Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are all abuzz with the new Eternals movie that introduces us to a new slew of cool superheroes. If you have kids who love everything from Thor to Doctor Strange, they’re probably jazzed about this movie. The previews look fantastic, and the director is a kick-ass woman. But a gentle word of warning – this movie is slightly different from the others in the franchise.
It fucks. Literally.
One of the reasons Marvel movies are so successful is that parents want to watch the movies with their kids, and kids want to watch them with their parents. The stories and visuals work for all generations. We get the nostalgia of seeing our favorite superheroes brought to life. And we get to geek out over the fantastic visuals.
Our kids get a cool story with a lot of action and probably some popcorn too. But the movies always play that line where we’re not worried about what our kid will see on the screen if we haven’t pre-watched it first.
The stories in the MCU aren’t overly violent, there’s always a message on morality intertwined into the story, and there’s the whole humorous lack of sex or kissing. These movies have always kept things PG-13, and as The Wall Street Journal points out, sometimes keeping the storyline so PG-prudish it can get awkward.
“From the moment a female journalist cartoonishly rolled around in bed with a fully clothed Tony Stark in Iron Man, the first MCU film in 2008, sex has always been implied but not portrayed,” WSJ writes.
We have seen several couples kiss throughout the movies. Starlord and Gamora share a kiss near the end of the second Guardians of the Galaxy. Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner kiss before she throws him off a cliff to make Hulk show up. Pepper Pots and Iron Man, Vision, and Wanda, T’Challa, and Nakia … there’s been several. But it never goes too far into adult territory, and anything that might go further is always implied and never shown.
Eternals director Chloé Zhao had something different in mind. And the franchise grew up a little with a brief sex scene in the new movie, which manages to show some partial nudity without actually showing anything too risqué.
Zhao told IndieWire during a press conference that the nudity was intentional. “For us to be able to show two people who love each other, not just emotionally and intellectually but also physically, and to have a sex scene that will be seen by a lot of people that shows their love and compassion and gentleness — I think it’s a really beautiful thing,” she said.
Personally, as a parent to four kids, we’ve enjoyed watching all the Marvel movies together. While there is some nudity in Eternals – and that’s good to know going into it – we’re not going to be turned away from popping some popcorn and getting to know the new superheroes.