Amanuensis (amanuensis1) wrote,
Amanuensis
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Avengers Deleted Scenes. Meta part two!

Continuing my thoughts on the deleted scenes from The Avengers.

Scene #3: Steve Rogers
Why I'm glad they cut it:
-At first I thought maybe they shouldn't've! I might like to have seen this to give me a bit more bonding with Steve. Ultimately, though, it's a helluva mood killer. Steve's mired in his loss, the scenes are mostly quiet, escalate his loneliness even as they bring in more people, and grind the action to halt.
-Lingering on Peggy's dossier in that way (which is perfectly logical for him to do, and just as logical for Steve to decide "No") feels like it's setting the viewer up for follow-up on this. The lack of follow-up may be more realistic; Steve might decide never to contact Peggy and leave it at that, and similarly Peggy, when she gets wind of Cap's reemergence (because she will), may decide it's a wound best left untouched. But narratively it invites a callback and resolution of some sort.
-The connection with the waitress might be a little too...pat? The way it stood in the final cut, she's a little more "everywoman" than she is a plant for romance material.
Why it's still great to see it:
-Oh, Steve. His loneliness, his art skill, and us watching the connections between Steve and Tony carved out by way of what others say about them--the files on Starks Sr. and Jr., the reference to "the big guy." It makes Steve's "that big ugly building" comment both poignant and funny.
-And STAN.

Scenes #4 & #5: Alternate opening/ending
Why I'm glad they cut it:
-I like framing stories when they're done well. Do most of you know that The Taming of the Shrew has a framing story? You probably do, because you guys are well-read and awesome like that. You probably also know that it rarely gets staged, because most conclude that it's a distraction. It isn't even a complete framing story because Shakespeare himself recognized that the closing part of the frame wouldn't keep the audience in their seats past the Katherine-Petruchio smoochfest and he cut it. So, yeah: frames potentially good, but potentially tricky. Avengers-as-theatrical-release does have a framing story; the frame element is Fury, demonstrating why he thinks the Avengers are awesome. It works because we came to watch the Avengers be awesome, and that's what we're given. The Maria Hill framing story, though, is "why Nick Fury is awesome," and we didn't come for that; it diminishes the struggles of the Avengers as individuals and as a team. Plus, we've never met Maria Hill before this film; you can't put her front and center first thing like this and demand that we care about her. Viewers don't like that.
Why it's still great to see it:
-Ooh, the bits of foreshadowing were a nice thought, weren't they. Thor's hammer dripping blood--omigod, does Thor have to kill his brother after all?? The falling Iron Man mask--omigod, does Tony die??

Scene #6: Fury talks to the council some more
Why I'm glad they cut it:
-Just interrupting the story to tell us what we already know. And we kind of hate seeing that council any more than we have to.
Why it's still great to see it:
-Fury thinking of Barton above all as a hostage to be saved, not as a liability that needs to be taken out. Oh, look, Fury/Barton fic sprouting up...

Scene #7: "Commodore 64" and Hill and Fury on bridge
Why I'm glad they cut it:
-I imagine if Natasha really didn't know what the Commodore 64 was, her answer would be, "Whatever we don't have, we'll get for you."
-Meh, we don't need a "does Hill trust Fury? Is Hill to be trusted?" subplot on top of everything else.
Why it's still great to see it:
-Watching Bruce tease Natasha in a "no hard feelings" way.

Scene #8: Extended Black Widow & Hawkeye fight Chitauri
Why I'm glad they cut it:
-Still not sure that I am! I have to trust that it would have bogged down the pacing of the final fight.
-There's the perception that when it comes to human-vs.-alien hand-to-hand battles in this kind of thing, less is more. Punching out an alien makes the alien less scary. This is why Natasha gets a Chitauri weapon to wield and a Chitauri sled to pilot, and also why Hawkeye mostly uses his arrows and his devastating aim. When they're forced to resort to a few well-placed "Take THAT" hits it makes them look resourceful and kick-ass, but when it goes on too long we're reminded of the gulf between the powered heroes and the non-powered.
Why it's still great to see it:
-Watching our human heroes get punched and flipped and laid out and still getting the f**k up to smack some alien butt again, because at that moment there's really no one else to do it, is there? Yeah, just keep adding to those crowning moments of awesome, guys.
Tags: avengers, meta
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