The Marvel Cinematic Universe is already massive, and it only got bigger when Eternals came out last November. The story of the immortal race of superpowered extraterrestrials and how they both shaped history and saved the world from the monsters known as Deviants spans thousands of years and tackles many different themes and subjects. Because of this, and in addition to the film’s problems regarding its pacing and exposition, critics and audiences weren’t exactly warm to the film on release.
Watching Eternals for the first time, especially for those unfamiliar with the source material, can be hard to digest. But repeat viewings can show that this MCU film is worth checking out, as it gives viewers more of an opportunity to appreciate the film’s deeper themes and messages.
Since viewers are already familiar with who the characters are after the first watch, a second watch can allow them to appreciate how diverse and complex the team is when their dynamics are shown in both the past and present. Much like the MCU’s other ensemble films like Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy, the members of the Eternals are all flawed, and it’s those flaws that make them interesting. Eternals enhances this dynamic by centering the story not around a singular villain but rather on the team members themselves and their struggles regarding their attachments to the planet Earth, their dedication to their original mission and how they interact with each other.
The struggles they endure reinforce the idea that Eternals isn’t a standard superhero movie where the main theme is about humanity’s struggle between good and evil. Instead, Eternals is about humanity itself and how both humans’ positive and negative qualities make them who they are. This theme is reinforced when Druig explains that he stopped himself from using his powers to control the minds of every human being on Earth because eliminating their flaws would be against their nature.
Of course, this is an MCU film, and that means there are bigger ramifications beyond the one film. With both Blade and the Black Knight teased in the film’s post-credits scene, as well as the appearance of Thanos’ brother Eros, Eternals could potentially be one of the most important films in the MCU’s current evolution. Like other less-loved MCU films, Eternals is a movie that will likely get better as fans revisit it.
To see if your opinion changes after a second viewing, Eternals is now streaming on Disney+.
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