Eternals

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Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 15 (violence, themes, scary scenes, language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Eternals
  • a review of Eternals completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 November 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence, themes, scary scenes, and language.
Children aged 13–15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes, and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 15 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Eternals
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length: 156 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Arsham, the Prime Celestial responsible for creating numerous worlds along with other Celestials and Deviants, realises he has made a mistake when the Deviants begin to adapt and take over. Arsham then creates a group of immortal heroes, called Eternals, whom he sends to Earth on a mission to protect the inhabitants and kill off the Deviants. Led by the courageous Ajak (Salma Hyak), the group spends the next 7,000 years protecting the people of Earth, while tracking the Deviants and attempting to destroy them all. Thinking that they have finally succeeded in eliminating these evil creatures, Ajak gives the Eternals permission to go off on their own and to enjoy life on Earth. Sersi (Gemma Chan) becomes a history professor who lives with the youngest Eternal, Sprite (Lia McHugh), and has fallen in love with a human while trying to forget Ikaris (Richard Madden), the strongest of the Eternals and her husband of 2,000 years. When a Deviant with the ability to heal itself appears in London, Sersi and Ikaris head off to find Ajak, only to discover that she has been killed and that the Deviants now have the ability to assimilate the powers of anyone they destroy. The two set off to find the rest of the Eternals, including Kingo (Kumail Nanjani) a fifth generation Bollywood star, and Gilgamesh (Don Lee), a powerful Eternal who has lovingly cared for Thena (Angelina Jolie) for centuries while she battles a dangerous disease. Once reunited, the Eternals learn that the Deviants are now after them and that their mission was not what they once believed it to be. The Eternals must decide if the Earth and the humans they have been protecting for millennia are worth fighting for or if Arsham’s original plan should be allowed to take place.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death; Destruction of a species; Natural disasters; Genocide; Betrayal; Loss; Grief; War and violence as a means to solve conflict.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent violence in this movie, including:

  • The Eternals fight numerous Deviants. There is punching, throwing, slashing, slamming, burning them with lasers, and stabbing them through the heads. One Deviant is punched so forcefully that his head explodes.
  • A boy watches his father get killed by a Deviant and is nearly caught himself.
  • A young girl is nearly crushed by a falling structure during an earthquake.
  • Eternals are flung into buildings by a Deviant.
  • Deviants attack villagers in Ancient Egypt while the Eternals fight on their behalf.
  • Ajak’s lifeless, blue body is discovered in the backyard of her own property.
  • Thena looks possessed as her eyes glaze over and she begins attacking the other Eternals. She slices at them with her sword, stabs some and puts her blade through someone’s hand.
  • The Eternals fight Deviants in the Amazon rainforest. The Deviants eat a man; trees and buildings explode; Sersi is thrown into a building while trying to protect children; and Ikaris is repeatedly stabbed in the back and later in the chest by a Deviant. Ikaris shoots lasers from his eyes to try to kill it.
  • Kingo blasts the head off one Deviant and is covered in black, oily-looking blood.
  • Sersi is trapped underwater by a Deviant trying to drown her but she is later able to stab it and turn it into a grotesque looking tree.
  • Gilgamesh is repeatedly stabbed through the neck and chest while fighting a Deviant and trying to protect Thena. He dies slowly in her arms, the creature having drained his life-force and stolen his power.
  • The bombing of Hiroshima and the aftermath is shown.
  • Deviants are seen feasting on a company of oil workers.
  • Ikaris throws Ajak off a cliff and watches while the Deviants destroy her.
  • Thena fights Ikaris with her sword, while he blasts lasers at her.
  • Ikaris crashes their space ship by splitting it in half.
  • Ikaris attacks the other Eternals, trying to kill anyone who stands in his way.
  • Sprite stabs Sersi in the chest while volcanoes erupt all around her.
  • Thena is caught by a Deviant who pretends to be Gilgamesh. He entangles her in his tentacles, stabbing them into her neck and is about to drain her power when she slashes him through the chest with her sword and chops him into pieces.
  • Feeling awful for what he has done, Ikaris flies into the sun, killing himself.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The Deviants are evil creatures, sent to attack and kill humans. They lurk in forests and just beneath the surface of the water. They can go anywhere, are brutal and merciless. Their appearance is menacing, with glowing eyes and sharp razor teeth; tongues that extend and propel themselves down human throats; and talons, claws and protruding pincers and antenna that stab, impale and suck the life out of humans and Eternals alike.
  • One of the Eternals can control people’s emotions and he stops a war by taking over all the people involved. While not scary, the scene is creepy as all of their eyes glaze over and become white. It looks like a vast army of the possessed.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Numerous scenes in which the Deviants hunt or attack people are likely to be very disturbing for young children. Especially one where a father and son are fishing by the beach and a Deviant comes out of the water. The father only has time to look towards his son and yell, “Run!”, before he is attacked and eaten, metres from his child. The boy is then targeted but saved at the last second by an Eternal.
  • There are scenes of war, such as the Aztec fall of Tenochtitlan and children are caught in the crossfire between warriors and Spanish soldiers. The scenes of destruction may be distressing for some young viewers.
  • There are scenes of destruction and devastation as a Celestial emerges from within the Earth. Tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur as villages and landscapes are completely destroyed or washed away.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Some children in this age bracket are likely to be scared or disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Some children in this age bracket may be scared or disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • BTS is mentioned and some of their music is played.
  • A Star Wars book is briefly shown.
  • Ikea’s Fall collection is mentioned in relation to a table.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Various characters share kisses, embraces and lingering looks.
  • Sersi and Ikaris are shown with bare torsos, entangled in each other’s arms, while making love on the ground.
  • Sprite is sad that she is still seen as a child even though she has lived on Earth for over 7,000 years. She has a crush on Ikaris and will do anything for him but he is in love with Sersi.
  • One of the Eternals is in a homosexual relationship with a mortal man and they share a kiss goodbye.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Adults drink at a bar and Sprite tells a man that he has had too much to drink.
  • Sersi dances with what appears to be a wine in her hand.
  • Gilgamesh offers other characters mead, ale and homemade liquor that he created using his own spit.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Hell
  • Shit
  • Sucks
  • Ass
  • Name calling, including ‘mental’ and ‘pathetic’.
  • Sprite gives Kingo the rude finger.

In a nutshell

Eternals is a fantasy, adventure film. This latest addition in the Marvel studios line focuses on events that occur after the Avengers Endgame and features numerous special effects, along with a star studded cast. The movie will be best enjoyed by mature audiences and fans of the Marvel franchise.

The main messages from this movie are that protecting something you love is the most natural thing in the world; and that despite the unspeakable horror humanity has brought upon itself, we, as humans, are capable of much love, beauty and kindness.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Unconditional love
  • Teamwork
  • Courage
  • Empathy
  • Compassion.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Placing a value on the lives of others and using an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ mentality.
  • Genocide.
  • Sacrificing a few to save the many.
  • Violence as a means to solve conflict.
  • Betraying your family and those you love.