Marvel's Eternals is about to make its theatrical debut, and anticipation is high. The upcoming MCU epic has gotten largely positive reviews with press members praising the film for its ensemble cast, time-spanning story, and overall impact on the greater canon.
Eternals has been touted by Kevin Feige and director Chloe Zhao as the first true love story in the franchise. While the headlining relationship of Sersi and Ikaris is already turning heads, it's the emotional happenings of Byran Tyree Henry's Phastos that has captured the attention of a large swath of fans.
Henry's Marvel character will be the first openly gay hero to grace the screen in the MCU. In the film, Phastos is in a longtime relationship with another man on Earth and is forced to leave his partner to rejoin the Eternals to take on the dastardly Deviants.
While talk on Phastos' character has been plentiful alongside the other romantic firsts that will be seen in the project, some are not happy with the direction Marvel Studios seems to be taking.
Review-Bombers Take Aim at Eternals
Marvel's Eternals has been hit by review-bombers on IMDB due to its inclusion of a gay kiss and LGBTQIA+ representation in the film.
The act of "review-bombing" takes place when any group swarms to online reviewing forums and leaves unfounded, low reviews of a given movie as a form of protest towards something that the film in question says or does. In most cases, those participating haven't even watched the movie that they're "reviewing" so harshly.
In this case with Eternals, one user called the film "woke and mediocre," saying that the yet-to-be-released superhero flick is "cheap even for [Marvel]:"
"If woke and mediocre would be given a medal this would win. C mon marvel , this was cheap even for you, such a crappy movie like this could be done only with angelina jolie and her style of making amendments to movies....... Not watchable at all."
Another referred to the Chloe Zhao-directed venture as "sucky," citing the movie's existence as a way for the MCU to "tick all the Hollywood Woke boxes:"
"Sucky. Totally unrecognizable from the comics. All it does is tick all the Hollywood Woke boxes. Which seems to be the goal. Not storytelling. But that's hardly surprising these days. Don't waste your money. It's not worth it."
IMDB has since removed the negative reviews and will likely reopen the review section once Eternals in the first week of November once the movie is released to the general audience. Here is what the review breakdown looked like, featuring hundreds of 1-star reviews, before the culling:
Marvel Under Fire for Attempts at Inclusion
It is not a stretch to say these review-bombers need to find something a little more productive to devote their time to. While it is unlikely for internet commenters to make a ship as big as Disney or Marvel Studios reverse course, it is upsetting to see these kinds of cheap antics being lobbed towards a film many still haven't even seen for themselves.
Surely there is legitimate criticism to be levied against Eternals, but judging from everything that has been said and shown so far, the LGBTQIA+ representation in the film looks to be in the right hands with Marvel.
These reviews are simply coming from a rather ignorant, angry mob with nothing better to do than give one-star ratings to movies online that they didn't even take the time to watch. In contrast, most people that have seen Eternals (including The Direct's own Liam Crowley) have had mostly positive things to say about the new Marvel outing.
The reviews have not all been glowing, but none have mentioned a legitimate concern regarding gay representation in Eternals. That will only take away from this mob's attempt to defame Chloe Zhao's first Marvel movie.
Eternals hits theatres on November 5.