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9.3 16 10
Extended Edition March 28, 2015 12363
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This is a great alternative way to watch The Avengers. With a lot of additional material added in, it fleshes out the characters in ways that add a lot of value and some insight, particularly Hulk, Captain America, and Hawkeye. The scenes are considerably upgraded from their original, raw look, and blend in almost seemlessly with the film, since Whedon used different camera techniques at different times anyway.

The net effect of some of the most notable changes here is to make the parallel between 9/11 and the Battle of New York more obvious. Maria Hill opening by talking about what a disaster it was, cut with the scenes of civilians climbing from rubble, really ground this in the human cost of super hero battling. I think that's the intention of the deleted scenes with the waitress and the cop at the end. The cop storyline ends with a bunch of unfinished effects, so sadly those bits are cut and his sub-plot doesn't seem to go anywhere. The waitress plot show aliens rounding up civilians and corraling them to be exterminated, like Nazi gas rooms...a perfect situation for Cap to bust up. It's pretty heavy for the film, possibly one reason why it was cut, but also really slows down the action and adds a fair bit of length. The film is almost definitely better without these scenes.

Overall, I think the theatrical cut is still my preferred version, as the Maria Hill opening/closing isn't as strong as Sam Jackson's. These added scenes are great though (waitress/cop aside) so it's a tough call. Thankfully, this is a great enough movie to warrant rewatching multiple times, both ways.
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