Eternals review – Chloé Zhao’s indie nuance can’t power the Marvel machine

The new diversity is welcome, but the Nomadland director’s socio-realist touches left me missing the brash humour and energyTo paraphrase Mrs Merton: what first attracted director Chloé Zhao to the idea of directing something in the colossally lucrative Marvel franchise? Or, to paraphrase Nigel Planer’s fictional actor Nicholas Craig: were they offering Zhao a staggering amount of scope to develop the project?At all events, it was an interesting idea to hire the brilliant Oscar-winning film-maker Zhao, known for social-realist docudramas such as Nomadland and The Rider.

But the very few authorial touches that she manages to bring to Eternals – some Terrence Malick-ish “golden hour” sunset scenes – only go to show how dominant the formula actually is.

Perhaps there is the question of tone; I had the uncomfortable feeling that the all-important brash humour, DayGlo energy and operatic craziness of superheroism were being downplayed in

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