So…critics have been saying how they want MCU movies to change the pace, do something a bit different, and guess what? Eternals actually did that!
This post will include MAJOR SPOILERS so I advise you to STOP READING NOW if you haven’t seen the movie.
To get to the meat of that surprising third act we need to talk about the first surprise twist that transpires at the end of Act I.
Ajak, the leader of the Eternals, is dead and Sersi has been chosen to replace her. While in Australia she manages to contact the Eternals’ creators, the Celestial Arishem, and in a sequence dense with fascinating and important exposition we learn the Eternals’ true purpose.
They were created to defeat the Deviants so that one day when Earth would have enough inhabitants a new Celestial could be birthed, thus destroying the world and bringing about the birth of a new universe.
Learning this, Sersi decided to try and stop The Emergence a.k.a the birth of a new Celestial. It was a risky and probably deadly plan but she refused to let the people of Earth face such a horrific fate.
This leads to the big reveal in the third act that I didn’t see coming. Apparently, Ajak wanted to do the same thing and stop The Emergence but Ikaris was loyal to Arishem. He killed Ajak, throwing her to the Deviants so that it could look like they killed her, and when his fellow Eternals learned the truth he became the primary antagonist of the film.
So the third act showdown that we have become used to with superhero films was flipped on its head as these heroes were forced to fight one of their own, an Eternal who was literally willing to kill them to see Arishem’s plan fulfilled.
It’s a surprising turn that I didn’t see coming and was a brilliant finale to a film that really placed emphasis on the Eternals’ relationship with one another, specifically Sersi and Ikaris.
I thought it was a nice twist of events and while some will find Ikaris’ conclusion a bit controversial I loved that this film continuously shocked me in ways I actually didn’t see coming.
Once again I’m asking myself, “Isn’t this what the critics wanted? Third acts that felt more personal than just good guys fighting the typical hero of the film?” That was one of the gripes for Shang-Chi.
People wanted the conflict to stay centered around Shang-Chi and his father Wenwu. Instead, we got a massive CGI dragon showdown that left some people kind of peeved. Well, we didn’t get that with Eternals. It wasn’t the Eternals vs. a Giant Celestial Hand coming out of the ground. It was the Eternals vs. Ikaris. Fantastic!
What did you think about the ending? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.