Eternals has been one of the most, if not the most, divisive movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s history. There are a wide variety of reasons for this as there a many different sides in the argument for how Eternals turned out. I’ve spoken about my thoughts of the movie in my review of the Eternals. But now that I’ve had the weekend to process the movie and actually watch it again, I will say that watching Eternals with friends made the movie a much better experience.
I stand by my review of the Eternals, as the second viewing did not change my thoughts on how the movie turned out. But the entire experience did change with watching it with friends. Given all that we have been through the last two years I’ve forgotten how much fun going to movies with a group of friends. I was reminded of how this was one of the things I enjoyed doing.
Watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe develop over the course of 26 movies and several Disney+ shows has been made by the discussions that come after watching them. Hearing friends and family members talking about their thoughts and theories of what is going on in the MCU is always a joy. Especially as the one that has experienced the Marvel Universe through the comic books and animated shows for such a long time, I am able to get their perspective on things. It is just fun talking about what will happen next and which characters could possibly appear in the MCU.
And that is where Eternals does really hold a lot of magic to it. There are so many big ideas through the concept of what the Eternals represent in the MCU that it does feel like new possibilities have been created by it coming out. I understand how fans of Eternals would not like the way they were presented based on the comic book versions. I also do believe director Chloé Zhao and the crew did tap into magic of the franchise to a general audience who doesn’t read the comics or knew the Eternals existed before this movie.
As I mentioned in my review, Eternals will be the Avengers: Age of Ultron for this new era of the MCU. It is one of the pillars that will be what holds the foundation of the post-Avengers: Endgame MCU up as it does introduce a lot of concepts that all future movies will follow up on. Even if the concepts did turn out to make Eternals a movie that its aspirations were too great for what the end product was. That won’t be the legacy of Eternals. Its legacy will be one where we can go back to see where a lot of things in the MCU that will be introduced and developed all started from.
And with how Avengers: Endgame was the payoff of 21 MCU films that preceded it there needed to be a new foundation created for what is to come. Black Widow and Shang-Chi were not those movies as they were more of the classic standalone adventures made to be vehicles for these solo characters. Eternals is the opposite, because while we do get introduced to ten new characters it more importantly introduced more of the cosmic elements from the Marvel Universe into the MCU. Now as we explore the MCU’s version of the Multiverse, cosmic, and magical corners of this universe Eternals set those things up to be better understood.
In saying all this it all comes back to having had so many conversations about Eternals that really made it a better movie viewing experience. Getting to re-experience this type of weekend where I do talk with friends about these and other that Marvel Studios has built over the course of 26 films is the true magic of the MCU. It is just fun talking in-person, on Zoom, Facetime, and other forms of communication about what happened and theories of what the possibilities are. It is one of the reasons why I am still excited after all the MCU movies and shows that we have gotten to continue watching future projects.
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