Review: Sometimes, It Takes Two

Spoilers ahead for Marvel’s ‘Eternals’


Courtesy of Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

In the weeks before “Eternals” came out, I was inundated with barrages of bad reviews popping up whenever I went to search up something on Google. I never clicked on these articles – I didn’t want any spoilers – but I got the message from the headlines. According to Rotten Tomatoes, “Eternals” is one of the worst Marvel movies (the bar for worst Marvel movie must be fairly low, though, since so many have been very well received). And so, I put off watching it for a while. I was even considering waiting until it came out on Disney Plus. Ultimately, though, I went with my family to watch it in the theater during winter break. 

In my opinion, “Eternals” wasn’t a bad movie; it just needed more backstory. The movie flips between past and present events – something many movies have done successfully in the past – but, in my opinion, that didn’t work for this movie. The time jumps take place over literal centuries, and it feels like there’s so much we missed in between. It’s difficult enough to make people care about ten different characters that have not been previously introduced in one movie, and it’s even harder when many of them have very little screen time. This is why “Eternals” should have been split into two different movies.

A better way to develop the characters would have been to make a first movie that did the job of introducing the characters, exploring their work to eradicate the Deviants from the Earth, and alluding to the possible conflict between each other and their leader. The second movie could have started with the time jump to the present day and would basically be the actual Eternals movie, but without the flashbacks. I think this would have helped develop these characters much better. 

When I watched “Eternals,” I didn’t really care about some of the main characters. The characters were all introduced once at the very beginning, and then most of them disappeared; showing up only in flashbacks and much, much later in the movie. Now, this would be fine if it was more clear that these characters weren’t meant to be the mainest of the main characters, but this was never clear at all. Look, in every movie there is one main character. In “Eternals,” that is very clearly Sersi. 

Then, there’s usually two or three others that make up their “entourage.” I thought that this would be Sprite, Ikaris, and maybe Kingo based on the beginning of the movie, but Ikaris betrayed them (fine, okay), Kingo just up and left before the final battle, and Sprite had some kind of feelings for Ikaris so she just went with him? Why? Was she not living with Sersi at the beginning of the movie? I thought they were friends. Ikaris betraying everyone made sense, but Sprite’s whole “Peter Pan” thing didn’t. I felt like it just came out of nowhere, and I’m not even sure why it happened. If there’d been a first movie, it might have explained what was up with Sprite. 

This brings me to the worst part of the movie: Sersi and Ikaris’s relationship. There’s just no buildup. They speak to each other once at the beginning of the film and the rest of the time (during the flashbacks, at least) he just stares at her. I feel like it was meant to be some big, earth-shattering moment that became an essential plot point in the movie, but it felt so out of place. If there had been another movie, they could have developed this relationship. Maybe I would have cared more if there was more buildup.

Regardless, this movie still had its moments. If nothing else, the actors did a great job. However, there was one thing that stood out: Druig and Makkari’s relationship. If they had been the ones with all the screen time and not Sersi and Ikaris, the movie would have been much better. You know what would have increased their screen time even further? Two movies. We could have seen so much more of these two. 

Part of the greatness of Marvel is the fact that the main characters get their own standalone movies before they become part of the larger whole, so the audience can get to know these characters before they’re facing earth-destroying villains. While there obviously wasn’t going to be ten separate movies for each of the Eternals, two separate movies would have allowed the audience to get to know these characters before the epic final battle. 

Is “Eternals” a bad movie? No, it just took on too much for one movie. This doesn’t mean all of its problems would have magically been solved had it been two, but this would have provided more depth to a story that really needed it.