Tracy J Hutchings, Guest Writer
It is a Friday morning. It’s the day after I saw Eternals in IMAX. This is when the full scope of emotion hits me. Like the words of Celina Sharma’s “Nach Mera Hero”, I too have waited for so long for the presence of this movie and I can HONESTLY say Marvel’s Eternals lives up to my expectations and breathes new life into the MCU.
This film is a love story. It’s an emotional story. It’s the Marvel New Testament and the MCU will NEVER be the same again. A fact that I am completely satisfied with. And I’m not just saying this because I’ve missed being in a cinema because of this pandemic we’re living through; trust, I have thoroughly analysed my own feelings. No, Eternals did what I always wanted for the MCU which is, to feel more centred.
Understand, I am the first person to do a budget cosplay for my Marvel movies. I got a yellow dishwashing glove and made my own budget cosplay gauntlet. I love watching a Marvel movie. Sometimes though, it’s overwhelmed with a need to inject too much humour or rely on world-ending spectacle or the brain trust of a certain (deceased) billionaire playboy philanthropist. What I need is to FEEL the story and Eternals has done that! That isn’t to say there isn’t world ending spectacle; Arishem the Judge – the main Celestial – lends to that. Yet, there is a humanity to these immortals who after 7000 years are still trying to figure themselves out.
The world is vast and visually stunning. It is Biblical in scope and even tone at times. “In the beginning…” takes on new life through the eyes of ageless immortals and the humans they’re sworn to protect (from the Deviants; not each other, which is why they don’t intervene in human affairs). The film maintains humour, but it’s not compromising.
Like I said, Eternals is a love story. From the everlasting mind of Jack “King” Kirby, passed down to the caretakers of the MCU and served on a golden platter by filmmaker Chloé Zhao (The Rider, Nomadland). It’s a love story between gods/archangels/heroes and humanity; as one Eternal said, “When you love something, you fight for it.” And that bleeds through. It IS also a LOVE STORY with a tastefully delivered sex scene that’s not going to scar your 12-year-old when they eventually see it (the film IS PG-13). It’s a love that leaps over “limits” with an actual, fully-established and completely relevant same-sex partnership. That last part is important after the neutering of Valkyrie’s love story (Thor: Ragnarok) and the half-hearted delivery in Lucasfilm’s Rise of Skywalker (at near the very end). It’s a love that embraces.
Eternals manages to take characters and actors I wouldn’t believe would work well together and make it work. From Gemma Chan and Salma Hayek to Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani, they all just fit so well. The topics of mental traumas, duty versus love and the wanting to EXPERIENCE this world are so real and ripe, especially in this world we now find ourselves. The movie also serves to show that diversity and representation are not bywords; it treats the different cultures with respect, it represents our world. It’s not straight, white and male because that’s not our planet.
The film also takes its time. It’s 7000 years of detail and multiple arcs. Could it have been tightened? Probably. But I honestly didn’t feel the 2-plus-hours and I dare say that films like Dune and Eternals need the time. There are a few characters I’d LOVE TO see more of, including Makkari and Druig. They’re beautiful. Chloe Zhao helped push Marvel out of their comfort zone and it shows. I believe it paid off for the better.
The original score by Rawin Djawadi (Game of Thrones) lifts the film and doesn’t compete against it. The soundtrack ends with Celina Sharma’s “Nach Mera Hero” which is Bollywood and heroic and honestly, a little pop-gospel: “I have waited. For so long. For your presence. Mighty One”. I highly advise getting your hands on it.
For me, Eternals comes at a time when the MCU and humanity needs to figure out where to go next and I think this film helps on this journey. I left happy and in these following days, I remain invested. It’s funny, I’ve witnessed 20 something MCU films (some I love and some I’m not too fond of) but THIS ONE…yeah, this one hit different.
Go see Eternals (choose your cinema but I definitely endorse IMAX]. And by now, we should know to stick around to see TWO post credit scenes (c’mon, you know the drill). It’s safe to say the MCU future is safe.
Tracy’s Score: 10 out of 10
Editor’s Note: A huge thank you to Tracy for this review. He also does videos on his YouTube page so you guys can head over there and show him some love. And you can check out more great MCU content below: