Eternals has had its premiere and the first reactions are out. Perhaps to some surprise, they are perhaps more tepid than with previous early reactions to Marvel movies. Whereas normally people rave about the action and CGI, journalists are responding more to the narrative's various twists and turns. There have even been some comparisons to the epic size of Zack Snyder's Justice League. (And, before we go any further, there will be no spoilers here despite some overly-excited fans posting spoiler-y reactions straight out of the gate.)
"Eternals is probably the most shocking and surprising Marvel movie you'll see," writes Insider's Kirsten Acuna. "Many twists and turns. Kumail Nanjiani Is hilarious in every scene. As always, stay to the VERY end."
"Eternals is surprising, epic, beautiful yet dense," tweets Slash Film's Peter Sciretta. "It takes some big swings, sometimes feels like a DC film (not a criticism), other times feels like no other superhero movie ever. I wish I had a glowing quick reaction to offer you but I'm left with more complex thoughts.
"Eternals is Marvel's version of Zack Snyder's Justice League," adds Hollywood Critics Association's Scott Menzel. "A film that builds upon a cast of unknown characters and does so with great success. Chloé Zhao direction is superb. Easily one of the best looking Marvel films of all time. Insane post credits scenes too."
ComicBook's Brandon Davis writes: "Eternals is a whole lot of movie. It's shot with a massive scope, looking visually different (and more intimate) than anything else Marvel. It has laughs, great surprises, and heart to go with the gigantic, crowded story it unpacks. Chloé Zhao has a really unique visual stamp."
Jacqueline Coley of Rotten Tomatoes tweets: "After 25 films Chloe Zhao incredibly took the MCU in an entirely new direction with Eternals. The franchise is matured and this is only the beginning of what is possible. An absolutely breathtaking and epic film where Kumail Nanjiani provides the laughs but Gemma Chan is the heart."
Not all the reactions were as openly positive. Forbes' Scott Mendelson writes: "Eternals flirts with being 'just a superhero movie' but (barely) gets by on scale, a few affable actors and some eventual intrigue. At its best, it almost plays like Marvel playing in the DCEU sandbox but coasting on comparatively generic superhero archetypes."
IndieWire's David Ehrlich tweets: "In style and tone this is easily the least Marvel-like movie in the MCU (it doesn't look like plastic, also, sex happens) and the scale is cosmic in a way that makes the avengers arc feel like a blip. So why is it still just misfit spandex people fighting bad CG for three hours?"
How successful Eternals will be with critics remains to be seen – the review embargo lifts soon, with Total Film's verdict dropping then. Until that happens, be sure to catch up on everything the MCU has to offer with our guide on how to watch Marvel movies in order.