expected and the story, though not without it’s problems, is not nearly as incomprehensible as some reviewers would have one think. The problems that arise the most is that the characters tend to be flat and there are some missed opportunities in the script that really prevent the film from at least being Marvel’s true thinking person’s superhero or graphic novel inspired property.
The characterizations are flat because they depend too much on the talent playing the roles, but not much else. So for example if I identify with the characters of Sersi, Ikaris, Thena, Ajax and Kingo, it is not because their characters truly shine as individuals, but because I recognize the faces. This creates a disservice since if I had not Kumail Nanjani from his appearances on shows like Conan or Angelina Jolie because of her natural presence and notoriety, then I am not really invested in the characters beyond the familiarity of who is playing them. I am interested in them because I recognize the Actors and those who I do not recognize do not foster enough interest in them because the characters are only engaging because of who is playing them or otherwise I could not tell you who is who by their character’s name and if anything I should be able to get lost in the characters rather than only care because I am familiar with the talent. Kit Harrington’s character is little more than an extended cameo and he could have been cut out of the film all together and it would not make much of a difference as far as the film’s plot is concerned.
Director Chloe Zhao, who also participates in a retrospective and at times scene specific feature length audio filmmakers’ commentary seems unable to give the film the balance it needs to make it fit in more cohesively with the rest of the MCU instead of being sort of the odd one out.
English Closed Captions for the deaf and hearing impaired along with Spanish Language Subtitles are available as options on the Movies Anywhere digital copy that otherwise presents The Eternals with an impressive Dolby Vision 4K UHD widescreen aspect ratio with a deep and losses Dolby ATMOS Soundtrack. Two featurettes covering the comic book origins (10:46) and the cast (5:01) are provided along with four deleted scenes (6:06) that can be viewed individually or as one reel, a gag reel (2:29) and the trailer (2:50), which wraps up the extra value content. The interactive menus through Apple TV 4K are well rendered and easy to navigate.
The Eternals is available for purchase as a 4K Digital Copy through Movies Anywhere or other streaming digital platforms online.
(C) Copyright 2022 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.