An eternity of flatlining: ‘Eternals’ review

Sarah Wandor
Movie Critic Columnist

I had delayed watching “Eternals” (2021) for some time, as it never seemed captivating, let alone exciting. As I began to watch it, my fears about the film were confirmed. It felt like watching a dead corpse trying to walk.

The film may be beautiful with its colors, nature and designs, yet this doesn’t come close to making up for the sheer lack of energy throughout the entirety of the film. It had no momentum from the word “go” and didn’t have any intention of changing that for the rest of its runtime.

The fight sequences were boring and were more of a joke than anything else. They were not taken seriously by any of the characters and appeared to be more of sleep walking, especially in the beginning of the film.

The entire movie lacked any energy to carry it its two hours 37 minutes runtime. From the dialogue to the progression of the plot, it all flatlined.

There were no levels, highs or lows; it stayed on one plane and was just as exciting as a car driving through corn fields.

The lack of emotion did not help its case either. For how much they talked about caring for the planet and its people, they certainly didn’t show it. The group of eternals came off as a stoic, stuck-up group who could hardly care less about the people.

They didn’t show the love they supposedly had for people or for each other. It was like looking at a brick wall talking about how they need to bring everyone together. It wasn’t convincing, and it only added to the lack of momentum the film already had. Even when something traumatic happens to them, they give little to no indication that it affected them at all.

They acted more like robots than humans, which dragged the energy level even lower, to the point that the audience is already lost in their boredom. It never tried to build up to the ending sequence, which is very anti-climactic as it is, but continued to lull until the very end.

No emotional attachments were made, except maybe to Karun, Kingo’s valet, who is the only one to actually portray emotion and build some sort of connection.

The lack of character development also drags the film down. Each of the characters struggle with internal issues but none of them are resolved, nor do any of the characters grow through their struggle. They simply continue to putt along until the credits roll around to give us all relief.

They don’t change for better or worse; they remain the same stoic, emotionless, robots they were when the film first started. They had opportunities to confront their demons and grow in character and closer to each other, but they chose not to.

Yet another fault to this film is the general lack of strong connection throughout the movie between the characters and certain events that take place. Things just happen with little to no explanation, and others come out of nowhere with no evidence to support.

It caused the film to lack a cohesive build up, which it was already lacking to begin with. The members of the group also don’t seem very close with the amount of fights they get into with each other, of which none are resolved.

For a group who spent hundreds and thousands of years together, they lack the genuineness of love and care they should have for each other, which caused a lack of chemistry on screen.

“Eternals” failed in multiple categories, but the complete lack of energy and emotion dragged it down to the point of no return and made the film feel longer than it was. It had a long runtime but nothing to back it up or carry it.

The characters are hard to care about and get close to since they are as interesting and expressive as a wall, and the characteristics they do show are not of the best quality. If you haven’t seen this film, don’t waste your time. If you have, then I am sorry for the 2 hours and 37 minutes you will never get back.