Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Directed by Chloe Zhao
Written by Chloe Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, and Kaz Firpo
Since Avengers: Endgame (2019) closed out Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) the world has waited for what is next for the MCU. With the MCU Phase 4 we get introduced to the Eternals. This is a group of super powered beings created by the Celestial Arishem. These Eternals are Ajak (Selma Hayek), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Kingo (Kumail Nanjaini), Sprite, Phastos, Makkari, Druig, Gilgamesh (Don Lee), and Thena (Angelina Jolie) are sent to earth to exterminate the invasive Deviants which destroy and devour anything they come across. This film has a lot to accomplish. First it has to continue the winning streak that Marvel has worked across 20 plus films to craft. Second it must introduce us to new worlds, new bad guys, and new story lines. I feel they may have missed the mark on both counts, and that could be simply poor story choices or trying to wrap up a bigger story within a single film. I think Marvel needs to consider establishing a big bad guy and let them antagonize the heroes across several films. Well let’s dive right into this film.
Here comes the spoilers.
A decent explanation starts off this film of what Celestials, Eternals, and deviants are and a nice montage is given showcasing their powers and their battles throughout history. We come to learn during the film that Deviants and Eternals were created by the Celestials, and the Deviants just got out of hand. The Eternals on earth are led by Ajak and she ends up developing a love for humankind. When they destroy the last deviant they all part ways for hundreds of years. In present day they reunite when a deviant named Kro emerges with an ability to drain the powers from an Eternal. Ajak is found killed, and the rest of the Eternals reunite to uncover the truth and find and destroy this Deviant named Kro. Sersi is chosen at Ajak’s death to lead the Eternals. She gets to communicate with the Celestial Arishem who informs her of the plan to destroy earth to give birth to a new Celestial. Sersi doesn’t want this to happen so she convinces the rest to come with her to stop the emergence of the new Celestial.
Ikaris ends up revealing his loyalty to Arishem and that it was he who killed Ajak and has been helping Kro eliminate the others so nothing can stop the emergence. Sprite leaves with Ikaris and the rest go to stop the emergence by attempting to unite all their energies to amplify one of their powers to put the celestial to sleep. Ikaris and Sprite try to stop them and eventually the Eternals stop the emergence with Sersi turning the celestial into stone. Ikaris, filled with grief and shame, flies into the sun. Sersi and a couple others are transported to Arishem to answer for their actions and are told they will be judged. Thena, Makkari, and Druig are in their ship trying to find the others when they come across another Eternal named Eros. Now what we have is a messy story with lots of loose ends which is okay for setting up future films, but we still lack a new bad guy to fear. Lots of questions and what is going on, but this is where I think Marvel is losing their luster. It is time to change the formula, and go old school when other bad guys lived through an entire series. Take the original trilogy, Star Wars. Darth Vader was the big bad guy for the entire series. That is what Marvel needs to try in phase four. There are some interesting films in phase four, but I fear Marvel is losing their magic touch.
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