Wondering if Marvel’s Eternals is ok for kids? Eternals is rated PG-13 for language, violence, and some sex. Is Eternals kid friendly? Well, there is a sex scene. In a Marvel movie. Marketed to kids. Aside from that, Eternals is long, boring, and cheesy, so it may not be the best choice for little ones. Eternals does not fit the typical Marvel mold, which is why it has been divisive. Here’s what parents need to know in this Eternals Parents Guide.
Eternals Parents Guide
The Eternals are approximately 7000 years old and were sent to Earth by the Celestials, an ancient group of godlike beings, to defend humans against the Deviants, monsters also created by the Celestials, but they couldn’t be controlled. Their main job is to only focus on Deviants and not to involve themselves in other human affairs, even though they technically could stop some human wars.
Meet the Eternals: Ajak, also the Prime Eternal (Salma Hayek), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), and Druig (Barry Keoghan). They all have their own powers, and spent thousands of years together fighting the Deviants. After they think they have killed them all, they live life in separate places. However, a family reunion is needed after the Deviants have returned.
Why is Eternals Rated PG-13?
Eternals is rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and action, some language and brief sexuality, which means it may not be suitable for kids under 13.
Parents need to know that Eternals is 2 hours and 37 minutes long, which may too long for younger kids. Eternals also contains a sex scene and is the first Marvel movie to include two gay characters who share an on-screen kiss.
Language is pretty mild in Eternals with about 3 uses of sh*t, a couple uses of hell, one use of a**, and words of Deity like “oh g-d.” One character gives the middle finger to another character.
Sexual content in Eternals includes kissing between a man and woman and also between two men. One scene includes two characters kissing, then leads to the characters being naked with a woman on top of the man in the sand and some heavy breathing. There is no full nudity in Eternals and most body parts are covered with only seeing the top half naked and maybe a quick glimpse of boobs from an angle. The scene adds nothing to the story and is somewhat awkward.
Some characters drink alcohol and another character makes a comment about being drunk.
Eternals does contain a fair share of violence and scary elements for kids. Is Eternals too scary for kids? Yes, the Deviants are scary, but nothing over the top compared to other Marvel films. The Deviants are gross-looking monsters, almost dragon-like, with Venom-like attributes like large teeth, gnashing around. They do kill humans, and that may be disturbing for young ones to watch.
Flashbacks contain scenes of human destruction such as wars and Hiroshima. There are buildings burning as well as soldiers fighting and slicing off a head with a sword.
Is Eternals Appropriate for Kids Under 10?
As far as violence is concerned, Eternals is less violent than Black Widow and Black Panther. I’d be most concerned about the age recommendations for Eternals due to length of the film and maturity of understanding what is going on. If you thought Doctor Strange was complicated, then prepare yourself for Eternals. I’d recommend Eternals for kids ages 12 and over, but you can definitely go younger as far as content if you’re comfortable with it.
It’s not a bad film, but don’t go in with the expectation of it being like all the other Marvel films. As a fan, I’m still waiting for the MCU Phase 4 excitement in the films. I loved the Marvel shows like WandaVision and Loki. WandaVision took risks and they paid off. Eternals takes different risks, and I can’t pinpoint why they didn’t work for me.
Perhaps I was already invested somewhat in Wanda and Vision, and Agatha was really easy to like with her sense of humor and energy. Trying to meet 10 new characters in one film is daunting, and I felt overwhelmed. Rather than appreciate Chloé Zhao’s attempt at connecting me to the Eternals, I was bored and uninterested in whether one died or not. The pacing was off and lackluster.
Admittedly, I am super annoyed at Marvel for putting in a sex scene in this film. Is there nudity? No. But did it add anything to the story? No. It wasn’t even vulgar or particularly sexy, it was just awkward. One dad in the theater even broke the silence with a “this is for kids?” If you want a more mature film, then make one. It’s your film, it’s your franchise. But if you’re going to market a movie to children, including adding Eternals toys to Happy Meals, then make it appropriate for kids of that age range.
I enjoyed seeing diverse representation from different cultures in the Eternals, humanizing a dysfunctional family and group of loved ones. It almost had an Umbrella Academy feel as they all try to find each other and get the family back together in a united cause. Eternals digs deeper and explores complex feelings and emotion like jealousy and mental health, but many of the speeches and Eternals one-liners felt overly cheesy. And I like cheesy! At one point, I was rolling my eyes at the ‘truth will set you free’ trope.
Eternals had a very DC feel to it, bringing in greek mythology and making the Eternals into god-like saviors for the human race. It just doesn’t feel like it fits into the MCU, and perhaps it will as Phase 4 continues.
I have to hand it to Zhao for her ambitious take on a Marvel film and going in a different direction from the typical Marvel formula. She has an all-star cast, and none really disappointed, but the writing and character arcs seemed weak. Was this what Martin Scorsese was talking about when he said Marvel movies aren’t cinema? Is this why we have Eternals? Maybe this is the artistic answer.
Yes, Eternals studies the complexity of people and their contradictory natures. Yes, we get a closer look at how they can hurt one another and love one another, but even with all that, call me basic, I miss the old Marvel. I missed the euphoria and high of a really solid Marvel ride where I can’t wait for the next film. Eternals just didn’t do it for me. If I need an almost 3-hour Marvel film, Avengers: Endgame will be my pick.
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