Movie marvels with new Eternal heroes

New band of superheroes hits theater and makes societal impact since release



“Crazy Rich Asians” actress Gemma Chan stars as Sersi in Marvel’s “Eternals,”playing a compassionate character

Lia Eberlein, Staff Writer

Eternals — beings crafted by a powerful force called a Celestial — finally received their comic book movie adaptation by Marvel Studios. The film earned over $160 million in its worldwide opening weekend at the box office.

“Eternals” has a runtime of about 2½ hours – the majority of which is spent setting up backstory for viewers before any fight sequences. At times it seemed a bit tedious, and almost confusing, jumping back and forth between time periods.

The Eternals are a group like the Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy. The film follows their mission on Earth over several centuries until a threat faces humanity.

This is a unique release for Marvel in its fourth phase of the cinematic universe. Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America are household names.

But what about Gilgamesh, Ikaris and Thena?

All 10 of the Eternals have their own special powers that allow them to assist in human evolution and protect the Earth from evil creatures called Deviants.

Setting the Eternals apart are their mastered abilities that are not seen in many other characters in the MCU. There are Masters of the Mystic Arts, but none have the extensive matter-changing powers of Sersi or the mind control capabilities of Druig.

The film’s director, Chloé Zhao, wonderfully incorporates diversity into the cast, characters and plotline.

Makkari, the speedster of the Eternals, is the first deaf superhero to be included in the MCU. This is something not widely seen throughout cinema and did not seem thrown in just for the sake of diversity. Rather, it was thoughtful.

Makkari’s character shows just as much heart and power as the rest.

Further, Marvel showcased its first same-sex couple: the Eternal Phastos and his husband.

Brian Tyree Henry, who plays Phastos, came out as gay in 2017. Henry told Variety, “I wish I had that when I was a kid to go see this.

“My God. I wish!

“Can you imagine how many lives this is going to be saving — kids, young queer folk, who are being bullied, committing suicide and not seeing themselves represented? And now they get to see this — it’s above and beyond.”

There is much more to the plot of “Eternals” than just the stereotypical superhero story.

Struggles with love, self and trust all allow the characters to be understood from different perspectives.

If there is one thing Marvel has been able to hit the nail on the head during its phase four, it’s humor. Comic relief, provided by characters like Kingo, loosen up the intensity of the Eternals’ mission and conflicts throughout the film.

On Rotten Tomatoes, “Eternals” sits at 48% on the Tomatometer, the lowest ranking on the website of all films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet, since it has opened to the public, there is an 81% audience approval rating.

Clearly, “Eternals” is a unique release for Marvel Studios, further expanding the universe and possibilities of new characters to come to light in future TV shows and films.

Overall, it is hard to critique “Eternals” harshly, considering it was an introduction to the new hero group. The cliff-hanger ending as well as mid- and end credit scenes allude to Marvel fans that there is a high likelihood there will be more appearances by the Eternals in the future.

Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” is now playing in theaters.