Eternals always seemed like a bit of a risk, as even with an A-list cast, they weren’t exactly the most exciting or interesting characters to adapt into a film for the MCU. Now, it seems like that bet isn’t quite paying off, and Eternals is reviewing worse than almost every other MCU film to date.
Granted, it’s a high bar. Most Marvel films review relatively well compared to the general slate of the industry, and higher than DC, usually. But Eternals is on the very, very low end of the spectrum as of right now with early reviews in. With 41 reviews, it’s sitting at a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. Fine for a normal film, very low for an MCU film. That makes it the third lowest MCU film of all time out of 26 total, and generally speaking, the more reviews come in, the further these kinds of scores tend to drop.
Here’s the list as it stands right now, which does indeed consider The Incredible Hulk an MCU film despite the casting switch later. In reverse order, the bottom 10:
- Thor: The Dark World – 66%
- The Incredible Hulk – 67%
- Eternals – 71%
- Iron Man 2 – 72%
- Avengers: Age of Ultron – 76%
- Thor – 77%
- Iron Man 3 – 79%
- Black Widow – 79%
- Captain Marvel – 79%
- Captain America: The First Avenger – 80%
Update: Since this was published, a few more reviews have come in and it has risen to 75%, making it the fourth worst now.
Eternals focusing on relatively unknown heroes isn’t really an excuse for the low score. Both Shang-Chi and Guardians of the Galaxy are inside the top 10, and at the time, both were very unknown by general audiences.
Eternals is a strange case given the talent involved, and Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao at the helm. But something just seems…off with it, according to most critics. A common complaint is that it seems like it’s doing a bad impression of an early DCEU film, and that it has too many “no-name” heroes stacked in one offering. I am reminded a bit of the last time Marvel tried to do something in the MCU with a large cosmic family, The Inhumans, the short-lived TV series that is without question, the worst thing the MCU has ever produced. Eternals certainly seems like it’s miles above that, but the data doesn’t lie, it’s a very low ranked film at the moment compared to the rest of Marvel’s slate. It has the potential to go up or down the list as more reviews come in, and we’ll have a few hundred in by the end, and yet generally speaking, early score averages tend to go down, not up, the vast majority of the time.
I’ll certainly see it, as I see every MCU film, but if something looked off about this offering to you, you’re not alone. Things will probably get back to normal with the next two MCU films, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, proven successes, and this may just be a blip in the grand timeline.
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