Hawkeye Review

The MCU is here with its next series instalment on Disney Plus and just in time for Christmas. See Clint Barton take centre stage in his very own story: Hawkeye. The six-part series begins on the 24th of November 2021 with a double bill, the series coming to an end on the 22nd December 2021. The show is set in New York City at Christmas time, this is only the second MCU project to take place at Christmas (the first being Iron Man 3 in 2013). The show is set two years after the events of Avengers: Endgame, so is the most recent events of the MCU. We know that Yelena (Florence Pugh) is set to make an  appearance, so Black Widow (2021) is essential viewing. I am so excited for this show! I will post weekly episode reviews here on this post, so check back each week for updates. There will be spoilers.  Check out my Eternals review:  Eternals Review (justanotherfilmblog.uk) Episode One: Never Meet Your Heroes  Episode Two: Hide and Seek Hawkeye kicks off with a double bill, which means we g

Eternals Review

A new team of super-beings have joined the MCU, The Eternals. Directed by Oscar winner Chole Zhao, Eternals adds a huge number of characters to the MCU, all of whom will have a lasting effect on future phases. Eternals is a bold epic, that sometimes struggles with pacing and erratic cuts. The narrative spans centuries, the time jumps back and forth are easy to follow and add a dimension to the typical movie formula which is fun and exciting. The cuts between moments are the problem, cutting from one conversation to another in a hasty fashion. But otherwise, this is a super enjoyable film - please don't listen to the critics and give Eternals a chance. I went into the cinema so nervous; I just didn't want to sit through a bad movie, I shouldn't have been nervous. If anything, this just cements the fact that cinema is subjective and what some like, others simply won't. I am very excited about this film! That being said, read on for my full review. There will be very minor spoilers. 

Narrative wise, Eternals opens with the team as they arrive on Earth. The team consists of: leader and healer Ajak (Salma Hayek), Ikaris (Richard Madden) who can fly and project cosmic energy from his eyes. Sersi (Gemma Chan) who has the ability to manipulate matter. Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) who can project cosmic energy from his hands. Mind manipulator Druig (Barry Keoghan). Goddess of war and elite fighter Thena (Angelina Jolie), Speedster Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Super strong Gilgamesh (Don Lee). Sprite (Lia McHugh) who can project illusions and super intelligent inventor Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry). They have been sent to Earth to defend it from monster like beings: Deviants, by the Celestial Arishem (voiced by David Kaye). Centuries later the team having defeated the Deviants live separate lives. Sersi lives in London, dating Date Whitman (Kit Harington) aka the future Black Knight. It is in London after the events of Avengers: Endgame that Sersi discovers the Deviants are back. She along with old flame Ikaris must reunite the Eternals in order to project Earth. Little do they know that Arishem has a greater plan for them. The true villains of the movie are hinted at throughout, but only as the film enters its third act do we and the team discover the full truth. Let me just say, the bad guy twist made me very happy as I'd had a bad feeling about that character from the moment I first saw them! 

The narrative is not of liner structure, with it jumping back and forth. I found this engaging, refreshing and surprisingly easy to follow. Eternals is certainly structured different to other MCU films, but for these characters and the stories they have to tell, the structure works seamlessly. My only issue is that the film makes some unnecessary cuts, as if scenes have been squashed together, there is a lack of flow at points. One criticism people often have with superhero movies is that they lack breathing time. If anything, Eternals has too much breathing time, at moments of action or reveal the film takes time out, tension drops and the pace slows which can be frustrating. Perhaps this works in an emotion focused Oscar film, but it doesn't quite work here. I think it could, given a little more work and perhaps in a story with fewer characters and less narrative scope. But Eternals, is simply to big for the pacing Zhao was trying to create. But Zhao has opened up the MCU formula and I am grateful for that. But whilst watching these issues are just annoying, they do not distract from the compelling characters, the epic visuals, the bold narrative and the sheer size of additions made to the MCU. 

On the other hand, visually Eternals is specular, with epic shots and vivid colours. This is a pure show of artistic talent. Eternals is possibly the most visually impressive MCU film to date. Helping it gain its impressive visuals is the sheer size of the narrative being told. The film is literally set both in space and on Earth and spans centuries. It marks the introduction of Celestials in the MCU, beings that are so large and powerful that it's no surprise that Eternals is an epic, visual feast for the eyes. The costumes are works of art, each character's personality reflected in the designs. The visuals of their powers, the use of the circles and lines in gold are glorious. The score by Ramin Djawadi, perfectly fit the movie, going from grand epic rifts to slow emotive tones. But within the epic scale of the narrative and characters, we get emotion. Each character is easy to connect too, this is partly due to the development of personalities, back stories and acting but also due to diversity. These characters are a reflection of society, the one around us that is full of different people. I loved the diverse range of female characters, diverse in personalities and ages. Eternals is refreshing in its representation too, not a gimmick. Despite having just met these characters, I felt sad when they did, I felt as shocked as them and I felt triumphant at their wins. Comic relief comes from Kingo and his valet Karun (Harish Patel) as they try to make a documentary of the Eternals coming back together. But this is scaled back compared to recent MCU projects.

There are a lot of new characters in this film, in fact there are no other MCU characters featured at all. Which at this stage is almost unheard of. In this way Eternals, is reminiscent of the early origin stories. Despite the sheer number of new characters, none get lost. Each is well-developed with unique personalities and motivations. There are however a few standout performances. Barry Keoghan delivers a powerful performance as Druig, in one scene his disagreement with Ikaris that results in him leaving the team made me wish Druig was the leader of the Eternals. Lauren Ridloff's Makkari is cute, funny and passionate, she is the character I would least want to cross. The relationship between Makkari and Druig, is captivating and natural. Sersi is given life by Gemma Chan, who gives a wonderfully natural performance that with all its subtlety is beautiful. Her passion for human life is so strong that even the love she has for Ikaris will sway her - unlike the way he is swayed by his love for Sersi. Angelina Jolie gives a impressive performance, dealing perfectly with the troubles facing Thena. Jolie is a fantastic edition to the MCU, and I cannot wait to see more of her and these characters. 

Overall, I highly recommend Eternals. A visually beautiful epic, with developed characters, full of emotion and unbelievable scale. This film is certainly a lot to process, repeat viewings will be essential. I will say whilst watching I kept thinking 'so when does this get bad' and I am pleased to say the answer for me was 'never'. Eternals shows us that superhero movies do not have to stick to the same narrative formula to be enjoyable, I loved the change even if it needed some tweaking. There were a few interesting references as well. A reference is made to Thor. There is also the mention of Vampires and in the second post-credits scene a voice is heard - the voice most likely belongs to Blade. In the first post-credits scene Harry Styles makes his first appearance as Eros Starfox aka the brother of Thanos in the comics. Things are about to get to another level of interesting! Eternals is an epic film and you'd be silly to miss it at the cinema!

Thank you for reading xxx

Let me know your thoughts in the comments x 

Comments

  1. Nice write-up. I also don't understand why so many people are down on this movie. I thought it was excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading! I'm glad you liked it too! x

      Delete

Post a Comment