By combining two different styles, Eternals’ Ikaris has resolved an old issue from the X-Men films when it comes to showcasing flying abilities.
By combining two styles of film techniques, the “Iron Man sonic boom” and the “wire-levitation”, EternalsIkaris has resolved an old issue from the X-Men films when it comes to showcasing flying abilities. Now heading to the MCU, the mutants have had a long journey on the big screen during the last two decades. While the X-Men franchise managed to stay somewhat successful throughout that time, the movies received some recurring criticism, especially regarding the treatment given to characters like Jean Gray and Storm.
Despite the advances in technology, the flying scenes in the X-Men films did not evolve much throughout the franchise’s two decades. For example, the overall look of a Magneto flying scene in X-Men: Dark Phoenix does not differ much from the wire-levitations present in X Men (2002). For the first couple of films, the limitation in how superpowers would look on screen was justified, however keeping the same techniques without ever trying different styles was not a good decision.
Eternals seems to have found the perfect balance between the levitation flying and the “Iron Man sonic boom” style. The movie alternated between both techniques during Ikaris’ scenes and manage to display a dynamic, full of momentum flying ability that still had a majestic look to it. For scenes focused on the dialogue or just on Ikari’s presence, the movie would pick the more still, levitating style. For the action-focused moments, a faster and more intense sort of flying was chosen. The next X-Men films, which are now going to be in the MCU, can reutilize some of the concepts presented in Eternals and avoid repeating the same mistakes from before.
For characters with god-like powers such as Storm and Jean Grey, the simple levitation technique utilized in the previous X-Men films did not make the mutants justice. Not even in X Men: Days of Future Pastwhich was supposed to show the remaining mutants fighting at the height of their powers to survive, the flying skills of Magneto and Storm were properly used. dark phoenix, which was also expected to showcase Jean Gray’s full Phoenix power, suffered from the same flat flying scenes. By having a character with also god-like powers but with a much better translation of its abilities to the big screen, Eternals has accomplished from the start something that the X-Men films had continuously struggled with.
The mixture of techniques utilized during Ikari’s flight scenes in Eternals may serve as an inspiration for future X-Men films to display that specific superpower in a more impactful way. Benefiting from the same production team now that the X-Men are part of the MCU, characters such as Storm, Magneto, and Jean Gray can have a different angle of their powers finally adapted to the big screen. To reignite the X-Men franchise, the MCU will have to avoid previous mistakes and find every new way in which the series can be elevated.
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