Eternals ★★

As someone who A) has admired Zhao's past work, B) generally finds Cosmic Marvel to be the most rewarding realm of material for the MCU, C) is a diehard Jack "King" Kirby fan and D) knows who or what the fuck the Eternals even are, I was the closest thing to a target audience for this besides Disney's usual phalanxes of suicide-bomber superfans who are having what can only be described as an extremely normal reaction to the slipping mass interest in the MCU as it runs out of characters with mainstream cachet. And in truth there are aspects to this I found intriguing and admirable in their attempts to slip beyond the constraints of the MCU formula. But in the end, the demands of this overarching series reassert themselves, and the need to introduce such a large cast of breathtakingly obscure characters results in a movie in which the usual apocalyptic stakes are present but 65% of the film is people standing or sitting around in a circle reminding themselves of who everyone is and how they relate to each other. Another wearisome entry in Marvel's rudderless Phase Four.

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