The pace of the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with Eternals . Like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings , the film directed by Chloé Zhao ( Nomadland , 2020) whose script is adapted from the comic series directed by Jack Kirby of the same name is an origin story that will introduce a number of new characters in the Marvel Cinematic storyline. Universe. Unlike Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the line Another origin story that has been released by this film series before, Eternals is presented with a quite different narrative. The story's theme of existential crisis and the existence of Zhao, who is better known as a film director with an intimate storytelling color, gives a different touch which is actually quite refreshing. Are different touches enough to produce a strong storytelling quality? Well … that's another story .
The storyline of Eternals begins with the background of the story in 5000 BC when ten alien beings from outer space created by the Celestials who are collectively known as the Eternals - Ajak ( Salma Hayek ), Sersi ( Gemma Chan ), Ikaris ( Richard Madden ), Kingo ( Kumail Nanjiani ), Sprite ( Lia McHugh ), Phastos ( Brian Tyree Henry ), Makkari ( Lauren Ridloff ), Druig ( Barry Keoghan ), Gilgamesh ( Don Lee ), and Thena ( Angelina Jolie ) – commissioned by one of the Celestials, Arishem ( David Kaye), to descend to Earth to destroy a group of alien beings from outer space created by other Celestials known as Deviants. The members of the Eternals also establish relationships with humans as well as guide and encourage them to gain knowledge and a better life.
The task was completed in 1521 BC when the last Deviants were killed. While waiting for Arishem to call them to return home, and encouraged by the increasing frequency of disagreements between them, the members of the Eternals finally decided to separate and mingle with the lives of humans on Earth. More than 500 years later, in modern life after Thanos wiped out half of Earth's population, a group of Deviants made another appearance. The Deviants that appeared were even more powerful and dangerous than the group of Deviants the Eternals had previously faced. Of course, this prompted the members of the Eternals to seek each other's whereabouts and once again fight together.
While most origin stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline are about how a character discovers, uses, and adapts to their new powers, the characters featured in Eternalsis a line of characters who have understood the function of the abilities or strengths that are within them. The conflict of this film focuses more on the various questions that arise from the spiritual side of each character member of the Eternals group about the meaning of their existence - both in their relationship with Arishem's character as the representative of the Celestials who created them, their relationship with one another, as well as their relationships and responsibilities. their answer to mankind. The discussion is deep and clear enough to become a kind of parable of the human relationship with the Creator, others, and other creatures around them.
It is not surprising that Zhao then gives a meditative and melancholic approach to the lines of conflict and characters presented in Eternals . Dialogues around aspects of spirituality replace almost all of the humorous dialogue that usually characterizes dialogue between characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film series. Zhao even dared to present a number of crucial scenes in this film through a poetic visual dressing like Terrence Malick's films and let the audience then be immersed in the beauty and majesty of these scenes. Not that Eternalsthen only contains dialogue interactions between characters and without adrenaline pumping action scenes. Zhao composes these action scenes in the storytelling of Eternals and, although it doesn't have a bombastic feel, manages to execute them effectively.
Not completely successful. Zhao 's vision of storytelling is often hampered by Zhao 's script for Eternals with Patrick Burleigh , Ryan Firpo , and Kaz Firpo . With the duration of the story reaching 157 minutes, the focus of this film is more often distracted by the efforts of the film script to introduce and give each character their own story. Storytelling with the background of the story moving back and forth is also not fully capable of building memorable story moments. Not to mention that there are many dialogue structures about "identity" and "humanity" which seem too preachy and then end up boring. A series of problems in storytellingThe Eternals are also still being added to the complicated arrangement of story buildings from the mythology brought by the main characters in this film as well as their development efforts in forming a storyline with the Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline on a larger scale.
The number of characters presented in the narrative of Eternals may not be a big problem if these characters are a line of characters that have an interesting story to follow. This is not owned by the characters in this film. Unfortunately, the storyline of EternalsInstead, it gives a bigger storytelling space to boring characters with boring melodrama stories like Sersi and Ikaris than characters who actually have more interesting story colors like Kingo, Makkari, or Thena characters. Chan and Madden's physical appearance is interesting to look at, but their acting performances are too bland to be felt in order to make the audience really feel concerned or attached to the problems presented by the characters they play. The strong moments in this film actually come when Kingo's character, played by Nanjiani and Karun's character ( Harish Patel ), who is described as an assistant to Kingo's character, comes and brings a number of comedic moments for this film.
The execution that Zhao gave for Eternals did provide a refreshing touch and color for a film presentation from the Marvel Cinematic Universe series. However, Zhao's ambitious storytelling – both from the idea, development, and execution of the story – could not be followed by an interesting story and character explanation. Huge potential which, unfortunately, cannot be processed more optimally.