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Dragon

original title: Wu xia

Comparison:

  • International Version
  • Original Version
Release: Oct 23, 2013 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mr Miau - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the cut International Version, taken from the German DVD by Universum Film and the uncut Original Version, taken from the HK DVD by Media Asia.


92 differences, including
* 8 recuts
* 14 instances of additional footage in the International Version
* 4 instances of alternative footage

Difference in running time: 1002,7 sec (= 16:43 min) in PAL speed



This is a visually stunning and genre-crossing movie, which can partially be seen as a hommage to the classic One Armed Swordsman. It is mainly a drama, but features some Noir elements and Ė thanks to Donnie Yen Ė also some excellent Martial Arts scenes. Therefore no one should except a pure fight movie, although Wu Xia is still recommendable for people whose interest was aroused by Yen's popular Ip Man movies.

Whether it was because the company though people would expect something else or just because of the usual concerns about Western viewing habits is uncertain, but this movie from 2011 was significantly tightened by removing almost 17 minutes of footage.

Most of the cuts were made in the first half of the movie and mostly concern plot scenes. The introduction into the story, which originally was rather slow, was sped up this way. It is also not very surprising that some of the village inhabitants' songs were removed. However, some violence was removed as well, most notably when Xu talks about other killers and their massacre. Additionally, Jimmy Wang Yu kicks Donnie Yen more often during the finale. It cannot be said for sure whether this had a censoring background or whether these violent scenes were just deemed unnecessary as well resp. the original cutter's work was not enough. Several small cuts at various times lead to the latter conclusion, but it cannot be said for certain.

All in all it still has to be said that the cuts are not too bad. Of course it is still recommended to look for the original version because it just seems a bit rounder and features nicer visuals. On the other hand, however, everybody who already found the IV to be too long will not have fun with the longer cut either. The international audience does not really miss out on any important plot elements, so viewers from Germany, USA and Great Britain do not have to be frantically searching for the original version, which is mainly available in Asia, if they are content with the international version.



Running time designations are formatted like this
German DVD in PAL / HK DVD in NTSC
Logos

The German DVD also features the the Senator logo (difference not included in running time calculation).

+ 13,4 sec




Credits

The intro was not changed, only the title overlay is different. (Before the ending credits, both cuts feature the original title.)

No difference in running time

International VersionOriginal Version




Additional Footage in the International Version
01:41-01:48 / 01:31

Directly after the title overlay and as an introduction into the first actual shots, the IV features a short text overlay explaining that this is the year 1917 in a little house in the southwest of China.

+ 7,4 sec




02:07 / 01:50-01:52

The shot of Liu Jinxi (from now on only called under his real name Tang) starts a little earlier when he tries to loosen his sleeping wife's (Yu) grip.
1,4 sec


02:15 / 02:00-02:01

When he gets up briefly afterwards, the close-up of the hands starts insignificantly earlier in the Original Version.

1,2 sec


02:22 / 02:08-02:09

Yu briefly longer.

0,6 sec




Partial Recut
02:30 bzw 02:35-02:41 / 02:17-02:33

Yu insignificantly longer.
Afterwards, Tang can be seen cleaning his tools directly and puts them into the case. A shot of Tang in the middle was removed and after the shot of the case he takes out another tool. The pictures only show the exclusive footage.

14,8 sec (exclusive footage: 8 sec)




02:41 / 02:38-03:24

Yu wrings the rags longer. Then Xiaotian can be seen playing with the older son Fangzheng. Xiaotian's tooth is attached to the door with a string and is supposed to be pulled out by opening it, but Xiaotian runs away, Fangzheng following. In between, Yu prepares some more food.

44,2 sec




03:04 / 03:48-03:51

Yu can be seen fetching food earlier.

2,8 sec



03:38 / 04:26-04:27

Tang a bit longer, he looks down to the food.

1 sec




03:48 / 04:38-04:43

Tang insignificantly longer and an additional shot of him packing his tools.

4,3 sec




04:24 / 05:20-05:22

A few more shots of farm life.

1,6 sec




04:25 / 05:22-05:24

Ditto.

