Directed by : Chloé Zhao
Written by : Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, and Ryan Firpo, based on the Marvel comics by Jack Kirby
Starring : Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Barry Keoghan, Ma Dong-seok and Angelina Jolie, with Kit Harrington.
Fresh off her double Academy Award win, Chloé Zhao dives into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with beloved Jack Kirby creation, Eternals.
Eternals is one of those Marvel properties that has been considered ‘unfilmable’ due to the very complex and downright cosmically whacky nature of the material. But the day Chloé Zhao — director of the indie-darling The Rider — was announced as director, Marvel inadvertently made a powerful statement — that they are going with someone who can treat the material with not only respect, but the skill to juggle all the intricate elements that the Eternals bring to the silver screen.
However, as we’ve seen in The Rider and then later Nomadland — Chloé Zhao can deliver an emotional story with compelling characters, and once again she delivers with Eternals. Zhao evolves the usual Marvel-formula into something that is more grounded-yet-expansive at the same time.
Eternals is massive in scope yet strikingly personal with its characters. It expands the MCU to cosmic depths that we have not seen before. It introduces us to new concepts and elements that somewhat makes the Infinity Saga rather minuscule in comparison. But these grand themes and ideas are grounded by having well-realized characters.
Every single Eternal in the roster gets to have their own journeys, personal struggles, and we get to see the pure weight of being on this earth for thousands of years as they become more invested in humanity. At its core, Eternals is about a family trying to come together again after being separated for so long, it’s about the lengths a family will go to protect the one another.
Zhao has a great eye for action, bringing intensely-directed action sequences that shows the sheer power of the Eternals, and the best part about it is that you truly feel the stakes in each action scene because you don’t really know if these characters are here for the long run. It feels like you are seeing ancient gods battling it out with each other.
All performances are great across the board with Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani and Lia McHugh as notable performances bringing in surprisingly layered characters as the narrative progresses.
Eternals is ambitious, it is essentially an amalgamation of The Avengers and Lords of the Rings and it might intimidate fans of the usual Marvel Cinematic Universe formula. This is first and foremost a Chloé Zhao movie, and a Marvel movie second.
Eternals is now Available in Theaters.