ETERNALS (2021) – My rating: 8.5/10

Eternals is a superhero film based on Marvel Comics and is directed by Chloé Zhao, who wrote the screenplay with Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, and Kaz Firpo. Eternals is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the 26th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The Eternals are an immortal alien race that emerged from hiding after thousands of years to protect Earth from their ancient counterparts called “The Deviants”.  I’m always happy to see a new superhero movie emerge, so when Eternals hit the screen, I excitedly made my first appearance to the theater since the Covid shut down to see it.  I thoroughly enjoyed Eternals and was glad to be back.

In 5000 BC, the following ten superpowered aliens called Eternals were sent to Earth on their starship, the Domo: Ajak (Selma Hayek)Sersi (Gemma Chan)Ikaris (Richard Madden)Kingo (Mumail Nanjiani)Sprite (Lia McHugh)Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry)Makkari (Lauren Ridloff)Druig (Barry Keoghan)Gilgamesh (Don Lee), and Thena (Angelina Jolie).  They were sent by the Celestial, Arishem to exterminate the invasive Deviants. It was thought the last of the Deviants were killed in 1521, so the group’s opinions differed over their continued responsibilities and their relationship with mankind. Over the next five hundred years, they mostly lived apart from each other, awaiting Arishem’s return.

**** SLIGHT SPOILERS ****

In the present day, Sersi and Sprite live together in London. After Sersi was left by her partner Ikaris centuries earlier, she has now developed a new, serious relationship with an ordinary human, Dane Whitman (Kit Harington), who works at the Natural History Museum in London. The trio is attacked by Deviant Kro (voice: Bill Skarsgård) but is chased away by the arrival of Ikaris. Realizing the Deviants have returned, they travel to South Dakota to reunite with their leader, Ajak, only to find that she had been killed. Sersi is posthumously chosen by Ajak as her successor, granting her the ability to communicate with Arishem, who reveals that the mission of the Eternals was not to fight the Deviants but to prepare Earth for the “Emergence”, the Celestials created the Eternals to cull them.

For the remainder of the film, the Eternals must follow a new leader, renew their mission to rid Earth of all Deviants, and reaffirm Arishem’s goals for mankind.  As with any group, all may not be on the same page.  This adventure takes you to faraway places and shows you the best of the Eternals and mankind.  The cinematography is beautiful and the story is really good.  I think this may be one of the best Marvel episodes I’ve had the pleasure of following. There are some surprises you won’t see coming and some really great fight scenes.  Don’t leave the theater as the credits roll, more teasers are shown that include Thena, Druig, and Eternal Eros.

As of November 28, 2021, Eternals has grossed $150.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $217.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $368.5 million.  The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 48%, with an average rating of 5.6/10, based on 359 reviews. The website’s critical consensus reads, “An ambitious superhero epic that soars as often as it strains, Eternals takes the MCU in intriguing—and occasionally confounding—new directions. In November 2021, Kaz and Ryan Firpo expressed interest in making an Eternals prequel series for Disney+. Eternals is shown in theaters only, I’m sure you will enjoy this film – Check It Out!

A little bit about the cast (mild spoilers): 

Gemma Chan as Sersi:  An empathetic Eternal with a strong connection to humans and the Earth, who can manipulate and transform matter through physical contact. Sersi has been in love with Ikaris for centuries and has a strong connection with Sprite. In the present day, she is a museum curator on Earth and dating Dane Whitman. Chan previously portrayed Minn-Erva in the MCU film Captain Marvel (2019).

Richard Madden as Ikaris:  An Eternal who can fly and project cosmic energy beams from his eyes, and is determined to fulfill his purpose.

Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo:  An Eternal who can project cosmic energy projectiles from his hands. Enamored with fame, Kingo becomes a popular Bollywood film star to blend in on Earth.

Lia McHugh as Sprite:  An Eternal who can project life-like illusions. Sprite has the physical appearance of a 12-year-old child, with an “old soul” dissatisfied with humanity.

Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos: An Eternal and intelligent weapons and technology inventor. He is the first superhero to be depicted as gay in an MCU film. 

Lauren Ridloff as Makkari:  An Eternal who can move at superhuman speed. The character is the first deaf superhero in the MCU.

Barry Keoghan as Druig:   An aloof Eternal who can manipulate the minds of others.

Don Lee as Gilgamesh:  The strongest Eternal, with a deep connection to Thena.  Lee pursued the role in order to be an inspiration to the younger generation as the first Korean superhero and was able to utilize his boxing training for the role.

Harish Patel as Karun: Kingo’s human valet.

Kit Harington as Dane Whitman: A human who works at the Natural History Museum in London as a history professor and is dating Sersi.

Salma Hayek as Ajak:  The wise and spiritual leader of the Eternals, who has the ability to heal and is the “bridge” between the Eternals and the Celestials.

Angelina Jolie as Thena:  An elite warrior Eternal who can form any weapon out of cosmic energy and develops a close bond with Gilgamesh over the centuries. She also suffers from a psychological condition called Mahd Wy’ry.

 

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