Here’s Why Everyone Is Wrong About Marvel’s “Eternals”

·9 min read

On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed the latest installment of the MCU, Eternals. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to BuzzFeed’s Ehis Osifo about Eternals. Here's some of what we learned:

BuzzFeed Daily: So Marvel's Eternals is finally here, and it's the 26th official film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That number scares me, so let's dive in. How did you like the movie?

Still from Eternals

Ehis Osifo: I personally love it. I would say it's my in my top three favorite Marvel movies.

I had the privilege of attending the world premiere, so I got to watch it with everyone for the first time, in the Dolby Theater, in Los Angeles, here in Hollywood. I would say I'm a pretty in-depth Marvel fan — I grew up reading the comics with my brother, and I've seen all the movies, but I don't know much about the Eternals. I mean, obviously, I knew it was going to be a great movie because Chloé Zhao is an icon, but it was also like, "Oh, I'm actually not going to really know what's going to happen." With all the other Marvel movies, I kind of knew what was going to happen, so I was just kind of watching it for the fun of it. But with this, I was like, "OK, I'm going in, I have no expectations, I don't know what's coming." And I was really pleasantly surprised and I was riveted.

Marvel

BuzzFeed Daily: So far, the critical response to Eternals has been mixed. If anything, the reviews have skewed somewhat negative — it currently has a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. Some critics have pointed to the clunky dialogue or the lack of character development as the weak links. In your opinion, where do you think this criticism is coming from?

Still from Eternals

EO: I'm just going to address the elephant in the room. I think it comes from the fact that this is Marvel's most diverse film to come out. Yes, we have Black Panther, but that was an all-Black cast and Shang-Chi, which was mostly Asian. This truly showed every walk of life. We have women of color, we have women [in general], people of color, different sexualities, different races, different languages — we had the first-ever deaf character in a Marvel film, and seeing Lauren Ridloff's character Makkari, and what that must have meant to the deaf community, was *chef's kiss*.

But again, the people who are critiquing these films — the fanbase at large — is a boys' club, made up of mostly white boys. And you know, that's fine. That's totally understandable. I get it — comic books and comics have been skewed to men and boys for as long as they've been coming out. But you know, that's why I take these reviews and these critiques with a grain of salt, because they're sitting here watching a two-and-a-half-hour movie about an Asian woman struggling with her love for a man versus her love of life, and her love for humanity.

Or watching Kumail Nanjiani kind of battle with like, "Oh, I like this life. But I also am supposed to be a superhero." Or you have Salma Hayek as Ajak, this Hispanic woman who's kind of playing this God figure. And to me, it was amazing. I love seeing all the diversity and all this different representation. I didn't even get into Phastos, our first Black queer character, and seeing his lovely family in the film — his husband and his child.

But this is why it doesn't surprise me that the critics and the reviews are so "low," because it's not a movie following this white man around with a God complex.

Marvel

BuzzFeed Daily: Now, whenever Marvel releases a movie that doesn't star one of its main heroes, and especially when those heroes aren't just a bunch of white guys like you mentioned, there always seems to be this conversation of "Will this movie work? Will it make money? Will audiences care if Captain America isn't there?" I feel like this kind of binary take is very reductive, but I'm curious how you feel about it.

Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man

EO: Again, I think the beauty of Marvel is that it is the Marvel Cinematic Universe — it's more than just the five whites who are superheroes. I love Mark Ruffalo as much as the next gal, but I don't need to see the Hulk in every movie. However, I think that Eternals fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a way that was so different, and I was very curious how they were going to fit it into the universe, especially in a post-Thanos Snap World and the way that they did it, I was like, "Yes, I appreciate this. This feels very realistic. This feels very true to the story, but it also feels very true to like real life."

So, yeah, I don't need Thor or Bucky Barnes in every Marvel movie, because then it's not a cinematic universe. It's just us following these white boys around. But "universe" implies that there are other people who are in the same space as you and live at the same time as you do, but don't necessarily always interact with you. Like that's just the definition of the universe.

