Review: Eternals Pushes the Boundaries of the MCU

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T Lopez, Opinion Editor

At first, I was hesitant to even go see Eternals. Was I about to waste my money on a movie that wasn’t even worth it? On one hand, the critics’ reviews were low. On the other hand,  the audience reviews were high, and this was going to be a movie with new characters that would expand on the already jam-packed and exciting Phase 4 of the MCU.

To say my expectations were met would be an understatement. Not only was it a visually stunning film, but the story was also catered amazingly to both comic and historical nerds alike.

Eternals, directed by Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao, follows a race of immortal beings with superpowers created by the Celestials to protect Earth from the Deviants. After centuries of living amongst humankind, the Eternals defend the Earth once again when Deviants start to pop up again.

I will do my best to give a full and honest review without spoilers, but no promises, so here’s your warning: there are possible minor spoilers ahead for the new Marvel movie with very mixed reviews, Eternals.

One of the main things I thought would detract from the story was a large number of characters as well as the historical context incorporated into the storyline. As it turned out, that was one of the best things. Every character’s story was handled beautifully, from their impact on history to how their family dynamic was tested when the conflict emerged.

Every actor really outdid themself with this movie. Eternals are immortal beings who aren’t allowed to get attached to the planets they protect, yet there was so much emotion conveyed. 

Salma Hayek was amazing as Ajak. Hayek has been stuck with a lot of background roles, but this was really her time to shine. It was also personally really cool seeing a brown-skinned Mexican woman be the leader of a group of superheroes. 

Lauren Ridloff stole the spotlight as Makkari, too. Makkari is a speedster with the coolest running scenes. The typical running scenes for speedsters are in slow motion to show how fast they’re going, but none of Makkari’s scenes were in slow motion. Every scene with her running felt like we were along for the ride, feeling how fast she’s going.

The thing that makes Eternals unique in my eyes is how the “villain” of the story isn’t straightforward. Throughout the second and third acts of the movie, you question who really is the good and the bad guy. 

This is shown a lot with scenes showing the characters involved in various historical events. They’re instructed not to interfere with the affairs of humans, but the toll of watching humans suffer starts to take effect on some. They’re constantly faced with questioning the morality of humans and their own morals.

Overall, I found Eternals to be an amazing movie. Its only downside—if you can even call it that— is it may be a bit overwhelming to fans who haven’t explored Marvel outside of the MCU. There’s a set-up for a new character that many don’t know, as well as a cameo from another new MCU character who has yet to make their movie debut. 

Eternals was an MCU movie like no other before it. It was a fresh breath of air compared to the standard Marvel movie. It brings many new possibilities and stories to explore that will make the next phases of the MCU very exciting.