“Eternals” (Disney)

Kumail Nanjiani stars in a scene from the movie "Eternals." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Marvel Studios)

By Catholic News Service

Director and co-writer ChloĆ© Zhao’s big but empty Marvel Comics adaptation follows an ensemble of alien superheroes (most prominently Gemma Chan and Richard Madden) dispatched to Earth by a higher power (voice of David Kaye) thousands of years ago to protect humans from marauding monsters. After discovering in the present day that the purpose of their mission is not what they have always believed it to be, they face a moral dilemma based, in part, on the connection they have formed with humanity.

While some of this sci-fi adventure’s values are on-target and the banter in the dialogue draws the occasional laugh, neither the emotional ins-and-outs among the principals nor the somewhat puerile battles in which they zap dinosaur-like predators with beams and balls of energy are likely to engage discerning grown-ups. As for youngsters, the Mouse House’s insistence on waving the rainbow flag is one factor making this inappropriate for them.

Frequent stylized combat, a suicide, semi-graphic premarital sexual activity, an adulterous situation, a benignly viewed homosexual relationship, a same-sex kiss, at least one mild oath, a few crude terms, a single crass expression, an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Click here for full reviews of this and other current movies by Catholic News Service.

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