I enjoyed Black Widow (2021) though tonally it was really odd in that it felt to me what we should have got was something akin to Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) or Jason Bourne (2016).
To be fair what we finally got (because Widow was delayed A LOT) was kind of like those movies, except way too funny. And sure, the humor was situational (which is typically the best suited for these types of movies) but it felt like there was so much of it that I was wondering if what we were seeing was the heavy hand of Marvel Studios executives behind the scenes or was this typical for Cate Shortland (I’ve never seen any other examples of her work so I have no idea how she would handle anything, never mind a Marvel Studios movie. Though Scarlett Johansson obviously saw something in her work because she courted her for the job).
Choe Zhaó is known for prestige filmmaking with films like The Rider (2017) and Nomadland (2020) so I have no idea how she’d handle Marvel bombast and larger than life characters though if the final trailer is any indicator I need not have worried because Eternals looks amazing.
It’s beautifully shot and manages to look very human and small scale while also being epic, which is quite a feat.
In fact it reminds me somewhat of what Zach Snyder was trying to do with Man of Steel (2013), except Snyder doesn’t know how to direct humans, except in the broad strokes while human-centered storytelling is Zhaó’s sweet spot.
Now, if she can manage to balance it with the spectacle typical of Marvel movies, we’ve definitely got a winner on our hands.