Eternals: A Detailed Review

Eternals: A New Perspective outside of the Avengers

A New Direction with the Upcoming Phase

9/10

Although I am late to the media coverage party for Eternals it’s still a great piece of hero film to talk about. Although with time and a good amount of articles being out we can clearly see that most of the critics and audiences lean towards this film not being favorable, that isn’t the case for this article. Now, this isn’t biased writing on the contrary I like to speak on other qualities than the industry’s way of working. As you the reader know, I don’t like to talk about whether the film is a film in the likes of comparing it to a pre-aged sense of the field, I write with pure intentions of mentioning whether a film is good in its storytelling and whether it’s a film to be enjoyed by all.

With that being said, Eternals matches everything one can look for in a film, it’s entertaining, has its classic Marvel comedy bits, action, and does an outstanding job at telling a story!

Overview

With most MCU films we can see a repetitive structure that they use in their films and although it’s repetitive it’s still loved by many, which is why many still come back for more; not to mention how it’s world-building and connecting its films piece by piece. Now, Eternals takes a different approach, taking into account that its main cast is filled with diverse characters some being in the LGBTQ+ community, different ethnicities, including a hearing-impaired heroine, and having its lead be an Asian woman, one would be perceptive to say that some of the criticisms in articles are made from biased perspectives. The story told goes above and beyond and its pacing is well made having the film’s run time of 2 hrs and 37 mins feel nothing short of an hour and 30 mins at most. The incredible cast brings their characters to life and honestly one leaves not only having a favorite of the 10 but also wanting to see more. It’s a highly enjoyable watch and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to look for a Friday night watch.

REview

A Quick Word for “Eternals”

When the first trailer came out back near mid-September, we obtained only a handful of trailers, teasers, or articles on the MCU project. Although it wasn’t marketed as much as other major films, the pieces and glimpses we got were enough to amaze me as well as others who watched the trailers. And after viewing it on the first release, it didn’t disappoint!

Having such a range of actors was definitely a beauty to see having Gemma Chan, who played Sersi, be the main protagonist and she killed her performance, although having seen her in Crazy Rich Asians I’d expect nothing more than incredible acting. Not to mention her amazing co-stars, having a deaf actress on-screen was phenomenal and Lauren Ridloff, who played Makkari, was a star in her own hitting great comedy and romantic notes all while doing ASL and simple mannerisms. We also have Lia McHugh, who although only has a handful of films in her portfolio, plays Sprite amazingly well and held her own bringing the audience’s emotions to turnover, which I’d say is always a win when playing characters who are supposed to make the audience have a certain grudge for their actions. We also bring our attention to Don Lee, who plays Gilgamesh, who is also making his debut in American made films (i.e Hollywood). Not to say he isn’t a star on his own, as he’s been in many great films, his most recognizable for American audiences would be his role in Train to Busan. Now I’m not forgetting the amazing talent that is Angelina Jolie, Kumeil Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, and Richard Madden.

They’re all doing wonderful and emotional performances and if I wasn’t against writing 10pg school papers, I would include my love for each character and how their talent brought them to life on the big screen in Eternals. But to save time and your attention I’ll move on to my last points.

I know for many people they were expecting a typical MCU film when sitting in their theater seats, but that wasn’t the case for how this film played out. Chloé Zhao, who directed this film, does an out-of-the-norm move for Marvel and makes this film have a little more depth, having every character have a deeper story than just their powers or coolness. Chloé does an amazing job at showcasing the characters of the film and overall story, going beyond the hero’s journey route. Having especially Gemma Chan’s character, Sersi, ask questions about our own values, self-worth, and capabilities while asking philosophical questions about “God” and free will. Now, I know this isn’t the take that everyone got when watching but it sure is something I picked up, as well as it amplified my experience.

There are controversies that floated around articles, even some having clear biased opinions on the film based on prejudices of their beliefs, but this isn’t the article for that.

