Comparison between the UK DVD by Entertainment in Video and the R-Rated version, which all other international versions are based upon.
Both versions exhibit a different cutting sequence. Concerning the cutting of various scenes, the R-Rated version is faster and more suspenseful than the UK version. With the exception of the censorship of one scene of violence, only scenes are missing that were slowing the film down and did not add anything important to the story. Therefore, one can easily do without them. However, the UK version features four alternative scenes, which are among the most interesting. These are marked in green in the report.
UK version: 93:19 min. (PAL)
R-Rated: roughly 98 min. (NTSC)
Cut: 428 sec. (7:08 min.)
Nearly every view through the gunsights is slightly different in both versions. It would break the mold to list all of them. Therefore, just some examples:
Left side UK, right side R-Rated
01:54 min. Alternative scene
UK version: The tracking shot fades out to a closer view of the forest. From there, the camera pans rightwards to a waterborne ship. The writing "Panama" is displayed. (26 sec.)
R-Rated: The image fades out to another view of the forest. After some shots of the woods, a view of the ship's masts rising above the treetops follows. Subsequently, there are two more view of the ship. One askew shot from out of the forest and a distance shot. From that last view, the camera pans leftwards into the forest. When it stops, the writing "Panama" is displayed. (99 sec.)
Close shot of Beckett pulling the trigger and the bullet leaving the barrel.
Beckett gives his partner a sign to start crawling off. Then, they both crawl out of the picture in direction of the camera.
During the whole evacuation scene at the beginning, the UK version features hardly any movie music. Therefore, the scene is much more quiet. In the R-Rated, lots of music was underlaid to make the scene more exciting.
11:41 min. UK
Short view from a soldier shooting from the helicopter.
MIller's mission instructions
15:07 min. Alternative scene
This scene is completely different in both versions. Additionally, it happens in different places in the film: in the R-Rated version, one does first witness Miller's briefing and then Beckett being instructed by one of his supervisors (he drives to him in a cab beforehand). In the UK version, the course of the scene is simply reversed.
The scenes totally differ in both versions! Apart from Miller, mainly different actors are starring in the scenes and Miller also wears different clothes. In terms of content, the viewer gets to know about the same. However, the R-Rated version is more elaborate concerning Miller's plan of action. Generally, the scene seems much more "B-movie like" in the UK version than in the normal one. Even the scenery is more unspectacular. However, the R-Rated shows Miller at the beginning of the scene, while he is looking at his sniper medal. Later in the film, there are allusions to it.
Duration of the scene in the UK version: 125 sec.
Duration of the scene in the R-Rated: 166 sec.
During the following three short scenes, two of the pilots sentences were interchanged.
Contrary to the R-Rated, the hairline cross does not rest directly upon the enemy in the UK version, but is close beside it.
A short view of the soldier shooting the machine gun from the helicopter is missing.
A short shot of the slumoping soldier in the helicopter.
In the UK version, a different song than in the R-Rated version is playing in the bar.
Beckett sharpens a cartridge with his knife. Miller asks what he was doing and Beckett explains he was doing it to blow someone's head off from 1,000 yards away.
In contrast to the R-Rated version, no movie music is playing in the background during the train ride in the UK version. Especially towards the end of the train run, when the train stops, the R-Rated version is much better. While it features an exciting background score, there's nothing in the UK version.
A brief shot of Miller is missing.
The following night scene has a blue filter in the UK version and none in the R-Rated.
Here, a short scene in which one sees the feet of walking soldiers, has been pushed forward a bit. The R-Rated shows this scene slightly later, at 41:49.
A short shot of the enemies walking through the woods is missing.
Beckett holds a bloody cartridge in his hand.
Miller looks through the binoculars a little longer and finally removes it from his face.
Beckett gets up and walks out of the picture.
Assassination of the pursuer
57:04 min. Alternative scene
The scene in which Beckett kills the pursuer is completely different in both versions. In the R-Rated, the scene is much more atmospheric and exciting than in the UK version.
UK version: The pursuer sneaks up to Miller from behind. Half way there, he shortly kneels down and draws his knife. He then goes on and hits Miller's head with the knife. At that, Miller jumps on him and the doll's head falls off. Beckett has him in a choke now and breaks his neck. Then he throws him into the water. Now, there is a short view of the sleeping Miller, interrupted by two very brief flashbacks of someone recharging his weapon. Beckett now protrudes from the bushes and attaches another name tag to his "keychain", while Miller watches him gloomily. (69 sec.)
R-Rated: The pursuer sneaks through the jungle seeking for Miller. Beckett, however, has already noticed that and watches him through his rifle-scope. The pursuer looks for Miller with his rifle-scope. During that, he sees Beckett passing by. As he moves the scope back, he suddenly has Miller's head in his sights. He pauses and prepares for a shot. Suddenly a shot is fired. He pans his scope rightwards and one can see the bullet approaching in slow-motion and finally hitting the pursuer's head after going through the scope. Beckett picks up the pursuer's knife from the water, while Miller comes and grumbles about Beckett not having warned him. Beckett casually replies that he had not been in danger at all. (162 sec.)
In the UK version, the hairline cross is pointed normally at Miller. In the R-Rated it is pointed directly at his middle finger.
Through the rifle-scope, Miller watches Beckett discharging the weapon he is holding up and how a cartridge falls to the ground.
Miller picks up a cartridge.
85:28 min. 88:22 US
Miller sneaks through the jungle.
In the R-Rated version, Billy says "Move"; in the UK version, he says "We both get out of here".
In the UK version, there is a hairline cross pointed at the man; in the R-Rated, there is not.
In the UK version, the man turns around without interruption, looks into the hairline cross and gets a headshot. In the R-Rated version, however, one sees alternately the man, turning around in a zoomed slow motion shot, and the bullet flying in slow motion towards his head. The bullet gorily his the man in the head.
All in all, one shot of Miller, two shots of the flying bullet and the bloody hit are missing.
Miller picks up the dead man's weapon and walks to Beckett (different camera angle than in the UK version).
The alternative ending
89:24 min. Alternative scene
The UK version has a different, worse ending than the R-Rated one.
UK version: Miller shoulders Beckett and carries him out of the camp. Subsequently, both walk through the jungle and to the beach. Meanwhile, one can hear the helicopter approaching from the off. (73 sec.)
R-Rated: Billy carries Beckett through the jungle. Meanwhile, some soldiers have realised what happened and run after them. To enable them to run faster, Billy lets Beckett down. Cut to the arriving helicopter. All hell has broken loose in the camp. The helicopter is landing and Billy orders Beckett to go there. When he stands at the helicopter, he notices an enemy sneaking up from behind. He warns Miller, who runs off. With shaking hands, Beckett manages to kill the attacker at the moment. Now Miller and Beckett enter the helicopter and lift off. During the flight, Billy tells Beckett where he is from. (199 sec.)