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It seems we owe Malekith and the rest of the Dark Elves an apology. Thor: The Dark World no longer holds the not-so-covetable record for worst-reviewed film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That particular honor has officially been taken by Chloé Zhao's Eternals, whose current score of 56 percent on Rotten Tomatoes is now a whopping 10 points lower than the one held by The Dark World. This makes it the very first rotten entry in the MCU.
The aggregator's critical consensus for Eternals reads: "An ambitious superhero epic that soars slightly more often than it strains, Eternals takes the MCU in intriguing — and occasionally confounding — new directions."
SYFY WIRE has also seen the movie and can get behind that takeaway. Personally speaking, we found the film to be a refreshing chapter for this onscreen mythos that's been going strong for over a decade now. But to quote Obadiah Stane's White Russian-drinking alter ego, that's just, like, our opinion, man.
Based on the reviews that have been coming online since Sunday, Zhao's film — while beautifully shot and clearly the result of a single filmmaker's creative vision — bites off a little more than it can chew. Understandable since the movie has to introduce an entire team of heroes at once while balancing a narrative that spans 7,000 years.
"For those of us growing 'mad weary' with superhero fatigue, there’s no escaping the usual drawbacks of a prolix run time, a dense overabundance of plot and the narrative limitations inherent in the formula," wrote David Rooney in his review for The Hollywood Reporter. "But from the early image of Sersi emerging from a London Underground station at Piccadilly Circus to the dreamy strains of Pink Floyd’s 'Time,' the soulfulness, the contemplative weight of Zhao’s vision at least puts this among the more interesting and original entries in the ever-expanding canon."
If you need a refresher: originally meant to be helmed by Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins who exited the project over creative differences, Thor: The Dark World was ultimately directed by TV vet, Alan Taylor (The Sopranos, Game of Thrones). The sequel finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battling against the Dark Elves for control of the Aether, a MacGuffin that turns out to be the Space Stone.
Taika Waititi went on to revitalize the Thor series with 2017's Ragnarok and once Love and Thunder opens next summer, Marvel's God of Thunder will be the MCU hero with the most solo features under his belt.
Eternals arrives in theaters everywhere next Friday (Nov. 5). Richard Madden (Ikaris), Gemma Chan (Sersi), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Barry Keoghan (Druig), Don Lee (Gilgamesh), Angelina Jolie (Thena), and Kit Harington (Dane Whitman) co-star.
This story has been updated to reflect the evolving Rotten Tomatoes score