Film Review – “The Eternals” (SPOILER FREE)

  • Starring:  Gemma Chan, Richard Madden and Selma Hayek
  • Directed by:  Chloe Zhao
  • Rated:  PG 13
  • Running time:  2 hrs 37 mins
  • Walt Disney Pictures


In the beginning…..


This is how “Eternals,” the latest adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, opens.  Actually it opens in 5,000 B.C. when a group of highly talented costumed individuals show up to protect the local Mesopotamians against a horde of creatures known as Deviants.  That is their mission, and it continues still today.


Very busy, but quite entertaining, “Eternals” lets you know it is a part of the MCU  when, after a global earthquake rocks Earth, reporters speculate if it may have been caused by “the blip.”

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you are about three phases and twenty-three films behind. 


The “Eternals” – the group of people, not the film, spend their days protecting the Earth and, as time goes on, attempt to put mankind on the right path.  Some are more zealous than others, trying to gift mankind with a steam engine but being convinced to settle for a common plow.  They all have their own personal lives, with their own personal issues.  But, as we have come to expect from these films, soon they will be called upon to…..sorry, no spoilers!

 Let me say right here that whoever decided to hire the director of “Nomadland” to helm this film was a genius!  This film is over 2 ½ hours long and,  while it is a little “busy,” it is never boring.  The running time is necessary to introduce each character and their little peccadillos.  My personal favorite was Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) who, because an Eternal never ages, has been able to work as a Bollywood star for decades.

 The rest of the cast is equally impressive, giving life to what could easily be one-dimensional characters.  The script has plenty of great one-liners and the special effects are, as one would expect, breathtaking.  Is there anything that CAN’T be done on screen these days?

 To sum it up, “The Eternals” – the third film in the Fourth Phase of the MCU –is another fine addition to the series that may itself be eternal.



Film Review: “Black Widow” SPOILER FREE!

  • Starring:  Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz
  • Directed by:  Cate Shortland
  • Rated:  PG 13
  • Running time:  2 hrs 13 mins
  • Disney

The expression is “timing is everything.”  I say this because, while I found “Black Widow” enjoyable, it doesn’t feel as timely to me as other films in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe for those of you who don’t understand fan-speak).

Ohio.  1995.  It’s another sunny day in the local park and Melina (Weisz) is enjoying the time watching her young daughters play.  When they get home mom prepares dinner and they all wait for dad (David Harbour) to get home.  However, the mood changes when dad announces “it’s time.”  On the move again!

Full of non-stop action and some self-depreciating humor, “Black Widow” is an origin story that attempts to inform viewers where Natasha (Johansson) came from and why she defected to the Avengers. 

The majority of the film takes place in 2016, after Theodore Ross (William Hurt) helped the United Nations enforce the Sokovia Accords, which basically made the Avengers outlaws, unable to do their stuff unless requested.  It also requires all “enhanced” people in the United States to not only identify themselves but disclose what their enhancement is.   Currently Ross is on the look for Black Widow and Captain America.  And the hunt is on.

I’m doing my best to make this a SPOILER FREE review, so I won’t be going into too many details.  Suffice it to say that the characters travel literally all over the world, a lot of stuff gets damaged and a lot of people got hurt.  The action scenes are well designed and the script fun.  But still…..

While it’s not the best film in the MCU, it certainly isn’t the worse.  And that’s a good thing.