Avengers Assemble deleted scenes review

Super geeky review of every deleted scene in Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble, available on DVD and Blu-ray from 17 September 2012.

Loki deleted scene Avengers

1. Alternate Opening – Maria Hill Interrogation (2.33)

What happens?

The camera pans over New York City, settling on the smoke, flipped cars and carnage at the end of the film. Paramedics and police rush past and a shaft of light breaks through the smoke and debris clouds, the camera pulls back until Captain America’s shield and then Cap (Chris Evans) himself are in the foreground. SHIELD Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) begins to speak. The camera cuts to her in an interrogation room and an unseen speaker fields questions about how the Tesseract Event could have been avoided, whether the response was the correct one, and whether Nick Fury made the right call. As she speaks the camera flashes to Hulk bellowing, blood dripping off Thor’s hammer and Iron Man’s faceplate clattering across the pavement. Hill, wide-eyed in disbelief, says “Mistakes were made. And worst of all…” pausing, we cut to the helicopter approaching the facility where the film really begins.

What would it mean for the movie?

It gives a pair of eyes through which to be brought into Avengers Assemble – the ambiguity of events and how they unfolded is compelling. The iconic shots of the characters is fantastic, but perhaps there was a concern about revealing Hulk too early and in framing the whole film as if it was a flashback. It’s an effective opening, but would have changed the whole tone of the movie.

 

 

Loki deleted scene Avengers

2. Extended Sequence – Loki and Barton strategise (1.45)

What happens?

A glassy-eyed, ill-shaven Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) enthuse about the power of the Tesseract, as they do in the film, while Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) impassively frets over security. Then we hit the bit of the scene cut from the movie as Hawkeye and Loki wander off through their dank tunnels, talking game – Hawkeye describes how Fury will be putting together a team, and Loki pledges to “test their mettle” (and metal in Iron Man’s case) as shadows play across his face.

What would it mean for the movie?

It seems like an unnessecary exposition overload that makes it painfully clear what Loki was up to when he let himself be captured. Hiddleston does some of his vampish smirking that makes fangirls (and some fanboys) squeal and has a little meglomaniacal rave, but it would have taken a lot of the tension off the middle third of the movie, and given everyone was talking in the middle third, might well have killed the energy completely.

 

3. Steve Rogers – A Man Out Of Time (3.03)

What happens?

After newsreel footage of Captain America joining the boys at the front in the Second World War, the camera pulls out to show it being played on a laptop. Someone hits pause, and Steve Rogers’ dour reflection replaces the images on screen. He sits alone, in silence at a kitchen table looking at the files of his old war buddies – each one stamped with a big red ‘DECEASED’. All except his old flame, Peggy Carter. There’s even a current address and phone number listed, he looks to the phone, closes his eyes in resignation, and moves onto the next file, Howard Stark, followed by the current file for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) – showing his Iron Man armour. Rogers puts that down too and rubs his brow.

Cut to Rogers walking slowly through a street, looking at shop windows, then sitting at a cafe, he sketches the Stark Building in the background, a waitress leans over and asks if he’s “waiting for the big guy?” as Iron Man flies by constantly. She adds “we’ve also got free wireless” and Cap responses “radio?” At a nearby table, Stan Lee turns round and snarks “Ask for her number you moron!”

What would it mean for the movie?

While the wireless/radio gag is a bit contrived – proper first episode of Life On Mars stuff – Avengers Assemble could definitely have benefited from more time with Cap. Instead of leaving him this slightly awkward observer to everything, we’re given a reason to care.

The editing of him into old news footage of Nazi stormtroopers surrendering definitely needs a bit more work, but seeing as the Stark Tower isn’t actually in the scene when the waitress is pointing at it, this really wasn’t ready to go. The Stan Lee cameo is far more naturalistic than the one he ended up with, too – in fact, it’s the cameo he spoiled quite early on in the filming, which might have contributed to them cutting it. GOOD ONE STAN.

 

 

4.  Nick Fury & World Security Council (0.52)

What happens?

Crotchety white dudes on a monitor upbraid Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and poo-poo the idea of him assembling the Avengers, Fury suggests that Hawkeye didn’t take the head shot when he could have killed him, offering hope that his brainwashed archer can be recovered.

What would it mean for the movie?

The bit about “not writing off” Hawkeye is quite good narratively, but largely it takes everything you’ve assumed about what’s going on and spells it out redundantly, overegging the extra layer of drama that is Fury’s relationship with his paymasters.

1 STAR

 

 

Viaduct deleted scene Avengers

5. Extended Viaduct Fight – Raw Footage (1.40)

What happens?

A mixture of temporary CGI that makes Iron Man look like something you played on the Sega Mega Drive and guys wearing outfits that make them look like the Puttymen as they attack Hawkeye and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

What would it mean for the movie?

Nothing, there’s so much brawling in that part of the film that you wouldn’t even be able to tell whether or not it made it in. It’s nice seeing Johansson give it her all while playfighting with some stuntmen, though.

1 STAR

 

 

6. Fury & Hill Discuss The World Security Council (0.42)

What happens?

After Black Widow leads Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) off to his lab on the aircarrier – these scenes don’t seem to be sequential, actually, what’s that about? – Fury has a go at Hill for telling the Security Council that Hawkeye had shacked up with Loki, and in return she asks whether he told them exactly who is on his “response team”. He walks off saying, “It doesn’t appear that I have to.”

What would it mean for the movie?

It fits in with the alternative opening, helping to establish Hill as a by-the-book model operative who has a tense relationship with her maverick boss, but out of that context it’s really rather unnecessary. It’s interesting to think that Hill has an altogether bigger role in the Marvel movie universe, though, and was at one point envisaged as a key figure to the whole narrative structure of Avengers Assemble.

 

 

7. Extended Scene – Banner And Security Guard (1.37)

What happens?

After Bruce picks himself up out of his warehouse crater, he chats more with the friendly security guard (Harry Dean Stanton) who asks him whether he’s a big guy who gets small or a small guy who gets big. Banner admits he doesn’t know, and that he’s not sure what to do next, the security guard replies “I’d expect some confusion in your mind since your body’s all over the place.” He then gives him the keys to his motorbike and tells him “Your mind’s already made up son, your body will follow.”

What would it mean for the movie?

It’s a nice little aside that fits well with the pace of the movie at that point – Thor and Hulk putting themselves back together after their insecurities and failings led to Loki’s escape. It also suggests that Banner can control Hulk, and also where that bloody motorbike came from – although that undermines the simple joy of watching Bruce just putputput up in it halfway through a fight.

 

 

8. Alternate Ending – Maria Hill Interrogation (2.45)

What happens?

The interrogator interrupts Hill’s reverie – the film, basically – and explains who made the mistake: “You thought they were a threat. I thought they were a joke. Nick Fury only ever saw them as The Avengers.” She continues talking over the standard closing scene in which Thor and Loki beam back to Asgard like Scooby and the fairground caretaker. “The Avengers were the mistake that saved the world – that’s my official statement.”

What would it mean for the movie?

Obviously it wraps up that whole alternate framing of the movie, but it’s also clear why that was dropped. It doesn’t end on a high, it doesn’t end with our heroes all riding off into the sunset;it ends with Maria Hill talking to Nick Fury, and that’s kinda downbeat for two hours of monster-punching superheroics, isn’t it?

 

 

Avengers Assemble is available from 17 September 2012, buy it now on DVD for £8.99 or Blu-ray for £12.99 from Amazon.co.uk.