Eternals: Chronological Cut

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Brief Synopsis:
Captain America's "Civil War" made us choose between Duty and Friends. It pitted friends and colleagues against each other. Eternals presents this dilemma with far higher stakes. Now we have Duty not just to a government but to the parent/creator, and going against that duty will impact billions of lives. Now the Friends aren't just colleagues for years, but family for millenia.
The stakes are life-or-death high, yet the audience is left largely indifferent because ten (10!) new heroes compete for limited screen-time and character development. None of them earn a place in our hearts the way that better fleshed-out, and relatable, heroes like Captain Rogers and Tony Stark have.
Eternals isn't the best Marvel movie but it is unique and interesting. It deserves criticism, but even more than that it deserves wider viewing.
Clarity: Present the story in chronological order and remove "Olympia", because the narrative time-jumps and misdirection make the film convoluted.
Brevity: Speed up the pace and reduce runtime, because the original felt too long.
Color: Increase exposure and saturation, without it being too obvious, because my projector came up short to present all the detail.
Additional Notes:
1920x804 5.1 AC3 448kbps English subtitles
Other Sources: to fill the surround channels of the deleted scenes.
Rolling Stones SACD and Now That's What I Call Music 1993 CD for the end credits songs.
Special Thanks:
Everyone who shared ideas and feedback in the forum.
Wakeupkeo for holding back their Eternals edit, so we release in the same month. Showdown!
Release Information:
Editing Details:
I'd only seen Eternals twice before starting work on the fanedit, so I was less familiar with the material than previous edits. Many run-throughs and a complete breakdown of the movie fixed that.
An insightful (and fun) exercise was to take elements of the story and exaggerate them, to see how far I could push them. See the spoof posters and covers in the forum thread ("Come to My Island", "Not Brand Echh", "Additional Songs for the Movie", "Gilgamesh & Family"). This searching-for-boundaries helped to really understand the story.
Eternals tackles many facets of fanediting simultaneously: pacing overall story (macro level, for lack of a better term, with over half an hour cut and story developments altered in timing and content), pacing of scenes / between scenes (micro level, with trims of as little as a few seconds within scenes), chronological order instead of multiple flashbacks, character tweaks (e.g. Sersi is less "I can't do this", Ikaris prevaricates less, Kro doesn't get so talkative, Druig sounds less annoying), fix / remove an embarrassing number of errors (e.g. Tenochtitlan is nowhere near the Amazon), color corrections.
For the trailer, I first created the audio track and then filled in the video clips. I hadn't done it that way before and I like the result.
Cuts and Additions:
- The story is presented in chronological order. No flashbacks. We open with Arishem instructing Ajak during their approach to Earth, then Mesopotamia from where we gradually make our way to the present.
- On-screen title cards are updated accordingly.
- Cut opening scroll and all later mention of Olympia. No misdirection.
- Trims (big and small) to almost every scene. For pacing.
- The opening changes Ajak's character: she says humans may be worth saving before she arrives on Earth. That means she didn't turn against Arishem's design over the last 500 years, she was working against it from the start.
- The fight in Mesopotamia is trimmed and reordered to be closer to the official trailer. I liked that better.
- Cut Sersi giving the knife, cut the callback of that knife in a museum exhibition.
- Replace Pink Floyd's "Time" with a calm part of the closing credits.
- Cut the steam engine. Now Phastos is proud of his plow, played straight.
- A trimmed exchange: The Eternals speak many languages. No one blinks an eye at that, it's simply taken for granted. Except when Sersi finds out Ikaris speaks Babylonian; there the acquisition of a second language is treated as a remarkable effort. That felt out of place, so I trimmed the scene.
- Trimmed sex scene to a bare minimum. Not removed completely, because, as lame as the visuals are, it's still iconic in the MCU that this is the only sex scene. For pacing, the "sex" shot plays backwards.
- Inserted 3-second flashbacks during Thena's "mahd wy'ry" attacks.
- Cut Druig walking away in Tenochtitlan. Was redundant: ten seconds later Ajak disbands the group anyway.
- Cut Gupta wedding. Pretty visuals, but not important to the story, too short, and it raised the question whether they got married and later divorced (instead of "merely" broke up)? Cut Hiroshima to improve flow and because it was not necessary.
Together, these scenes played up the question "is Earth worth saving because humans are worth saving?". Removing these makes human behavior less the deciding factor whether or not to save the planet.
- We see Ikaris commit his big crime long before his friends figure it out. It makes us hate Ikaris faster (which is better than being indifferent) and explains faster why the Deviants have returned (defrosted).
- Trimmed Ajak waxing on about humans, because in this edit she's had that opinion from the start already.
- Cut London skyline, open on pan down at museum instead.
- Trim Sersi - Dane talk in classroom, to be less giggly.
- Added deleted scene where Sprite and Dane talk in the museum. She tells him things that get referred to later.
- Added deleted scene where Sprite and Makkari talk at Babylon. The film suffers from too many moments where Eternals respond quietly to dramatic events, but here I find it just right: both Sprite's frustration and Makkari's passion are loud-and-clear in this quiet scene (that reads a bit weird, but I hope you understand what I mean).
- Trimmed many shots by around 2 seconds. Throughout the movie. No (significant) dialog cuts, just speeding up the pacing. I was surprised to realize that the director holds many shots a bit too long (on both ends: coming into and out of a shot). Also cut pairs of brief cutaway shots in many dialogs.
- Cut the "pie" joke. That was really the bit that annoyed me most in the entire movie. A pie joke as reaction to announcing Ajak's death? Poor taste.
- Trimmed/cut lots of jokes, including Sprite "dressing" Gil as a baby.
- Trim Sersi talks with Arishem, because some of Arishem's exposition is used in the opening scene.
- Remove/reduce obsessions with phones, internet, screens.
- Cut, trim, and rearrange the Amazon battle. I didn't like the flow, it's shorter and more continuous now.
- Cut the Superman reference. It served no purpose beyond being a weak joke. The Batman reference stays, because I consider that a positive reference for Karun. I would love to see him become the Avengers butler, like Edwin Jarvis in the comics and Alfred in Batman.
- Trimmed Ikaris' table smashing. He's simply an inconsiderate jerk who vents his frustration with no regard for things around him. Combined with showing Ikaris' "big crime" up front, it helps cement him as a thoroughly unlikable fellow. There's no Vibranium reference, no Ikea joke.
- Trimmed Phastos explanation of the theory behind his Uni-Mind.
- Trim the Eternals battling lava boulders that rain from the sky. Distracting!
- Trimmed Sprite's rant of missing out on human experiences.
- Trimmed Sersi's explanation how the Uni-Mind actually worked.
- Trimmed dialog around "babysitting privileges".
- Restructured parting-in-London scene. Sprite isn't sent off to school. Instead it looks like Kingo is loading the car for himself.
- Trim Dane rambling at Sersi.
- Add the Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want" over (the first part of) the end credits. It can apply to the Eternals themselves, but also to Arishem, the human population (getting these flawed and alien heroes instead of more Captain America types) and even (on a meta level) to Marvel.
- Trim dialog during Starfox entrance.
- Add Sister Sledge "We Are Family" over (the second part of) the end credits.
- Inserted credits for the two added songs.

