Review, Podcast: ‘Eternals’ showcases everlasting characters, charms with unique cast despite poor reviews

Writers discuss new movie in Season 1, Episode 3 of “Over the Popcorn Bowl”


Amanda Hare

A digitally constructed image showcases characters from Marvel’s “Eternals.” The image comes with the attached review and podcast discussing the new Marvel movie. “The biggest part of the movie to me was the characters,” senior Amanda Hare said in the attached review. “I found that I loved all of the Eternals. They all were unique and engaging in their own way, and while they were all new to the screen, I was able to fall in love with all of them.” (Photo from Marvel Studios, icon by Freepik, digitally constructed image by Amanda Hare)

Click the play button above to listen to episode three of the “Over the Popcorn Bowl” podcast by seniors Gabriella Winans, Amanda Hare, Alyssa Clark and Christi Norris as they review the new Marvel movie “Eternals.” Continue reading below for a more in-depth review written by Hare and Winans.

Author’s Note: This review is completely spoiler-free.

Breathtaking. Intriguing. Captivating. 

Marvel’s latest movie, “Eternals,” debuted as a work of art – with both beautiful cinematography and compelling characters.

The movie released Friday, Nov. 5, and it was amazing. I had seen the incredibly low reviews and was pretty nervous. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it, and found it was completely worth the price to buy the tickets. I thought it was incredibly well-done, as well as being pretty different from the normal Marvel movie, which was a nice change.

The biggest part of the movie to me was the characters. I found that I loved all of the Eternals. They all were unique and engaging in their own way, and while they were all new to the screen, I was able to fall in love with all of them. I felt that they all had good character development and individual journeys through the movie, which made me only look forward to seeing them again.

Druig was one of my favorites by far. He was morally gray in a way that I understood, which made sense with his powers. However, he still held a love for the Eternals, and chose to fight with them and save humanity. 

I also adored Makarri. I thought her representation of the deaf community was very well done – the actress herself, Lauren Ridloff, is deaf, so I really appreciated the authenticity of the casting. She definitely had way too little screen-time. I feel her character was really cool, and she could’ve been used so much more.

Gilgamesh was so fun, too, and just had the best vibes. I found his love for Thena to be so powerful as well – we’ll dive more into their relationship later – and really showed his character. The way he decided to stay with Thena for hundreds of years to make sure she was taken care of was really admirable, especially when he could have gone off and just lived his own life, such as the other characters did. Gilgamesh was always ready to sacrifice himself for the Eternals, and I just wish we were able to learn more about him.

Phastos was so sweet. His emotional journey from using his powers, to technologically advancing the human race, to losing his faith in humanity and to finally regaining his faith with his family was so compelling and powerful.

Sprite was a powerful character as well. However, her decision in the end really shocked me. I won’t go into that, since this is a no-spoiler review, but it really did take me by surprise. She wasn’t my favorite, but I look forward to seeing what she’ll bring to the table next. 

I actually thought Sersi had some of the most depth in the movie. I feel like I understood her the most, and kind of like I knew her as a person from the start, even though I knew nothing about her character coming into the movie. Gemma Chan was a wonderful leading lady, and she had a lot of personality displayed throughout the flashbacks, especially through her growth in her relationship with Ikaris, and it made me put a lot of trust in her. I also really liked how she had a set goal, and no one was going to sway or stop her.

Ikaris was another equally compelling character. Though I wish we knew more about him and his feelings, I thought he was a great character overall, and Richard Madden played him extremely well.

Sersi and Ikaris’ relationship has turned into one of my all-time favorites of the Marvel universe. The amount of trust and intimacy they have with each other that they don’t for another Eternal just really stood out to me. 

Druig and Makkari’s relationship is another favorite of mine. Druig especially gave off the kind of feel that the only person he could ever open up to was her, and her back to him. They understood each other in a way that I could only see as romantic, especially as they communicated in sign language, when I really saw Druig being the only one to talk to Makkari in this way.

Gilgamesh and Thena’s relationship was extremely unique as well. I didn’t see it as romantic, and it really wasn’t set up that way, either, it was more of a brother-and-sister type of thing. Gilgamesh practically sacrificed his entire life to take care of her, and I could tell how much Thena appreciated this.

A problem I found, though, is that the movie couldn’t dive deeper into the character journeys. Chloe Zhao, the director, already did the seemingly impossible by introducing 10 new characters. However, there was only so much they could do. They made each character as complex as possible, but they simply did not have the time to go deeper. Specifically, Druig, Ikaris and Phastos were some I wanted to know more about, as I felt their characters had good character arcs that I wanted more depth in. I would love a separate series over each of them, such as Marvel has done with “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Loki.”

This cast was everything good in the world. The amount of diversity alone was eye-opening in itself, but the actors really played out their roles in the most believable way possible. I knew it was a big cast with big celebrities before even seeing the movie, but they really lived up to their names. I couldn’t see anyone else playing each of them, especially after seeing the movie. 

While the Eternals’ powers weren’t anything innovative or brand new, they were just shown in a really cool way. All of their powers were shown with this gorgeous gold design, including while they were putting on their suits, and it made it so satisfying to watch them gear up and then fight. Every time a character used their powers, the gold design was woven into it, and it turned their frankly basic powers into something entirely cooler.

A really fascinating part of the movie was the moral dilemmas it presented in the plot. As the Eternals took sides in the conflict, it was done so well that I was able to understand everyone and where they were coming from. The main plot point of stopping the creation of the celestial was also very interesting. On one hand, the celestial creation would kill everyone on Earth, but on the other hand, it would allow billions more lives in the future. 

I don’t know what I would pick in this situation, so it was really interesting to see which Eternal picked which side. I felt I was able to understand why they chose what they did based on their backstories, powers and personalities. This part was really well-done and thought out, and I appreciated how different it was from the normal superhero-battles-supervillain-who’s-committing-crimes conflict.

While this movie was unique for a lot of reasons, I especially noticed that the movie felt less like an action movie. It seemed to focus more on the characters’ relationships and emotional journeys than on fight scenes. I can really only remember two fight scenes from the movie, and, though they were long, most of what I remember is the character development and storytelling.

I also really just loved the structure. The movie went chronologically as a a normal movie would – however, it also weaved through their past in a really cool way. I thought this decision was perfect, because it allowed the viewers to kind of understand the Eternals more in-depth, as more of their past got revealed throughout the viewers.

The only downside was that the movie got kind of confusing at the end. I felt some parts of the plot could have been explained much better. It just got hard to understand, and it moved a little too fast at some parts – however, I don’t think the movie could survive being any longer.

With all of this being said, I genuinely cannot fathom why the reviews are so bad. Sure, I get thinking that it was too long or too confusing, not liking the plot or characters, or simply just not vibing with it. However, they were so overwhelmingly negative, and I just can’t understand why. Overall, it was pretty well-done, and any of the problems I’ve seen talked about shouldn’t earn as low of a rating as it has received.

Overall, the movie was amazing, mainly because of the characters and just how unique it was. Something about it just felt original, and so stand-alone compared to other Marvel projects. I would have to say its only downfall was that it had such a big task of introducing 10 new heroes and their pasts, all while following an entirely new plot in two hours and 37 minutes – which is definitely pushing it for a movie length, but I didn’t find it bad here. I think the movie did its best with what it could, and it came out incredibly well-done. I would 10/10 watch again.