When Doctor Strange came along, the MCU moved from the world of people with powers into the supernatural realm of magic. Likewise, Chloé Zhao’s Eternals now pushes us further into concepts of religion, mythology, and “where the hell did we all come from?”
We were first introduced to the cosmic beings, the Celestials, in Guardians of the Galaxy. For the sake of simplicity, Celestials are god-like beings that exist in the universe holding the suns and planets together. The Celestial Arishem oversees Earth and sent ten Eternals, immortal beings, to protect the Earth from the deviants — vicious creatures that are not native to this part of the galaxy and steal the soul/energy of humans — 7,000 years ago.
The leader of the Eternals is Ajak (Salma Hayek). She has healing powers and is Arishem’s direct conduit to the Eternals executing all his commands. Thena (Angelina Jolie) and Gilgamesh (Don Lee) are the warriors. Both have extraordinary fighting abilities. Thena can summon a sword and shield on command, and Gilgamesh has brute strength. Thena also has intergalactic PTSD. Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) has Quicksilver-like speed, and Ikaris (Richard Madden) is basically Superman… a joke told in the middle of the movie.
“…our heroes must defeat the deviants once and for all…with a very twisty, spin-you-on-your-head complication.”
The eternally adolescent Sprite (Lia McHugh) can manipulate perceptions through illusions. Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) is the engineer and builder of new technology. Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) captures energy and turns it into a powerful weapon, while Druig (Barry Keoghan) can control minds. But, most importantly, there’s Sersi (Gemma Chan), who can change the state of organic matter. With a single touch, she can turn water into wine, or metal., or wood, and so on.
While an ensemble team, Eternals is Sersi’s story, and the main narrative opens with her posing as a historian and archaeologist in London. She’s dating Dane Whitman (Kit Harington). After an awkward date where Sersi rebuffs Dane’s request to move in with him, Sersi, Dane, and Sprite are attacked by deviants. But these deviants have evolved, and now Sersi needs to get the gang back together.
We now begin to flashback and forth to the Eternals’ first appearance on Earth, thousands of years ago, and the present day. In comic book fashion, the rest of the crew have integrated themselves into human society as well. Now our heroes must defeat the deviants once and for all. Naturally, issues arise with a very twisty, spin-you-on-your-head complication. But honestly, this heady story exists solely to fulfill the superhero content we demand from Marvel Studios.
"…Marvel's attempt to force 'wokeness; down our throats(?) I just don't see it. "