The Red Room Review: The Eternals are old. Really old.

(L-R): Karun (Harish Patel), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Gilgamesh (Don Lee) in Marvel Studios ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel Studios

(L-R): Karun (Harish Patel), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Gilgamesh (Don Lee) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

We have one word for “Eternals”: huh?

Yes, we’re back, and we went to see “Eternals” over its opening weekend. We sat in a nearly full theater, which allowed Mira to sit right next to someone who laughed at everything, and we mean everything (because that’s not annoying). Needless to say, it felt exactly like the premier weekend for a Marvel movie. Except this movie was weird, super weird.

If you know nothing about “Eternals,” allow us to give you a brief summary: during the creation of the universe, the god Arishem of the Celestial race felt that the planets he was creating needed an apex predator. So, he decided to make one. Can we just ask, when has that ever been a good idea? Anyway, to no one’s surprise, the predators, a race called Deviants, grew out of control, and so he then created the Eternals, a race of superheroes meant to eradicate the deviants. On Earth, the Eternals arrived in 5000 BCE. Their mission: protect humans from the Deviants without interfering in their conflicts or affairs.

The movie first began with the Eternals’ arrival on Earth before explaining how they eventually divided, everyone going their separate ways following the death of the Deviants. While explaining this, however, the movie also switched back to the present day, where the Deviants had managed to return. Surprise!

The 10 different Eternals all have unique superpowers. (Mira Nalbandian)

The movie then switched storylines once again as Sersi and Sprite, the two who had previously discovered the Deviant, worked to find and reunite each member of the group. Personally, this took up way too much time within the movie. For a movie that stretched almost three hours, the actual action should not be limited to the last thirty minutes.

In Marvel’s attempt to switch between covering 7000 years worth of Eternals history along with events in the present day, the movie was a bit confusing to follow. Now, we’re two (somewhat) intelligent women, and we also know more about Marvel than the average person, but we still struggled to follow time jump after time jump, as well as ten different characters all fighting to distinguish themselves among the group.

These 10 superheroes were all unique in their individual powers and how they chose to cope with their lives of immortality. Yet despite the individuality that each character possessed, Marvel was in over their heads attempting to cover the storyline of 10 different characters. In their attempts to highlight each story, some characters certainly took precedence over others. What was the point in having such a wide range of characters if only half of them hold any significance? Marvel needed to get their act together.

This movie felt far less uniform than a typical Marvel movie. Though there is certainly nothing wrong with a little variety among each movie, this felt disconnected from other Marvel storylines as it fit more the vibe of a family rom-com than a typical Marvel movie.

We have some words of advice to those who wish to view “Eternals”: First, do not expect to understand the storyline. Do not even attempt it. You will get lost. Second, enjoy the movie. It actually is rather amusing if you ignore the confusing plot line. Do not go into the movie with high expectations, yet know that you will enjoy it nonetheless.

Besides the humor, another thing that we can appreciate about “Eternals” was the diverse characters included within it. Characters of multiple ethnicities made their way onto the Marvel screen, along with a deaf character, and approximately five minutes worth of a gay couple. Yay diversity!

We know people are going to complain that Marvel was grubbing for some diversity points, or trying to stay ‘politically correct.’ But representing a diverse cast of people shouldn’t be politically correct, it’s just life. We were glad to see diversity on the screen, although we know Marvel’s motives may be less about actually trying to represent different groups and more about trying to get some good PR.

Each character’s name draws from mythology. (Sarah Boland)

The characters are also unique in the meaning behind each of their names. They are all connected to different myths, demonstrating the Eternals’ impact on ancient civilizations, a conflict that can be seen throughout the movie even as they are charged with remaining neutral in human affairs. “Eternals” makes many mythological connections throughout that hint at each character’s destiny as they relate to many characters’ respective myths.

Overall, we were impressed by Marvel’s ability to establish such complex characters in such a short amount of time. Well, the movie was over two hours long, so a relatively short amount of time. Each Eternal had a unique personality, internal conflict, and a generally satisfying ending that still left us wanting to hear more about them (*ahem* Sersi’s mortal boyfriend, Dane). Though we don’t want to give too much away, we highly suggest staying to watch the end credit scene if you weren’t planning on doing so already.

In order to do this, however, it seems that Marvel’s method was to make the movie confusing and oddly paced. While it’s important to have both big action and strong emotional scenes, the two were often balanced in a strange manner. By the time we were at the climax, it felt like there hadn’t been enough build-up to it, leaving us disappointed.

Nevertheless, Marvel delivered on its staple comical writing, unique characters, and emotional complexity. We felt connected to the Eternals and their struggle, and also appreciated seeing present-day relevance within the story. So, if you don’t mind being fairly confused by a Marvel movie (let’s be honest, most people already are), we definitely recommend seeing “Eternals.”

Whether or not mythology is of interest to you, “Eternals” remains a great movie. Given the diversity of the characters and the humor present throughout the movie, the Parkway West Pathfinder gives this movie four out of six infinity stones. Point reductions were necessary due to our confusion on pacing and structure, though overall it was an enjoyable movie to watch. (Mira Nalbandian)