5 Things I Loved about Eternals

Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Ma Dong-seok, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, and Lia McHugh in Eternals

Eternals is just another Marvel superhero story. Except it isn’t. It’s a little different and some of those differences really landed well with me. Here’s what I like about this Disney+ streamer.

1. Directed by Chloé Zhao

Chloé Zhao as director probably is the reason for much of what I enjoyed about Eternals. She insisted on many of the things that I appreciated the most. Even before Nomadland won her an Oscar she was making great films I admired.

2. It’s gorgeous

A wide shot of a person standing in a refection.

The settings, the way the light is used, the framing of shots, the color palette – everything about Eternals is gorgeous. The golden light use to show energy fields (not sure that’s the right label to use) was warm and powerful at the same time. It showed inner strength and outer power. From intimate moments to big action scenes, the look was inspiring. The computer graphics made it all work.

3. All You Need is Love

Richard Madden and Gemma Chan in Eternals

Superheroes seldom get to fall in love. But Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden) not only loved each other but had a full on sex scene.

Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) had a husband and a son and we got to see the two men kiss when Phastos went off to help the others save the universe.

Just one of those scenes would have been record breaking. Two is really bold.

Thematically, the love the Eternals felt for the humans was the heart of the action and the reason the story turned out the way it did. Romantic love, love of family, and love of the hopelessly flawed human race were everything.

4. Inclusion is normal

Lauren Ridloff in Eternals

There are many examples of inclusion, starting with the director herself and working down through the cast. Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) was a deaf character played by a deaf actress.

Kingo, played by Pakistani-American Kumail Nanjiani, brought with him a valet played by the first Indian actor to appear in a Marvel film: Harish Patel. Add other main cast members such as Ajak (Salma Hayek) and Gilgamesh (Ma Dong-seok) and the international flavor grows. And don’t forget Gemma Chan, who had the lead part.

Thena (Angelina Jolie) and Sprite (Lia McHugh) and Druig (Barry Keoghan) joined Richard Madden among the white representation. A very good mix among the 10 Eternals, in my opinion.

Each actor brought their own accent and spoke in their usual way. Scottish, Spanish, ASL, whatever. It all mixed together beautifully. If there really were gods who could live forever would they have accents from Earth? Probably not, but it was fun.

5. The closing credits

Like many other Marvel characters, the Eternals are based on gods and goddesses from mythology. I really like the way the credits showed art from the past and tied it to the story characters. Bowls, frescos, paintings, sculptures – all things we’ve seen a million times before in museums and art books – showed how characters like this have existed in all of human history and brought it right into this current version of the story.

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