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I got the first inkling that something might be amiss when we got to the MASSIVE Leicester Square Odeon and had to walk through a maze of corridors to get to screen number five. I didn't realise there WERE other screens, and this one turned out to be basically someone's living room with a big telly and a few (LUXURIOUS) chairs. Surely a Marvel movie would usually still be on a big screen a couple of weeks after it came out?
We settled in and the film began... and then kept on beginning for about 90 minutes. Flipping heck, I understand that "Getting The Band Back Together" is a THING, but it doesn't usually take up the vast majority of the film and it's also meant to make you somehow give a toss about the actual band. The whole thing was weirdly BORING, with lots and lots of very bland characters standing around impassively explaining things to each other, and then occassionally all getting in a line for no apparent reason to stand still and Be Looked At. To be fair, The Eternals being a bunch of pretty dull characters who say Important Sounding Things over and over to each other is VERY faithful to the source material, but it didn't half get dull quickly. It was highly noticeable that little lights kept flashing on around the tiny cinema as everyone kept checking their phones to see how much longer it had to go!
To be clear, I'm not complaining about the film Trying Something Different (which is A Good Thing) or attempting to deal with Characters rather than Constant Action, it's just that they made such a dreary mess of it all. There was SO MANY scenes of characters sitting around Telling Each Other Things, and so very little of any of them Actually Being Interesting. This made the traditional Marvel Scenes, like when they're sitting around drinking beer and bickering, feel totally out of place. Apart from Kingo and his "valet" I didn't really care enough about any of them enough (or at all) to enjoy it.
Also, the flipping plot made approximately ZERO sense. What on earth were The Deviants all about? And why did they team up with (A CHARACTER) later on? Were we meant to care about them, or were they just baddies? Why were THE MASSIVE SPACE GODS so very boring? And how many times did Previously Unmentioned Cosmic Powers really need to appear out of nowhere? And most importantly, why were school children having a lesson in the Natural History Museum?
In discussion afterwards Steve made an EXCELLENT comparison to "Guardians Of The Galaxy". That was ALSO a deep dive into Marvel characters that nobody outside of comics really knew beforehand. It ALSO spent time bringing a large group of characters together, and it ALSO was a pretty big swerve from what Marvel films had been before. The big difference with THAT film however is that the characters were Actually Interesting and Different From Each Other, so the bits with them just hanging around together were ENJOYABLE and you CARED about what happened to them. I AUDIBLY GROANED when the bit at the end came up with "Eternals Will Return..."
Happily, with this and "The Inhumans" I think that's IT for adaptations of Ponderous Super-Powered Families Drawn By Jack Kirby (for Marvel anyway, we've still got the threat of New Gods). Hopefully with that out of the way they can finally give us the "Devil Dinosaur" movie we all deserve!
posted 23/11/2021 by MJ Hibbett
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