The Eternals: what if the last Marvel was more New Wave than blockbuster?

NEWSPAPER – The succession of the Avengers, carried by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao, had not convinced the American or English press. In France, the criticism is less damning.

New playground for Chloé Zhao. After being awarded this year’s Oscar for best director for drama Nomadland , she directs and scripts The Eternals. These new Avengers – among them Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington, Richard Madden – who lived peacefully camouflaged in the human crowd, now have seven days to save the Earth.

Enthusiastic but nuanced observation for our critic Olivier Delcroix. “Chloé Zao’s film takes up this mystical-religious, very syncretic framework (in the tradition of the film Doctor Strange), by adapting it to the climato-ecological concerns of the third millennium. The action sequences are powerful. The fighting rages on. The special effects, perfectly successful, lend credibility to the whole story ”. Despite an approved visual, some reservations remain. “The film The Eternals possesses an almost disturbing amplitude, as well as a visual energy which leaves the spectator speechless. As for the classic gimmicks from a Marvel superhero movie, they are treated in minor. The humor and the second degree offer some counterpoints, but there is no risk of humming the musical theme of the film when leaving the room ”.

For The world , the question was whether Chloe Zhao was going to succeed in immersing herself in the Marvel universe. a “Bet not obvious at the start” that the Chinese director was able to meet hands down according to the daily: “The answer is yes, if we judge by the part of humanity – and humor – dispensed to superheroes, the primacy granted to large desert spaces, the graphic poetry included in the image and the formal fluidity. which gives the story a certain simplicity. “

The film is endless

Criticism of Parisian wants to be less lenient. From the title, the tone is set: “Why The Eternals, the latest Marvel, is not up to its ambitions ”. The journalist finds the film “endless”. “The major problem of Eternals seems to come from the fact that if Kevin feige , big boss of Marvel Studios, debauched the director to plunge her into a cinematic space very far from hers, he did not give her carte blanche, he explains. Quickly, the feature film turns into a permanent fight with forceful special effects. Chloe Zhao may try to instill sensitivity and empathy in the story, she is trapped in the “mold” Marvel “.

Alas, on arrival, the sauce does not take, and the film is rather disappointing.

The Parisian

Antinomic opinion for The Dauphine , who sincerely applauds Chloé Zhao’s cinema. “Breaking Marvel’s codes so badly, The Eternals couldn’t be as well oiled as most of the studio’s other films. Thanks to the production of Chloé Zhao – who offers certain striking scenes while keeping her talent for framing and the use of natural settings – he shows a new course ”.

An ambitious and exciting new page

The feature film is particularly singled out for these new torch Avengers in the field of inclusivity, which does not fail to underline Telerama . “In this science fiction which aggregates everything, speaks of a union of minds and is resolutely inclusive (one of the Eternals has formed a homoparental family), the Earth becomes a less childish issue”. But Télérama, like the English-speaking press, deplores this excess of mythology supported in the film. “It’s too much, no doubt. But we can forgive this sin of gluttony, the heaviness and appreciate the flavor of a show where a Bollywood show and a vision of the desolation of Hiroshima collide.“.

The eclectic Chloe Zhao brings excitement back to the Marvel fantasy, which elsewhere often turns into clubbing.


At last, Large screen is confident about the future of this new Marvel formula “An ambitious and exciting new page, thanks to some risky bets – the cosmic dimension, many new characters – and emotional outbursts», Then insists on the ability of Chloé Zhao to deal with all these modern protagonists. “The plot is certainly centered on Sersi and Ikaris, but everyone finds a ray of light throughout the adventure, thanks to an assumed balance: the characters are written in small touches, most often in short dialogues, or silences heavy with meaning ”.

It is imperfect, but generous.


Same story for Premiere , satisfied with the cast. “By taking care of his characters, by making them exist outside of a pre-digested heroic scheme, by multiplying the flashbacks recounting several millennia of human history, by refusing the a little heavy meta valves without refusing the lightness, and finally by integrating a lot better its epic action scenes to its storytelling ”. Be careful, however, of the overflow, which makes it a little stuffy. The Eternals is not a film of absolute and visionary author, but a good choral film, wanting rather to give the priority to the collective ”.

The Eternals by Chloé Zhao. In theaters since November 3.


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