Reviews: Review of “Eternals”, by Chloé Zhao, with Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani and Salma Hayek (Marvel)

The talented director of Songs My Brothers Taught Me, The Rider and Nomadland he loses more than he contributes in this showy and at the same time unsuccessful presentation in society of a new universe of the Marvel factory.

Eternals (United States / 2021). Direction: Chloé Zhao. Cast: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Lauren Ridloff, and Lia McHugh. Screenplay: Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo and Kaz Firpo, based on the Marvel comic by Jack Kirby. Photography: Ben Davis. Editing: Dylan Tichenor and Craig Wood. Music: Ramin Djawadi. Distributor: Disney. Duration: 157 minutes. Suitable for people over 13 years old.

That for the first time there is an openly gay character (Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos), that one of the protagonists is deaf (Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari), that there are longer and more intense sex scenes than the movie manual of superheroes advises, that there was never so much plurality in the cast (four of the Eternals are white, three are Asian, two are black and we even have a Latina), that in a scene set in the middle of the Amazon warns about the serious degradation of the planet, that in another that reconstructs the massacre of Tenochtitlan in 1521 there is talk of genocide, that the director is a woman of Chinese origin who comes from the most authorial independent cinema … The new Marvel production passes each and every one of the examinations of the political correctness in terms of historical revisionism, cultural diversity, and ethnic and gender representativeness. All … except being a good movie.

Those of us who have enjoyed the career of the director of Songs My Brothers Taught Me, The Rider and Nomadland we get closer to Eternals with a mixture of hope and fear. Illusion to see if a sensitive and virtuous filmmaker could impregnate something of her personal stamp to this type of mammoth productions; and fear because -as it finally happened- Eternals it turns out to be a disappointing and failed combination (though not to a catastrophic extreme either) between two worlds that remain irreconcilable.

Maybe Eternals It is more elegant, with a more creative use of digital effects than its predecessors, but its unjustifiable 157 minutes lack tension, humor and action that – let’s agree – is the first thing that the Marvel fan looks for in a production of the franchise. That the film is in several passages slow to border on boring is something that may even be interesting to me due to its anomalous character, but I don’t think that the Marvelian girlish feels too happy in front of a proposal with a lot of climatic and contemplative. It is that, beyond a few dazzling passages from the visual, of Zhao’s brand only sunrises, sunsets and little else remain.

The director, born in China, trained in London and based in California, had a task that was far from easy as developing a new universe, which involves explaining the historical context (the Eternals are on Earth living as humans to take care of us for some time. .. 7,000 years), introduce each of the characters (which to top it all there are ten) and start the confrontation against the Deviants, monsters in the shape of dinosaurs.

The protagonist is not Angelina Jolie’s Thena or Salma Hayek’s prophetess Ajak (both look quite blurred considering their Hollywood star status) but Gemma Chan’s Sersi, who is currently a London museum curator. who is dating Dane Whitman (from Kit Harington) although in truth she comes from a thousand-year-old relationship with Richard Madden’s Ikaris. And there are also the aforementioned Phastos -which her husband and son have-, the aforementioned Makkari, and the Kingo of Kumail Nanjiani to whom he plays something as well as contributing the “comic” moments, and the Gilgamesh of Don Lee, and the Sprite of Lia McHugh, and Barry Keoghan’s Druig …

But – it was said – despite the two and a half hours of footage (it should be noted that there are scenes both during and after the end credits that allow us to intuit how this fourth phase of the MCU will continue to advance) the film never deepens, never accelerates, languishes He philosophizes and drifts too much in his time travels through Mesopotamia, Babylon, Hiroshima, Iraq, and many other hot spots. There are scenes (and above all planes) that subjugate when analyzed separately, but as a whole the narration of Eternals He ends up doing his name justice: it turns out to be nothing short of eternal.


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Reviews: Review of “Eternals”, by Chloé Zhao, with Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani and Salma Hayek (Marvel)