ETERNALS Reviews Promise A Visually Stunning, Overstuffed (And Overlong) Movie Unlike Any Before It
The review embargo for Eternals has lifted, and these verdicts are definitely more of a mixed bag than expected! Despite some strong visuals, it appears this isn't going to earn Chloé Zhao another Oscar.
The reviews for Eternals are in and, well, they're not hailing this as the masterpiece some fans expected. Thus far, it doesn't seem to be receiving the same level of praise as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Widow, but this is by no means shaping up to be Marvel Studios' first Rotten movie (we'll bring you guys the Rotten Tomatoes score soon).
We'll start with Variety. The trade drops a lot of spoilers, but points out, "It’s clear that Zhao, in signing up for this project, made a decision to put her highly expressive and idiosyncratic style on the shelf, and to embrace the straight-up expository conventionality of Marvel filmmaking." On the plus side, they add that the movie, while too long, is "a squarely fun and gratifying watch."
The Hollywood Reporter didn't love this one, either, but admit it's one of "the more interesting and original entries in the ever-expanding canon." The Wrap adds to this by saying Eternals is "both a Marvel superhero epic, as massively conceived as they come, and unquestionably Zhao’s version of one, as attentive to beauty and intimacy as it is to the expected fate-of-all-life concerns."
Mama's Geeky loved it, and conclude by declaring, "When I say that Eternals is like nothing we have ever seen in a Marvel movie before, I mean it. Sure there is action, but it isn’t at the forefront of the film. This movie is kind of a love letter to humanity, and I am here for it, even if humanity kind of sucks right now." Despite saying that this latest Phase 4 release is "somewhat overstuffed," The Illuminerdi is quick to point out, "Marvel Studios continues its trend of excellent storytelling with yet another fun Phase 4 entry, one that takes chances and stands on its own as a solid movie."
USA Today gives Eternals 2.5/4, highlighting a number of issues and describing it as an "eternal chore" while revealing that "It only occasionally references the ultra-connected MCU, favoring mythology creation over forcing itself into the grander plan."
Total Film goes with 4/5 and concludes with, "Chloé Zhao gives the MCU just the kick in the pants it needs at this phase in its evolution." Empire wasn't quite as impressive with a 3/5 score and, "Director Chloé Zhao’s entry into the superhero world is assured, ambitious and told on a dizzyingly cosmic scale — but even it can’t escape the clichés of superhero storytelling." IGN goes for a 7/10 and explains, "Eternals is beautifully shot and terrifically acted, but it bites off more than it can chew in its third act."
So, something of a mixed bag, and definitely not what we expected given the hype this one has been generating. These are only excerpts, though, and it's worth noting that the cast, visuals, and sheer level of diversity are all receive plenty of praise. Unfortunately, it sounds like Eternals is a movie with a fair few issues, failing to escape the mould many critics have grown fed up with in the MCU.
Eternals is set to be released on November 5. We'll have our verdict for you soon.