This week Ive been covering the fact, that Marvels Eternals, despite having an Oscar-winning director and cast, has been rated as the lowest-scoring MCU movie ever. It is 26th among 26 films and 15% lower than the previous last place, Thor: The Dark World. With its first Rotten 51% score, it joins only TV projects such as Iron Fist or Inhumans in this Rotten category.
I saw the entire film last night and it was worth the two hour, thirty seven minute effort.
Eternals is a good movie. Although it is not the best MCU production, I would easily place it in the top half among all movies. It's also nowhere near being the worst MCU film, as these combined ratings suggest.
Critics like MCU movies, regardless of what fans might think. This is evident by the fact that 11 of them scored above a 90%, and Eternals being one of the highest Rotten scores ever. They didn't do it right this time. It seems that their audiences are also not in agreement.
Eternals currently has an audience score of 86% compared to 51% for critics. This is the largest gap in MCU history. Normally, audience and critic scores are only about 3-7% apart. Captain Marvel is the only exception. This film broke the opposite way, at 79% to 45%. It was reviewed poorly by critics due to a fanboy war against Brie Larson. Rotten Tomatoes implemented a verified system to allow users to rate the movie. You must show that you actually saw it to rate it.
Split in the Eternals score breaks the narrative that critics will always give bonus point to woke movies or fans will blast movies with progressive values. Although I would not say that the movie has any agenda, it isn't given a pass by critics or a hate campaign by its fans. It seems to be the film's quality that is being discussed.
What makes Eternals better than what critics claim? It didn't feel like a Marvel movie to me. It's not shot like one. We have to give Chlo Zhao credit for the beautiful, expansive landscapes and subtler use of CGI. It isnt scripted like most Marvel origin stories, as we are meeting a group of heroes for the first time, but theres no heros journey about someone discovering/acquiring their powers. This film is about the interplay of immortals and gods, a high concept film compared to many Marvel films. I believe it works, especially with the number of third acts that the film couldn't share in its marketing. It is the best part of this movie.
The movie's pace is a problem, especially in the first half. It jumps between time periods and seems a little aimless. It does come together, and although it could have shaved a few minutes of the 167-minute run time, my excitement for the movie's unfolding story only increased with time.
There are many impressive things about the film. The film is a great example of how to do a lot with a large cast. My favorite characters are Barry Keoghans Druig and Kumail Nanjianis Kingo. This comic relief role is perhaps the most traditional Marvel. Angelina Jolies Thena is the fractured warrior role that I wasn't expecting. She pairs well with Ma Dongseoks Gilgamesh and makes for a fantastic sub-storyline.
Eternals might feel very different from anything we have had before. Critics claim that this was a mistake. It was a smart decision. Chlo Zhao created something new in a space that is somewhat predictable. I would love to see the sequel. Even though I almost always agree with the critics, in this instance, I would go and see it. They forgot something.
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My sci-fi novels, The Herokiller and its audiobook, as well as The Earthborn Trilogy are available for purchase.