Eternals might have been review bombed at its theatrical release but the movie has been widely celebrated by the audiences ever since it came out on Disney+. This is evidenced by the fact that it was streamed by 2 million U.S. households in 5 days of being released on the OTT platform. These numbers are record-breaking as they are the highest for any Marvel movie EVER. However, there was something about this amazing movie that the critics could not stomach. We have made a list of the possible reasons why critics did not like Eternals.
No Solid Villain
In the marketing before the release of the movie the Deviants were made out to be the big villains of this cosmic story. But when audiences saw the movie it became clear that Eternals was more about internal problems between the superheroes. The Deviants were the big mislead, in fact, the war with the Deviants had already ended two centuries ago and the Eternals were all but disbanded by the time the movie started.
One of the ways that this movie diverts from the classic Marvel formula is by underplaying the action. Usually, Marvel movies have impeccable CGI that is wonderfully utilized in action sequences, but the director of Eternals wanted it to be a character-driven story. So the action sequences were secondary to the emotional beats of the story. this would usually work well but the movie had too many characters and we could not entirely invest in one. In such a situation having engaging battle scenes might have helped the movies’ reviews but underplaying the action ended up costing them good reviews.
Ikaris and Sersi’s lackluster Relationship
The entire driving force behind the internal dispute of Eternals was supposed to be a struggle for leadership of the group between Sersi and Ikaris. A big part of this was supposed to be the emotional turmoil one feels when former lovers turn into enemies. This is a good story in theory but on-screen Sersi and Ikaris had no chemistry and it was hard to believe that they were ever married. Although Gemma Chan and Richard Madden are both amazing actors, their scenes together leave something to be desired. I mean, we were hardly invested in this relationship so Sersi challenging Ikaris to lead the group does not feel like an emotional fallout like it was supposed to.
Too Many Storylines
The movie simply had too much going on. It had too many characters to juggle and all of them had more than one storyline to share with the audience, not to mention the fact that all of these storylines had to fit in one single 2hr 37-minute movie. To make matters worse, the juggling of these storylines discounted all the emotional moments of the film because the audience did not get a chance to get well acquainted with these characters. Chloe Zhao did the best she could but it was simply, not good enough.
Not only did the movie introduce several new characters to the MCU but it was also introduced many new ideas to the point that it ended up pushing the audience into information overload. Furtherance of lore is not a complaint that you will hear from MCU fans often. But introducing cosmic energy, Eternals, Deviants, World Forge, and the Celestials in the first 30 minutes of a new movie was a bit too much for even the most inquisitive nerds.
The Second Half is A Drag
Audiences and critics seldom hate the third act of marvel movies but Eternals was different. the movie had no climatic CGI battle so when the run time kept on running, the fans wanted to run out of the theatre. But a true Marvel fan always sits until the credits finish, and the after-credits scene might be the only reason why anyone watched this movie in its entirety.
Its A Setup
A lot of people will agree with us when we say that Eternals was more focused on what happens after the movie than what happens in it. The entire movie feels like a big setup for further Marvel projects, which is ok, but it really drives down the interest in the present story. There is no gravitas in the final battle. It feels more like a skirmish than a world-ending problem and that is the kind of thing that turns viewers away.
The Exposition Never Stops
Although we will agree that Eternals had a lot of things that it had to explain at some point, the movie has to stop telling us what it was doing and start showing us. That is the transition that this movie desperately needed and the transition that never came until the end of the film. The more we watched it in hopes of it getting better the worse the expositional dumps got. This is why the critics did not like Eternals.