Eternals Parent Guide
This is two-and-a-half hours of bloated and uninteresting worldbuilding with an absolutely ludicrous storyline.
Parent Movie Review
Earth has always been a rough place to live, as evidenced by the arrival of the murderous (and hungry) Deviants, who proceed to start devouring every human they can find. Thankfully for mortals, an incredibly powerful space entity saw fit to create the Eternals, a group of superpowered guardians whose sole task is to save humanity from the Deviants – and only the Deviants. They are strictly instructed not to interfere in human affairs, which is why they were conspicuously absent during the whole Thanos incident, along with all wars and conflicts. But, after nearly six centuries of relative quiet, the Deviants are back. Eternals Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Sprite (Lia McHugh) are the first to see one, and only survive the encounter with the help of Ikaris (Richard Madden). Realizing that this means trouble brewing for the planet, the three quickly set out to get the gang back together…as soon as they can find them. People can drift pretty far in 600 years.
I’ll try, unlike the film, to be concise: This movie sucks like Electrolux. It’s two-and-a-half hours of bloated and uninteresting worldbuilding about a gang of blandly familiar characters in yet another “save the planet” situation. I’ll forgo the obvious joke about the runtime and the title, but this movie is long and, in another example of temporal relativity, feels much, much longer while you’re stuck watching it. But there are other problems with the film, not least of which is that, at this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I can no longer muster the energy to care if Earth is about to be destroyed. From what I’ve seen, that’s just another Tuesday.
Our heroes are essentially supernatural Power Rangers (color-coded for your convenience) with unlikely accents who spend half the film just wandering around looking for each other, and the other half bickering about what to do. When they’re not squabbling, they’re expositing in the general direction of one another for the audience’s benefit. Since that is, apparently, insufficient backstory, the film opens with a drawn out title crawl that begins with, I kid you not, ”In the beginning…”. So, not only is the script boring and lazy, it’s now plagiarizing the Bible – you know, the most published book in the history of the world. (No way anyone’s going to notice that.) On top of which, the characters manage to take credit for everything from the Epic of Gilgamesh (one of the earliest surviving examples of ancient literature) to the invention of the plough.
At this point, I didn’t think Marvel movies could surprise me, but The Eternals did by being a much less child-friendly offering from a studio that has made literally billions of dollars from that audience. It has what I think might be the most graphic sex scene in Marvel (don’t worry, it’s still safely within a PG-13), along with a very bleak story. This movie is dark – and I don’t just mean tonally. Either there was a problem with the projector in my theater, or this movie is just spectacularly dim, to the point that it obscures elements of the visual design. Nothing helps an overlong and poorly written film like being unable to see anything.
And frankly, I wish I hadn’t been able to hear anything either – in no small part because the powers that be decided to use “Time” by Pink Floyd, one of my favorite bands, over the opening titles. At this point, it’s just adding insult to injury. The Eternals is one of those movies I would gladly pay double the ticket price to un-see and forget. It’s so bloated, so pointless, so staggeringly stupid that the only thing I got for my irreplaceable two-and-a-half hours is a splitting headache and a sense of increasing irritation. Next time I want that, I’ll just go sit in traffic.Directed by Chloe Zhao. Starring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie. Running time: 157 minutes. Theatrical release November 5, 2021. Updated February 24, 2022
Watch the trailer for Eternals
Rating & Content Info
Why is Eternals rated PG-13? Eternals is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for fantasy violence and action, some language and brief sexuality
Violence: People are frequently stabbed, impaled, and devoured. Someone commits suicide. Many people are shown being slaughtered during a historical genocide. The ruins of Hiroshima after the bomb are seen.
Sexual Content: A couple are seen having sex on a beach with non-explicit nudity.
Profanity: There are five scatological curses and occasional uses of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially.
Page last updated February 24, 2022
Eternals Parents' Guide
Why are the Eternals only allowed to help humans if Deviants are involved? Do you think this is a morally justifiable restriction?