Review: Marvel tells intergalactic soap opera with ‘Eternals’


Lauren Ridloff in Eternals / Marvel

Marvel’s latest film “Eternals” is a vast meta-human saga with intergalactic roots that spans over 7,000 years of history, but at its core the film is a soapy, super-powerful soap opera – like one of my friends pointed this out after we watched it – this gets mixed reviews from reviewers whose opinions are tabulated by Rotten tomatoes.

The movie’s score came in at 51% when I sat down to write this review. This is the lowest tomato meter score of all 26 Marvel films. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the film that plays with myths, mysticism, religion, and science to formulate a compelling melodrama that, like all Marvel movies, sets the stage for future superhero shenanigans before it. is not finished.

The film, directed by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao, who also helped craft the screenplay, is a feast for the eyes and one of Marvel’s finest films, as cinematographer Ben Davis shows .

The layered story of genetically modified aliens placed on Earth to protect humanity from monstrous deviants has offered a compelling account of what happens when duty stands in the way of love. The Eternals must protect humans so that they can serve as a source of food for the birth of Tiamut, a god-like being known as the Celestial. The Celestials feed off the planets and their inhabitants during their “emergence” and continue to create dozens of other universes. It’s another story of the circle of life, if you will, just told on a cosmic scale.

Eternals / Wonder

The only problem is that celestial creator Airshem isn’t exactly aware of what the planet will ultimately be used for with all of the Eternals. They are not aware or listening until emergence is at their doorstep. Over the centuries living on Earth, the Eternals love humans, and most of them are unwilling to sacrifice their adopted home planet and its inhabitants just so Tiamut doesn’t go hungry.

Zhao effectively uses flashbacks in the film to complement the backstory. Here we see the Eternals working together and separately to protect humans from Deviants. However, when the Deviants are killed, what should the overpowered beings do who are not supposed to interfere in men’s affairs?

Each of the 10 characters becomes the inspiration for the gods, heroes and mythical villains of the ancient world. Over time, the Eternals go their separate ways, some alone while others are in pairs. One becomes a cult type leader, while others become a history teacher or a Bollywood star. However, when the emergence becomes apparent, they seek each other out, and some begin to question their mission and whether or not Earth should be sacrificed in order for Tiamut to emerge. To say much more would be too much.

Gemma Chan’s Sersi is basically the main character in what is essentially an ensemble, and her love affair with Ikaris (Richard Madden) is cursed and tumultuous as duty separates the couple for centuries. The two are strong in their roles as lovers whose relationship just isn’t meant to be.

Zhao gets convincing performances from each of the main characters, who all gave their time to shine. The tone of the film is less humorous than most Marvel movies, but the film has some cataclysmic stakes.

While the emphasis is on the relationships between the characters, the film doesn’t long overlook superheroic feats with superheroic feats here and an attack from the Deviants there.

Angelina Jolie in Eternals / Marvel

The third act is action packed and after a twist in the second act which is surprising. The climax somewhat answers the question of what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige would do if he made a Justice League movie for Marvel’s main competitor, DC Entertainment. Ikaris is a Superman type, just like Thena (Angelina Jolie) analogous to Wonder Woman. Other parallels can also be drawn with the other eight main characters.

The weak link in the film are the Deviants who become more of an excuse for an action sequence than anything else. However, the film covers a lot of ground in its two and a half hour duration and was well paced for my liking.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that The Eternals was created for Marvel by the great illustrator / plotter and sometimes writer Jack Kirby, who was one of the greatest creative talents to ever work in comics. . His career spanned from the early industry in the late 1930s to the early 1990s. Kirby’s collaborations with Marvel publisher Stan Lee in the 1960s on characters like Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Hulk, among others, are among the legends. Name a Marvel character other than Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Dr. Strange, and Kirby likely played a major role in creating it. The Eternals were his last major contribution to the Marvel mythos in the mid-1970s.

Aesthetically, the look of the film is not overwhelmed by Kirby’s influence. The easiest place to notice his influence is in the character’s costumes, which have a Kirby feel to them. However, his handprints are all over the Marvel cosmology that takes center stage in this film.

“Eternals” offers a slightly different flavor to the Marvel menu, and its scope and leisurely pace might not appeal to everyone, but I was amused and intrigued.

The film contains medium and post-credit scenes that hint at what’s to come in future Marvel movies. Two new characters are introduced to the Marvel Universe in the mid-credit scene, and one character introduced at the start of the movie has its advanced story in the post-credit scene.

(PG-13) 2 hrs. 37 minutes.
Category B

New in local theaters

Eternals (Watch the trailer) / (PG-13) 2 hrs. 37 minutes. / AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle, Malco Towne, Skylights

Spencer (Watch the trailer) / (D) 1 hr. 51 minutes. / AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Pinnacle

The French dispatch (Watch the trailer) / (D) 1 hr. 48 minutes. / Malco Razorback

Red Notice (Watch the trailer) / (PG-13) 1 hr. 54 minutes. / Malco Pinacle

Classic Corner – Malaysia

In the late 1940s, the Hollywood studio system was entering its twilight. Gradually, stars and directors were gaining more and more control over their projects, but every now and then studios like MGM could still line up the stars to produce a big picture.

One of them is the well-regarded but somewhat forgotten 1949 war film “Malaysia,” which airs at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday on Turner Classic Movies. A film in shape to roll on the eve of Veterans Day.

The film, directed by Richard Thorpe, is based on the true story of how the United States maneuvered to acquire rubber for the war effort at the start of World War II from Malaysia under Japanese control. The star cast of the film includes Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, Valentina Cortesa, Sydney Greenstreet in her latest film, John Hodiak, and Lionel Barrymore.

This is only the second time that stars Stewart and Tracy have shared the screen together. The first was actually Stewart’s big screen debut in a 1935 film titled “Murder Man,” in which Tracy was the first role with Stewart getting sixth billing.

This time, they’re essentially co-stars with Tracy playing a convict named Carnaghan, whose Stewart character John Royer is freed from Alcatraz to bring rubber out of Malaysia for the US war effort.

Greenstreet plays the Dutchman, a former associate of Carnaghan who recruits a bunch of tough necks to help him in the operation. The plan begins to work until the Japanese hear about it, and Colonel Tomura (Richard Loo) steps in to overtake Carnaghan and Royer.

The film is action-packed and full of intrigue, but also features a romance between Carnaghan and Luana (Cortese), his old girlfriend.

Barrymore plays newspaper editor John Manchester, who supports Royer’s plan. Fans of “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be delighted to see the man who played the villainous Mr. Potter working with Stewart rather than against him in this film.

Tracy and Stewart have been in so many great movies that it’s hard to call “Malaya” one of their best. However, it’s a solid film with winning performances throughout a memorable cast who always worked at the top of their game.

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