Externals: the Ultimate Marvel Shit Show

This year hasn’t been the greatest for the MCU so far. With Shang-Chi lowering the bar significantly since the last few movies of 2019-2020, it’s been quite bleak. I thought that Eternals would be the next Avengers, but the bar was quite low after Black Widow and Shang-Chi. I was very disappointed.

Shang-Chi was pretty shitty. Shitty enough to warrant its own post. Eternals is bad enough to be second worst MCU movie. The worst is by far Shang-Shit. Eternals is filled with annoying and forgettable characters that no one cares about, ludicrous premises and character development, plot holes so wide that the movie starts entering the realm of bad movies being entertaining because they’re so bad and filled with memes. If you’re curious, I rank Captain Marvel as the 3rd worst movie of the first 3 phases of the MCU. That movie was bad. This is much worse.

The Eternals are alien synth bots made by Arishem, the Prime Celestial, to facilitate the emergence of a new Celestial being born in Earth named Tiamut. Much of the movie is lost in pointlessly slow character development.

Still, the general sleepiness dulls otherwise appealing scenes as the movie takes an enormous amount of time to say almost nothing. My enduring sense of it is tiny people set against huge landscapes, dwarfed by nature, history and the unrelenting, same-y cinematography. “Doctor Strange”-style spells and visuals feel pat at this point.

John Wenzel Denver Post

I struggle to find any good parts in the movie. The main character, Sirsi, is quite annoying. She’s an alien synth bot who wants to be human. That makes no sense at all. Another really terrible thing is how bad the acting is, especially between Sirsi and Ikaris. We are supposed to believe that these two had a love affair lasting 5000 years? It looks like they can’t stand to be in the same room. They’re so robotic and annoying. The acting was so bad that it actually comes full circle in making you believe that they are alien synth bots, but that’s only due to the fact that the acting is bad because it’s bad, not done badly on purpose. Ikaris was so annoying and forgettable that it took me a bit of time after having watched the movie to remember that there were actually two GoT actors in this. Robb Stark was not memorable.

The crux of the movie revolves around how Sirsi finds a way to kill the Celestial. Wtf. I think most viewers of this movie won’t know what a Celestial is. They’re the ultra space gods of the MCU. They make galaxies and planets over and over again. They seed them with life. Thanos is akin to an Eternal, well Thanos without the Infinity Gauntlet. With the infinity gauntlet, he can kill a Celestial.

It would be like an ant trying to kill a human, or a human slaying the one God. When a celestial speaks, no one is supposed to be able to hear them. When they speak, people die. Chloe Zhao’s Arishem speaks like a normal dude.

The Deviants have even less personality than the Eternals. With no distinguishing features, and no agenda beyond an urge to bite people’s heads off, they’re the most generic of slavering digital baddies, so whenever there’s an action sequence, it’s impossible to tell them apart, or to keep track of how many of them there are.

Nicholas Barber for the BBC

A lot of my issues initially with the movie revolve about the pointless and forgettable boogiemen, the Deviants. They are poorly explained, lack any sort of personality or focus, and are throwaway villains that solely exist to be enemies, albeit poorly designed enemies made of ropes. I mean, Thanos has Deviant heritage. Thanos…

Their powers as well are so bad. Only Ikaris has something good. Ajak and Sirsi lol. Good luck.

But ultimately it seems that hiring a writer-director who specialises in muted, documentary-like dramas for an action spectacular about gaudily-costumed interstellar demigods may not have been the wisest choice

Nicholas Barber

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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