Additionally; fixed/cut inconsistencies:
- Arishem says that a new Celestial is born every BILLION years, and that Ajak has helped MANY emerge over MILLIONS of years. Fix: dub "million" over "billion".
- (Deleted scene) Whitman tells Sprite that a skull in the museum is a Smilodon, which is a Sabretooth Tiger. The skull is clearly too big for that. He compounds this by saying it's in the "extinct Macrodontini sub-family". Macrodontini are a (not-extinct) type of long-horned beetle. Fix: Sprite talks over Dane before he says the wrong thing. That seems like her style.
- Cut Druig telling his friends that the Amazon was the last place they lived together. The establishing shot en route to Druig has the title card "Amazon", but the last place they lived together was Tenochtitlan, which is present-day Mexico City. That's several countries away! That was a needless and embarrasing error for a culturally sensitive movie.
- Thena remembers that she died with everyone else on Centuri-Six, but at the end Phastos states that Eternals survive Emergences by linking to the newborn Celestial. Perhaps Thena remembers it wrong (though her memory seems the only one that's actually accurate) or Phastos' hypothesis is wrong (though he's quite brilliant at deducing things). More likely, it's another unforced error: an unnecessary contradiction. Solution: cut Phastos' theory.
- In the final battle, while Kro attacks Ikaris, Thena asks Kro why he helps Ikaris. That makes no sense to me. I've cut the line.
- Not an actual inconsistency, but unnecessary and improbable, is Ajak finding a shotgun on the ice exactly in a location that she's pushed to. Why is it there? According to Ikaris he tracked the Deviants there after they killed a group of workers. So why are those workers' bodies and weapons here? Away from their equipment and accommodation, on an ice-sheet adjacent to a melting glacier. Yes, lots of things are implausible in superhero movies, but let's limit them to the ones that advance the story. This one doesn't: Ajak could have used her superpowers to fight the Deviants. Solution: none. I found no way to improve the scene, so the shotgun stays.
- Tiamut is huge. Its head and each hand are the size of islands. Yet the only hint that this "baby" Celestial had been developing inside the Earth for untold years is one series of worldwide earthquakes the week before it hatches? WTF? Anyone who's felt/seen a baby move inside it's mom's belly knows that you don't get just one kick a week before delivery: it moves around A LOT during its growth and development. I found no fix, sadly the edit retains this flaw.
- Arishem explains that "Tiamut needs vast amounts of energy from intelligent life." Then he specifies this as humans. But what about whales, dolphins, mice (à la Douglas Adams)? Nobody in this movie even mentions animals. Except for one "Noah's Ark" joke from Sprite. Why position this movie as if humans are the uniquely chosen species, when the rest of the MCU is full of non-human intelligent life? Again, no fix found, we're stuck with this perspective.
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)


