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Rubado column: Is 'Eternals' too much for a movie?

The following is an opinion column written by a Forum New Service editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Forum News Service.

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Jared Rubado

The countdown to "Spider-Man: No Way Home" has begun for Marvel fans. To get there, we have to get through "Eternals."

Spider-Man is one of the pillar franchises in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney is ending another impressive year of content with one of its most anticipated movies ever. But before we get too excited, we need to discuss "Eternals."

Chloé Zhao is an academy award-winning director who ventured into the world's most popular sci-fi saga. She's fresh off of winning Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars earlier this year for her movie "Nomadland."

Zhao is an incredible filmmaker, and she created a stunning canvas in one of Marvel's premier visual accomplishments. She has a knack for making things feel raw and polished at the same time. I wasn't as high on "Nomadland" when it came out, but the more you dive into its purpose, and how it was made, you find out how truly unique it is.

I would imagine Zhao's creative freedoms were limited in "Eternals" compared to what she did in "Nomadland." The MCU needs to have continuity, which is maybe why this wasn't precisely the match made in heaven people thought it could be when Kevin Feige revealed her as the director.

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"Eternals" is a product that would've been so much better suited as a Disney+ series than a movie. The problem with this is most streaming platforms don't book a monster cast with a director like Zhao for a streaming TV show.

The Eternals are immortal beings that have stood the test of time to fight off villainous creatures such as the deviants. They have secretly lived on earth for its entire existence for over 5,000 years. When the deviants come back, they are tasked with eliminating them once again in hopes of saving the planet they've come to love.

This cast is bonkers. Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kit Harrington, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelena Jolie, Salma Hayek, and more star in "Eternals."

The best thing I can say about "Eternals" is how awesome it was to see the representation. Actors from all cultures naturally represented in a Marvel movie are massive positives. "Eternals" has the potential to be one of the flagship franchises in the MCU moving forward. Honest representation is so fantastic to see.

The representation was taken a step further with the first-ever deaf superhero. Lauren Ridloff was cast as Makkari, a deaf superhero with super speed. It's important to cast people who have these ailments to these roles. It doesn't make sense to cast an able-hearing actress for a deaf role. Sadly, that hasn't always been the case.

The downside to having a cast like this is its hindrance to character development. There were seven Eternal storylines and a conglomerate of villain arcs. It's just a whole lot of movie shoved into two and a half hours. Giving "Eternals" a short series would've made this one of the best marvel products ever made.

There are some other issues with the movie that I can't get into because of spoilers. Overall, it's my 14th-ranked MCU movie at 82/100. I think I enjoyed it a little more than the score I gave it. I thought Chan and Nanjiani were awesome. I just wanted more of some of the other characters.

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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