Released a year after her Oscar-winning drama Nomadland (2020), Eternals is director Chloe Zhao's first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on Jack Kirby's comics of the same name, the expansive and sprawling, yet messy drama follows a group of powerful and immortal alien beings on Earth who reunite against an ancient foe they thought they had vanquished. Old alliances are tested, lies unravelled and beliefs shattered.
The Eternals, having waited aeons for their master Arishem (David Kaye) to recall them back to their home planet as once promised, find out that their existence hinges upon two lies. One, that their real purpose isn't just to protect worlds from the evil Deviants, but to prepare these worlds for the ‘Emergence’ — when the planting of a seed in a planet's core births a Celestial, an enormous Godlike being.
Second, that they aren't actually aliens but robots whose memories are wiped after each successful mission, which involves the emergence of a Celestial and the annihilation of the planet.
Out of loyalty to Arishem, Ikaris (Richard Madden) wants to see the Emergence through. He is joined by fellow Eternal Sprite (Lia McHugh), who sides with him out of love.
Opposing him are Sersei (Gemma Chan), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) , Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Druig (Barry Keoghan) and Thena (Angelina Jolie).
Though he agrees with Ikaris in theory, Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) refuses to pick a side as he does not want to fight his teammates.
Yes, by combining their powers through a device called the Uni Mind, Sersi is able to turn the emerging Celestial, Tiamut, into stone before he fully erupts from the Earth's core.
Like his namesake, Ikaris meets his death by the sun, flying headlong into it in a show of remorse.
Sprite, whose form resembles an eternally teenage girl, asks Sersi to turn her into a real girl so that she can experience ageing. Sersi complies.
Thena, Makkari and Druig decide to leave Earth to find other Eternals on other planets and tell them the truth about who they are.
Sersi, Kingo and Phastos are summoned before an unhappy Arishem, who says he will scan their memories and have the final say on whether humanity should survive.