Now to wrap it up, this film is a great piece to watch and keeps its viewers entertained even if it isn’t their first watch. Its action, story, and talent performance is all to die for and my respect for Chloé Zhao increased by going out of the box with how she chose to direct this film. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t negatives, at the very least the inclusion of the evolved Deviant not having much use to the overall story, that is unless they continue it in future works. Aside from that, I give this film a solid 9/10, but don’t just take my word for it watch it yourself as “Eternals” comes out on Dec 24th, 2021. Give it another watch and let me know what you think. Till next time, peace.

Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings: A Detailed Review

SHang-CHi and Legend of the Ten RIngs: It’s INCREDIBLE!!!

It’s not just a Marvel movie!

Shang – Chi has finally released, and people are running to go see it. Even if I am exaggerating just a bit, if you go check your local theater app you’ll see that the special screenings are pack for tonight and honestly it’s great knowing that this movie is getting the recognition it deserves!

With covid still around and new variants being found it was a dangerous game for Disney not to release it for a home audience, and having them call Shang – Chi an “experiment” is just objectively a disgraceful thing to do, no matter the intention, location, or talking to investors. But seeing the theaters fill up, with precautions of course, it fills my heart with joy for the film getting its deserved spotlight.

As a person that uses the theater experience to get away from certain worries the world brings, I’m glad to report that this film is exactly that, an out of world experience that should be enjoyed in Dolby and/or Imax. Once you begin to watch, you forget it’s even related to the MCU having certain instances that reflect back towards the other films and of course the obvious use of post credit and mid credit scenes of the film that’s used to expand the lore of the world(s). But this isn’t the article you want to read if your only interest is looking through fan theories, no, this will be a different type of review article. I enjoy going a little more beyond than the story and plot, and with this film having incredible Chinese influence and culture, and beautiful choreography I have my hands full, but I promise to make it worth your while.

Overview

Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings is a work of art having everything you want from a superhero film the fighting, the big bads being actually big bads, heroes reflecting, and so much more. I highly recommend this film for anyone contemplating to go see it, or even if you aren’t I still recommend it. Having an amazing cast, it brings everything together as the audience can normally tell if something is off between them, and Simu Liu and Awkwafina’s chemistry on screen is incredible something I never thought I needed in life. Just look at the picture above, it speaks for itself on the energy of the film and not to mention the great performances of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Meng’er Zhang. This is definitely a film you have to experience on the big screen at least once and have it on a special screening too. In addition, I have to mention the incredible martial arts portrait and the stunt/ fight choreography performed in the film coordinated by the recently late Brad Allan. But please, don’t just take my word for it check out the trailer below!

Awkwafina middle, Simu Liu right. Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings

Review

I have to mention there is minor and some major spoilers ahead for the film, so please keep in mind as you read.

I can’t state this enough, as everyone in the cast and crew did an incredible job at telling a story. For those that don’t know the story, it follows the life of Shang-Chi a young man whose father is “The Mandarin” although he goes by many names as he’s lived for thousands of years. His father created an empire and army throughout the years and surprisingly when he met his mother settled down a bit from his darker past. It was only until his mother’s death that his father went back to his old ways and even started brutally training him to the extent of being “unkillable”. That’s where we get Shang-Chi, the greatest martial artist the MCU or Marvel ever had. Although, he didn’t want to be a killer let alone for his father so he left and lived for 10 years without his past catching up. After which, he was brought in by his father, who always had tabs on him and now needed him to bring back his mother. At the end we realize it isn’t their mother and Shang-Chi tries to stop his father and the new evil at hand, of course leading to an epic fight and finale.

Now, Simu Liu playing Shang Chi, or as his new alias states Shaun, was a great casting choice and not surprisingly enough Marvel is a big name to be joining now in days. Although he’s not shy of joining amazing roles like Jung in Kim’s Convenience, or other such as being in the Taken series, a short called The Akira Project and a couple of other names. Not to forget mentioning Awkwafina, who we can all agree has been a growing love to see in films since having roles in Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s Eight, Raya and the Last Dragon, Jumanji: The Next Level, and many more. Both bring an amazing light to the film and their chemistry is outstanding, even to the extent of having a joke about the two characters marrying each other, and with all honesty I wouldn’t see it as a problem. We also have to talk about the other wonderful cast Tony Leung Chiu-Wai playing The Mandarin, Fala Chen playing Leiko Wu (Shang Chi’s mother), Michelle Yeoh playing Jiang Nan (Shang Chi’s aunt), Meng’er Zhang playing Xu Xialing (Shang Chi’s sister).

