Marvel’s big Eternals sex scene isn’t a dud for nothing

Marvel’s Eternals from director Chloé Zhao was a film of many firsts for the studio, but it would be a bit inaccurate to say it was the MCU’s first sex scene, as many people do. seems to think so. daredevil and the rest of the Netflix/Marvel gang spent seasons trying to get it down their necks from the cinematic universe, and those shows laid a lot of groundwork for Eternals’ much tamer take on superpower sex. EternalsThe sex scene might not technically be Marvel’s first, or particularly “fun” to watch, but it’s one of the movie’s smarter ways to convey how the story will end.

This essay contains spoilers for Marvel’s Eternals.

Through Eternals, an emotionally inert foray into the cosmic origins of Marvel’s cinematic universe, multiple moments are intended to show you how the Eternals themselves grew to love and identify with humanity over the thousands of years they spent on Earth in varying degrees of secrecy . Because there are only so many Deviants – cosmically empowered monsters – around for the Eternals to hunt over the millennia, it won’t be long in the grand scheme of Earth’s history for the Eternals to have enough downtime to develop interests. in… other things like reading, farming, picking up new languages. You know, people work.

Ikaris and Sersi share a moment.
Marvel Studios

However, in addition to such activities, there are a number of Eternalsheroes are also attracted to and want to get to know each other in a biblical sense, an idea the film explores in particular with Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden). While Eternals Doesn’t explicitly say that romance and physical intimacy were things the Eternals learned about through people-watching, the much-discussed sex scene of Sersi and Ikaris, more than it looks like they were, given how awkward the moment is.

Shortly after the Eternals first come to believe that they will finally be given the freedom to pursue their own dreams, Ikaris, the flying stone of the laser vision team, muster the courage to tell Sersi, a gentle mediator with transmutation powers, that he is deeply in love with her, always has been and always will be. Though the Eternals are aliens with their own way of life, Seri and Ikaris consume their love in the most human way when the pair set off together in the beginning of the film and end up naked on a sand dune trapped in what can best be described. is as perfunctory. sexual congress.

Although the relationship between Ikaris and Sersi plays a major role in how EternalsAs the story unfolds, Madden and Chan’s lack of on-screen chemistry makes the characters’ interpersonal dynamics one of the least engaging aspects of the film, which is a miracle given the importance of the scene to Zhao and how a lot real on-screen chemistry is between other Eternals like Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) and Druig (Barry Keoghan), and Thena (Angelina Jolie) and Gilgamesh (Don Lee).

By the time Eternalsshifts its focus to the present, when the Eternals are pulled from hiding by the sudden return of the Deviants, the world is a drastically different place and most of the Eternals have become different people. While Sersi and the others all manage to find happiness in their new life and let go of their former selves, Ikaris remains steadfast in his devotion to their true mission, which only he and Prime Eternal Ajak (Salma Hayek) are initially known for.

Because Eternals is such a busy movie, some of its ideas like how to balance power and authority in the actual team get a bit confused but when a dying Ajak chooses Sersi to become the new Prime Eternal the story comes up against the full breadth of something interesting.

Makkari and Druig play it cool while other people are around.
miracle

While neither Sersi nor Ikaris can initially understand why Ajak would choose her as the next Eternal Eternal, her reasoning is quite easy to understand just by going to one of the Eternals‘ trailers. He is a super strong living weapon whose gaze literally burns holes through things, while she is a creator who expresses reverence and love for the material world while showing off her superhuman mastery of its constituent elements. It’s in moments when Sersi begins to sum up how and why she’s the new Prime Eternal who Eternals feels like it has the most confidence in its ability to bring something new to the pantheon of Marvel’s big-screen glasses: a feature about a woman getting a promotion.

Just like Zack Snyder’s Justice League for the, Eternals‘ family drama gets as brutal as everyone gets together to fight one of them. But unlike the amnesiac Superman, Ikaris emerges from his battle with the other Eternals, definitively marked as the movie’s villain willing to endanger the entire Earth to complete their mission. As the world teeters on the brink of destruction Eternals last act, it looks like Sersi and Ikaris are about to fight to the death in tears, and the movie cuts to a montage in an effort to make you feel what they feel.

In Eternals‘ defense, flashbacks to a sex scene during a major superhero fight may not play well with audiences, which is probably why it doesn’t reappear on screen as Ikaris and Sersi think about all the history they share. However, it feels telling that the two come across more like Very Good Friends than people who’ve seen each other naked while battling over the fate of Earth. By the time Eternals gets this part of its story, the film is already so caught up in barely explained cosmic knowledge and aggressive special effects that none of its emotional beats really work.

What does work, especially if you go back to watch? Eternals more accurately, the idea is that Sersi knew on some level that her romantic entanglement with Ikaris was not going to last. In a movie with so many moving parts, that kind of detail is something you really have to do look for, but with Eternals streaming now on Disney Plus for everyone, going back to pinpoint the moment when Sersi knew just got a lot easier.

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