Why Marvel’s Eternals Failed Where The Avengers Succeeded

(Artwork/Kayla Zhang24)

(Artwork/Kayla Zhang’24)

Ethan Wang, Online Staff Writer

Marvel’s The Eternals is about a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers based on the characters from the Marvel eponymous comic series. They have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years and must reunite to battle the evil Deviants, unattractive and capricious beings who despise their creators. 

As someone who is a huge fan of Marvel and comic book movies in general, it was a quite hard for me to approach this movie critically. With that being said: I think Marvel’s Eternals fails as a cohesive movie because of its lack of character development. 

Many critics on the internet have given their input as to how the film fails, but today I’m going to do something different: I will be comparing The Eternals to Marvel’s The Avengers (2012). These two films have a lot in common; they are both the first films about a team of superheroes coming together to fight against an evil alien threat for the fate of the earth. To be able to save the planet they have to learn to accept each other and set aside any conflicts they have amongst themselves. The difference being that Avengers competently handles and develops each of its central characters.

Eternals is chock-full of characters; I think that even is an understatement after watching the movie. Furthermore, for all of the main cast, it was their first time they being featured in a Marvel movie. This is unlike what Marvel did with The Avengers, where they previously released individual movies focusing on the primary characters, with the exception of Black Widow and Hawkeye. This works because audiences who have watched the previous movies have an idea of who the characters are and the film does not have to juggle with moving the plot forward while simultaneously introducing the characters. It also allows the actors to deliver a better performance, as almost all of them have gotten into the groove of how to play their characters in a natural and convincing way.

The main issue with the characters in Eternals is that the audience barely has any time to understand their personalities. The movie wants to include “a variety of characters from different races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds to support diversity” (CBR), but shoots itself in the foot by incorporating so many characters while also trying to move the plot forward. This necessary plot progression comes at the expense of making each of the characters unique and making the audience care for them. Original and distinct characters are the heart of Marvel movies, or any movie for that matter, yet this film does not take the time to develop any of its heroes and sacrifices emotionally connecting with the audience. At the end of the day, I could not bring myself to be invested in the film for this very reason. My final verdict is: if you want to watch a Marvel movie, watch Avengers, not Eternals

Number Score: 4/10  

Sources Cited: 

  • Scott, Lyvie, and Lyvie Lyvie Scott (12 Articles Published) Lyvie Scott is a culture-obsessed Feature Writer for CBR. She loves all things Star Wars and Marvel. “Despite Groundbreaking Diversity, Eternals Still Falls Prey to Harmful Tropes.” CBR, 13 Nov. 2021, https://www.cbr.com/despite-groundbreaking-diversity-eternals-still-falls-prey-to-harmful-tropes/.