‘Eternals’ Now Has the Worst Rotten Tomatoes Score of any MCU Movie: Uh-oh

I’ve never been one to fully rely on critics to help me decide whether to watch a film or not but I do pay attention to the score. For example, Joker, among critics has a 68% Rotten Tomatoes score and yet I’ve watched the film FIVE times. Suffice it to say, I really like the movie and was surprised to see it lower than at least 85%. There are other films whose scores may be low but I enjoy regardless; Transformers: Age of Extinction (17%), Rush Hour 2 (57%), Jungle Cruise (62%) or even Interstellar whose 72% score seems preposterous to me.

So a dismal Rotten Tomatoes score won’t exactly deter me from watching a film I’m interested in but I do see it. The fact that this movie is now the lowest-rated MCU film, even under Thor: The Dark World seems baffling to me. If this movie is so bad why did the critics just outright tell us so. Why are they beating around the bush?

I get the overall negative view of the film. It’s all over the place, the plot is messy, and it’s a bit too much like a DC movie. But aren’t the characters and the eventual showdowns enough to balance the “dense” narrative?

I don’t know what’s with this new movie but I hope I personally enjoy it more than Captain Marvel.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.

7 thoughts on “‘Eternals’ Now Has the Worst Rotten Tomatoes Score of any MCU Movie: Uh-oh”

  1. Don’t know what to think about that, as usually I think the critics are soft on Marvel movies. Although I felt that about Disney Star Wars too, until the Rise of Skywalker reviews came in. It’s tempting to buy into the “Disney pays off the critics” theory. Maybe once in a while they have to throw a negative review out there to keep their credibility.

    The Joker reviews feed into my pet theory that critics have a certain snobbery around superhero, cartoon or video game movies, anything based on what was traditionally known as “children’s” media. I think they like when those movies stay in their “box,” and try to be relatively simpleminded entertainment with no aspirations to be highbrow in any way. But when they try to be deeper, more intellectual or more like an art film, they reject them. Some critics anyway. This can even be seen going back to 1978 with the original Superman movie, where critics said the first half of the movie was weaker, because it took Superman too seriously, put in Christ allegories, etc. And it certainly seems to be reflected in the reviews for lots of modern DC films, Watchmen, Man of Steel, BVS, etc. Even the child abuse plotline in the 2003 Hulk was criticized. Only the Nolan Batman films and Spider-Man 2 managed to thread the needle perfectly with the critics as deeper, more personal stories merged with superhero action and special effects.

    It’s hard to say what’s happening here. Has the movie simply gone outside the box of where it’s considered acceptable for MCU movies to go? Or has it fumbled the ball on basic issues of storytelling?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It could be a case of doing too much of the same thing that the other MCU movies did, and critics feeling it’s time they did something more original. But it’s less problematic to get bad reviews on a movie that may not have performed that well anyway than it would be on something expected to be huge, like the next Spider-Man.

        They also have the added problem that neither it nor Shang-Chi will apparently get a China release, and those grudges could continue to be held for potential sequels (unless perhaps Eternals changes directors). There’s even the risk Simu Liu’s comments keep China from screening any crossover movies Shang-Chi appears in. Of course, China box office isn’t everything, it may not pay back as big a cut to the studios, and it seems less reliable and more based on good timing. But it is odd and unfortunate that the MCU’s first two true post-Endgame movies hit a wall in China.

        These are the only MCU movies besides Incredible Hulk that did not get China releases. Endgame and, surprisingly the two Ant-Man movies, are the ones that collected the highest share of their worldwide gross from China. That is probably more an illustration of how relatively weak the Ant-Man movies were domestically than how well they did in China.

        Ultimately, this year saw 2 of the lowest grossing movies in the MCU, above only Hulk and Captain America worldwide, and then also above Thor and Ant-Man domestically. It’s looking like Eternals is going to join them at the low end of the list. The pandemic is a partial excuse, but it’s getting harder to use it as some others movies are now doing good business.

        The MCU will get a big rebound with Spider-Man, and probably Dr. Strange, as both apparently go for the “kitchen sink” approach and try to load the movies up with fan wish lists. I’m not sure what the focus of Thor: Love and Thunder is, but it could be a safer bet for fans as well. If Jane Foster completely replaces Thor, then that will put it on the somewhat shakier ground Black Panther 2 faces as they have to replace T’Challa. That finished out 2022. In 2023, the Marvels is another one of those “shakier” entries as Captain Marvel loses her Infinity War tie-in and gets her entire supporting cast replaced. Then, Guardians 3 comes up as their most surefire winner since No Way Home, followed by the third Ant-Man, whose small stature is unfortunately always reflected in his box office totals.

        I’m not sure if that’s when Fantastic Four and X-Men are going to come in. But if those cards are played right, it could give a giant shot in the arm to an MCU which may be looking less spectacular at the box office for the next couple of years.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The critics actually seemed to say that Eternals is the most ambitious and different film of the MCU films. Their gripe about returning to the same old formula is hypocritical when the movies they nominate for Best Picture are often generic caricatures of other greater movies that have come before.

        Of course MCU movie is going to have humor and epic showdowns. It’s a superhero movie! What Kevin Feige needs to do is to not listen too hard to the critics and instead should rely on what the fans think because that’s what we love the MCU for: the characters and those epic superhero battles.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I should add that Black Widow didn’t get a China release either. And Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t scheduled yet. Live-action Hollywood movies that did get China releases this year include Godzilla vs. Kong, F9, Free Guy, A Quiet Place Part II, Cruella, Dune and No Time to Die. And a rerelease of Avatar in China outgrossed most of them.

        Liked by 1 person

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