Marvel

BuzzFeed Daily: There's a real conversation to have about whether Marvel is running out of superheroes to make movies about. We're now firmly in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which so far has included Black Widow Shang-Chi, Eternals, and we'll wrap up this year with Spider-Man: No Way Home. How are you feeling so far about this new era of Marvel movies?

Still from Shang-Chi

EO: Again, I've been watching Marvel for as long as I can remember, even before there was a Marvel Cinematic Universe. #TBT-slash-shoutout to Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man, forever in my heart. But — and I might get some heat for this — so far Phases 3 and 4 have been my favorites. They're a departure from the status quo. We're getting more than just Thor and the Hulk and Captain America and all that.

Look, again they're great. But I think you can only do so much with characters that we've grown up with. Even if you're not a huge fan of Marvel, you know who Iron Man is. You can only do so much with the character. I want to learn more about Black Widow. I want to learn more about Shang-Chi. I want to learn more about Black Panther — rest in peace to our forever T'Challa — and that whole story around Wakanda. I want to hear more about the Eternals, and all the villains Tom Holland is going to face in the future Spider-Man movies.

Again, it's kind of coming back to the point that this is what makes a universe. It's multiple people and multiple stories kind of weaving together existing, coexisting, ebbing and flowing. I don't need 15 Captain Americas. As great as Chris Evans' ass is, I don't need to keep watching him fumble the bag and try to save the world and do all this destruction and then be like, "No, Bucky Barnes is my best friend, even though he's killing all these people. Guess I'll save him and cause a rift." OK, I don't care. I don't care. And this new wave is truly where the innovation is, this is where you push the boundaries of storytelling. And this, to me is like, "OK, we know you can do a fun superhero movie. Now let's see what you can do after that." And that's why I personally really loved Eternals. Because again, it was super diverse. I love seeing all these stories. I love seeing all these people from different walks of life come together.

But I think the thing that I liked most about it was that everyone was flawed. Obviously superheroes are flawed, but I feel — not to keep picking on Chris Evans, because Chris, if you're listening to this, I still love you. But with Captain America, yeah, he has his flaws, but he's always kind of seen as larger-than-life, where it's okay because at the end of the day, he always does the right thing. And then with Eternals, I was truly torn because I actually don't know who the villain was. There's just so much in the film that I can talk about how amazing it was, and I'm upset that people are not on my side.

Marvel

We also discussed the tragedy at this weekend’s Astroworld festival.

After the crowd rushed the stage Friday night during Travis Scott’s performance, 8 people died. Their names were Brianna Rodriguez, John Hilgert, Rudy Peña, Danish Baig, Axel Acosta, Franco Patino, Jake Jurinek, and Madison Dubiski.Dozens more were injured, and one person who attended the show said: “The crowd was moving so hard, people were falling over and then tripping over the people on the ground. I’ve been to so many festivals. I have never seen anything like this before.”Travis released a statement, saying he’s “absolutely devastated” by what happened, but he’s received a lot of backlash for not stopping the show earlier. At least one lawsuit has already been filed against him and others involved in putting on the festival.

After the crowd rushed the stage Friday night during Travis Scott’s performance, 8 people died. Their names were Brianna Rodriguez, John Hilgert, Rudy Peña, Danish Baig, Axel Acosta, Franco Patino, Jake Jurinek, and Madison Dubiski.

Dozens more were injured, and one person who attended the show said: “The crowd was moving so hard, people were falling over and then tripping over the people on the ground. I’ve been to so many festivals. I have never seen anything like this before.”

Travis released a statement, saying he’s “absolutely devastated” by what happened, but he’s received a lot of backlash for not stopping the show earlier. At least one lawsuit has already been filed against him and others involved in putting on the festival.

Thomas Shea / AFP via Getty Images

Plus, we talked about the criticism Chris Pratt received after posting a photo of himself and his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger.

As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com.