All great actresses and actor, having Tony’s portrayal of an immortal militant man and father was outstanding seeing what makes him feared by the world and his brutal ways of working to the softer more tame version brought out by his wife. Now Kevin Fiege has mentioned this film would restore the image of who The Mandarin is and that we’d be surprised by it, and with all honesty he’s right. I wasn’t expecting such a character arch for what was portrayed to be the baddest of the bad, don’t get me wrong Tony’s character was deadly but after his wife’s passing it was a matter of grief that drove him rather than a hunger for power. It honestly brought out an amount of sorrow towards the character in my opinion, as I’ve dealt with grief before not the same as his character had but grief nonetheless, and that’s what I loved about Tony’s portrayal! The subtle ways of speech, mannerisms and actions that showed what was really going on through the characters head all up until his last fight. Now Fala’s portrayal of the sweet graceful mother who could still be deadly in combat was great, and really added to why Shang-Chi was who he was, and as we heard in the trailer above he is both of these polar opposites’ son. Although we don’t see a great deal of the mother, her few instances were amazing and sweet, as how one would imagine a loving mother would be. This can also be said about a loving aunt just like Michelle Yeoh’s performance as the kid’s aunt, which showed beautiful choreography and fierce warrior scenes. Next we have Meng’er’s character of Xialing, Shang Chi’s sister, and we see they are more related than ever with her on screen performance being phenomenal in the fight sequences, and her boss energy. Unlike her brother, she was taught to fight but she watched from the shadows and taught herself, making herself into a killing machine if need be. Not to mention like her father, she created her own empire off of a fight club on the dark web, and showing something dope in the post credit scene.

Meng’re Zhang left, Simu Liu middle, Awkwafina right.

Now aside from great performances by these great actors and actresses, I also have to mention two more things without making this article any longer. The stunt and fight choreography in this film is incredible and beautiful taking roots from the old martial arts called wushu. It’s swift and light yet hard impact movements gave way to amazing scene fluidity and with it had me smiling for the entire night, just seeing such actions being portrayed Simu, Tony, Meng’re and everyone else was amazing!!! I have to give props to younger Shang Chi Dallas James Liu, who was a bad ass showing the skills of a young martial artist and even the performance of a young trained killer like Shang-Chi. Not to mention giving props to Brad Allan who work on the film as the fight coordinator before his passing due to an illness. He was an incredible stunt performer and coordinator that’s worked with greats like Edgar Wright and was a part of Jackie Chan’s team. That goes without saying he put his all in what he could before his passing and he will live on through his works. And we also have Andy Cheng to thank for the fight choreography, who was also a team member of Jackie’s stunt crew. It goes without saying but when you add incredible people to your crew you’re going to get incredible results. A lot of it reminded me of older kung fu movies with the swift movements in the air and tip toeing all around yet certain seem so realistic I don’t want to believe they used wires to create such movement.

The second thing I have to mention is the use of Chinese culture such as the imagery and the like, specifically mentioning this because of the hot water brought with viewers in the Eastern Hemisphere. I can’t and will not speak for their part but must mention that the older comics this movie originates from uses stereotypes of Chinese culture and Asian people as a whole. You can find a lot on this matter finding racist villain names and other like items being a big part of it. As I can’t speak for these viewers and their want to accurately depict their culture and life, I will say that the imagery used in this film was beautiful to me, leaving me with a mystical arts to it and with the choice of a small village by the water I found it calming.

All in all, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings was a spectacular time and experience that brought everything it offered in the trailer. As a person that loves hero stories and “perfect” fight choreography, this film brought out whatever serotonin I can scrap inside my head. I only hope as a filmmaker that I get a chance to also work and create similar works in the future. If you have been wanting to go see it and need a reason, I hope I can be that reason to convince you to go as soon as you can. And for those that are still iffy don’t take my word for it just go watch it and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.