Just out of “Infinity Bore” — sorry, Marvel’s “Eternals.”
Seriously, what a snooze. Fresh off of winning the Best Director Oscar for “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao has upchucked one of the MCU’s worst movies in ages.
And to what end? “Eternals,” which will no doubt become a Jon Favreau punchline in a future “Avengers” film, need not exist in a universe that already counts the Fantastic Four and X-Men among its franchises.
Yet, here you go, ticket buyers — another far worse, uniformed collective of super-beings with conspicuously similar powers and a vague, grandiose mission to save humanity. Well, where were our amazing protectors when several hundred innocent people walked into a lousy, two-hour, 37-minute movie Monday night?
Running time: 157 minutes. Rated PG-13 (fantasy violence and action, some language and brief sexuality.) In theaters Nov. 5.
The Eternals are powerful aliens that have spent 7,000 years on earth keeping the masses safe from the Deviants, which from what I gathered are wolves made out of twigs. However, like “Star Trek”‘s Prime Directive, they refuse to impact the course of history (they often screw up that last part.)
The most important difference between the Eternals and X-Men, however, is that Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Halle Berry’s Storm are layered, fascinating character studies. Angelina Jolie’s Thena has the personality of a bar of a soap and an accent that suggests her semester abroad in London was the best four months of her life.
All the characters are similarly bland. Richard Madden’s Ikaris is hot, can fly and has laser eyes. Gemma Chan’s Sersi is able to change inanimate objects into other inanimate objects, but God forbid she alter her facial expression.
Druig (Barry Keoghan) can control people’s minds, Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) stars in Bollywood movies and has fire hands, Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) runs super fast, Gilgamesh (Ma Dong-seok) is really strong and Sprite (Lia McHugh) has the ability to trick people with optical illusions.
There’s also Phastos, a magical inventor of new technologies played by Brian Tyree Henry, who boasts one of the time-jumping movie’s most confounding moments. The screen reads “Hiroshima 1945” while Henry stands amid the wreckage and yells, “What have I done?!”
And the group’s leader Ajak is played by Salma Hayek, who is not even allowed to be fun and Salma Hayeky!
I lost count of how many times these 10 boring people casually found themselves in perfect triangular formation.
The movie’s conflict is that the Deviants, which were believed to be destroyed, are back again, and our heroes must stop the atrociously animated monsters. Speaking of which, Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” which hit theaters last Friday, showed theatergoers the wonderment well-done CGI can achieve and how Marvel so regularly makes us beg for the bare minimum.
“Eternals” whisks us to a lot of places like that — Iraq, South Dakota, Mexico, Mesopotamia, Babylon. They all look exactly the same and make the movie feel like, well, 7,000 years.
The dramatic open ending teases a sequel. The giggles in the auditorium throughout, however, suggest a reboot.