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This edit greatly improves upon the theatrical cut. The trims and additions are done beautifully and masterfully, and I wholeheartedly recommend watching it.
Furthermore, presenting the film in a chronological order works wonderfully, in my opinion. Seeing the team's dynamic evolve through the years is clearer in this edit. However, there was one main issue that made this edit problematic in my eyes: our knowledge of Arishem's plan.
Knowing the plan in advance cheapens the moment(s) where the other Eternals learn about it. Additionally, A first-time watcher would probably find the info-dump challenging. The way the theatrical cut handled it wasn't great either, don't get me wrong, but this edit's solution isn't the optimal. Additionally, using the same visuals twice (in Ajak's vision and in Sersi's), not to mention Thena's visions, was quite tedious for me.
All in all - I highly recommend watching this edit.

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While an interesting idea to approach the Eternals story in chronological order, I feel that unfortunately it doesn't work here. A number of things, from the first scene thrusting the audience right into the mission with Ajak, to the scenes cut or trimmed for time, leaves the introduction of these characters feeling very flat. What also greatly works against the film, in my opinion, is knowing early on that Icarus murdered Ajak. The lack of any reveals in this cut makes for an ultimately unsatisfying finale.

Where the original theatrical cut feels more artistic than most MCU affair, the trimmed runtime here makes the Chronological cut feel more like a traditional Marvel movie, which I guess is a good thing because I wouldn't want to see this go on much longer. The inclusion of a few key deleted scenes does help with character development, but the other changes leave me feeling about the same as I did when I saw the theatrical cut, which is that Eternals is a fairly forgettable movie with some great visuals.

Now, I hate to compare to another editor in my review, but since there was a Battle of the Eternals Edits, I will simply recommend checking out my review for WakeupKeo's The Apostasy Edit.

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