They reanimated Red Carpet Angelina Jolie and trotted her around the globe like a prized thoroughbred (they even tried to give her a real horse-hair mane!) for the premiere of Eternals and for what? The early reviews are in and it’s unanimous — It’s no Dune!
According to Uproxx, Eternals is the lowest-rated Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes, currently at 63% Fresh, “which is three percent lower than the previous bottom-feeder, Thor: The Dark World.” Entertainment Weekly reports that critics are split with some praising director Chloé Zhao’s ambition while lamenting the bloated Marvel of it all.
The results of Marvel’s latest battle are in — but critics’ opinions are mixed on who won.
That battle is between Eternals director Chloé Zhao — who took home the Best Director Oscar in April for her soulful Western Nomadland — and the Marvel Studios formula, which critics are largely bemoaning in their appraisals of Zhao’s first blockbuster effort.
There’s no audience score yet for Eternals, which opens in theaters November 5th but here’s what some of the critics had to say.
Leah Greenblatt (Entertainment Weekly) The looping flashback structure and relaxed, intimate pacing has the odd effect of making the fate of the free world feel a lot less urgent than it probably should; the movie frequently comes off less like a standard MCU tentpole than a metaphysical family drama whose black sheep just happens to be Thanos. That probably won’t thrill a lot of fans who come for the wham-bam deluge of intergalactic battlefields and Infinity Stones, even though there’s more than enough byzantine mythology and noisy CG battles in its 2-hour-and-37-minute runtime.
So long, boring, and loud? No thanks!
Shirley Li (The Atlantic) No buildings fall, no hordes of alien armies invade, and no civilians are shown screaming in terror. The most tragic blow doesn’t come from a fist, but from a single look exchanged between two characters. That’s an ambitious approach — to sink a Marvel-size budget into a personal character study and still keep it feeling like a sweeping blockbuster. Only Zhao could have made it so.
So like August Osage Planet but without Meryl Streep? Pass!
David Ehrlich (IndieWire) Marvel has made a Dune-sized, Dune-length, and almost Dune-portentous superhero movie about literally confronting God. On paper, that should be enough to make Eternals a radical departure from the rest of the MCU… In practice, it still amounts to several hours of watching good actors save the world from bad CGI, as philosophical differences erupt into a weightless battle royale while civilization itself hangs in the balance.
Timothée, Timothée, Timothée! You’re telling me Kumail Nanjiani tortured himself for a year so that some wisp of lad could come in and eat his lunch? He was dreaming about that sandwich for weeks. Unfair!