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.
(Full review here: https://boxd.it/2OZ6Yp)
So, i loved ALMOST everything about this edit, except the waitress scenes. Those are terrible quality video and audio wise, and they don't add anything to the story, in fact, they slow those sections of the story down and the pay off is the same for what we already had, which is to say: very little. That said, the quality of those scenes are not the editor's fault, and they are put in as seamlessly as possible. Also, the other scenes, with Cap, with Banner and the custodian, all of that is exceptional and adds so much to the narrative. Overall this is a great edit because of those additions, but I really wish the waitress scenes were removed.
While I really liked the beginning of the edit with Hill at first, I kind of missed the original intro, and felt like this compromised the ending a bit, which in my opinion wasn't really seamless, especially when compared to the original.
Some of the added scenes were pretty great and IMO necessary additions, but some of them weren't really as great: The Hulk scene with the security guard would be great if not for the fact that it spoiled where Loki was going to open the portal to the audience, and I think finding it out with Stark really works wonderfully. Some of the added stuff in the battle is good too, but at the same time compromises the pace, like the bits with the guard and the chitauri gun (the audio and video of this part is also somewhat jarring). The additions with the waitress were great, though.
All in all I still preferred the original cut of the movie when putting the pros and cons of this edit. But that's just me. It's still a pretty good extended version of the movie.
In its current form, The Avengers is one of my all-time favorite comic book films, not to mention one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's best installments. This fan-edit attempts to integrate previously deleted material into Joss Whedon's narrative with surprising success. While I did miss the chilling original opening with Loki encountering the Other, I loved the addition of Maria Hill talking to the World Security Council about the Avengers and Nick Fury. The way that this interrogation is written and acted adds a lot to the story and also adds a lot to Hill's character, which I really appreciated. I also really liked that there were more moments with Ashley Johnson's waitress character to add more of a ground-level human perspective to the Battle of New York. All the footage is put together fantastically from start to finish, and it further strengthens what was already a strong plot and characters in the theatrical cut of the film. This runs at just a little over two and a half hours long and yet the pacing is always smooth. I loved this, and it kind of makes me wish the deleted footage was kept in for its release in theaters, because they really do offer genuinely terrific character moments. Not to mention, more Ashley Johnson and more Harry Dean Stanton will never not be a plus.
While I liked this edit, I thought it could have been done better. Only some of the deleted scenes were colour corrected, meaning the ones that are not stick out like a sore thumb. I'm personally not a fan of the new framing device. But other then those things, the edit was well done.