Smart Movie Review: Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ brings god-like characters to a human level

Published 8:00 am Saturday, November 13, 2021

By Ian Omar Smart | Guest Columnist

“Eternals” was released on Oct. 18 and is now playing at the B&B Theater in the Vicksburg Mall. This polarizing film uses its charismatic cast to tell one of the largest superhero stories we’ve ever seen.

Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao turns her intimate lens to the grandness of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Chronicling centuries, “Eternals” tells the story of eight immortal beings tasked with protecting the Earth from an alien species in order to fulfill a secret mission given to them by the Celestials — the creators of the universe.

The 157-minute film shifts between past and present, primarily through the point of view of Sersi (Gemma Chan) who can transform matter however she sees fit. Each Eternal has their own specific abilities, made to compliment and play off of each other.

The standout for me was Barry Keoghan as Druig, a telepath who grows to hate the team’s role in human history. While somewhat convoluted, Zhao grounds these extraordinary beings with humor and action that feels more authentic and tactile than what’s previously been seen in the MCU.

Domestic bliss and romantic gestures punctuate the action and fold us into these characters’ interior lives. Recently, MCU films have failed to fully engage me, but Zhao frames the narrative around relationships and duty in a way that feels very relatable.

Eternals charmed me in a way few MCU films ever have, using god-like characters to explore human vulnerability. The film also stars Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie and Bryan Tyree Henry.

Ian Omar Smart is a graduate of Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University with a degree in architecture. When he’s not drawing buildings, he’s probably at the movies. Smart can be contacted at isiansmart@gmail.com.