by Larry Brody
First, a friendly admission: I’m a huge admirer of Gemma Chan. The way she played a robot is what made Humans truly human.
But in spite of both that and the fact that the film’s director, Chloé Zhao, is an Oscar winning director whose career I’ve followed with great interest, I have no intention of seeing this film.
Not because of subject matter, cast, theme, politics, screenplay, my own personal bias about those things, or any of the other basics that make all films what they are or are not, but because the reviews I’ve read (almost all of which are negative, btw) cite the very same elements that have made the Eternals my least favorite Marvel superhero gang since they first were introduced.
- “For much of the 2 hour 37 minute runtime of Marvel’s Eternals, I found my consciousness floating out of my body…this is easily the most heartbreaking feature-length Marvel film yet….” Sam Machkovech, arstechnica.com
- “Marvel’s upcoming film, Eternals, has given the MCU its first Rotten film on Rotten Tomatoes.” Timothy McClelland, screenrant.com
“Marvel’s Eternals is big, beautiful, and empty.” Chaim Gartenberg, theverge.com.
It’s that last comment that expresses the feelings I’ve always had about the comic that, if I remember correctly, proclaimed Jack Kirby’s return to Marvel. As brilliant an artist and storyteller Kirby was, the Eternals were just plain underwhelming. A whole lotta smoke and mirrors, with nothing but vapor at the base.
Even the most beautiful edifice needs a solid structure beneath it. Here’s hoping that the geniuses at Disney and its subsidiaries will recognize that someday.