1,4 sec




05:07 / 06:08-07:27

The two criminals walk through the village longer and go to a restaurant. They discuss something and order wine. The owner asks them whether they are fighters passing through. He laughs and mentions that a few months before a man and his daughter had passed through and sold him pills that turned out to be very helpful for his virility.
The waiter brings the wine and the two instantly criticize its taste. They ask whether there was a shop in town and the waiter shows them the way.

75,9 sec




09:56 / 12:28-12:34

The physician looks at the corpse a bit longer.

5,4 sec




10:03 / 12:41-12:43

The shot is a bit longer, a mother pulls her child to the side.

2,5 sec




Additional Footage in the International Version / Partial Recut
10:27-10:29 bzw 10:47-10:51 / 13:08-13:27

Before Xu bends down, the International Version briefly shows Tang and his son.


The Original Version shows the mayor in the restaurant instead, who receives some herbs from the owner, which are supposed to help against the stench of the corpse. The mayor sits around with the green in his face and looks a bit silly. The beginning of this scene was inserted later (10:47, before Xu enters the restaurant).


Original Version 15,5 sec longer (exclusive footage: 11,6 sec)



Partial Recut
10:52-10:53 / 13:47-13:52

The middle part of Xu walking was removed and a part of the shot of the man packing herbs inserted (no pictures). Actually, Xu arrives, greets him and kneels down.

Original Version 3,6 sec longer




12:17 / 15:19-15:20

A shot of Tang and Xu insignificantly longer.

0,7 sec


Additional Footage in the International Version
12:18-12:19 / 15:21

Shortly afterwards, a shot from above is longer in the IV.

+ 0,7 sec




12:19 / 15:21-15:40

The villagers sing praise for Tang while Xu is still sceptical.

18,2 sec




12:22 / 15:43-15:44

Tang insignificantly longer.

1 sec




13:19 / 16:44-17:21

Xu is walking through the water and looks at the corpse again. He also takes a water sample before two nice tracking shots from above can be seen.

36 sec




14:03 / 18:07-18:10

After Xu has learned that Tang comes from a butcher family, the OV shows some shots of meat parts.

2,3 sec



================================================================================

Partially Recut
14:06 bzw 14:28-14:36 / 18:13-18:30

Slightly extended shot of Xu. After dismanteling the lamp, he spends his time on the dead criminalís teeth.
Just like before, some of the footage has been displaced in the International Version (please check 14:28
16.9 sec (exclusive footage: 8.9 sec)




14:36 / 18:54-20:21

Definetely interpretable as censoring, even though it was most likely removed for the sake of an improved pace: further shot of the dead manís eyes at first, then Xu. He explains in a very gory way that only 3 men would have what it takes to commit a murder like that in the first place. Several scenes of a massacre are being shown during, the bodies look pretty much as one would imagine given Xuís explanation.

Xu: "Only three fugitives killers are capable of such a thing:
- Fang Rishou. He was once a war hero but was later discharged for violent behavior. Became a gambling addict, he squandered his fortune. He set fire to the gambling den. Dozens were killed. He vanished afterwards.
- Zhao Yiguang, also known as The Eye Collector. He ambushed the Tai Fen Convoy. The victims had their eyes gouged and tongues removed. It took them three days to die.
- Bu Yuan, a psychopath famous for his knife skills. He slit his victims' veins and drained their blood. He even threw their heads into boiling soup pots."

Subsequently, Xuís questioning at the restaurant begins earlier. The owner says Tang walked in there a few days after the spring festival requesting information about the amulets on the table. When the owner explained to him they were being slipped over the arm at the first day of spring in order to hold off evil spirits, Tang allegedly said there was no such thing in his village in Lianzhou.

84.1 sec




14:40 / 20:25-20:38

After the owner said Tangís words had been very impressive (the International Version begins with the very same shot at the restaurant in the first place), the shot of Xu referring to the previous amulet conversation is missing here. He now says there were amulets in Lianzhou as well. The owner says he was hoping there wasnít anything bad to it because Jinxi aka Tang was a good guy.

13.3 sec




Additional Footage International Version
14:48-14:53 / 20:47-22:42

After the conversation at the restaurant, only the Original Version continues with an exterior shot and a conversation between Tang and Yu. The subject is Yu who wants to drink some kind of potion that prevents pregnancies but Yang refuses because there was mercury in it. And as we all know, mercury is toxic. He explains that they were having a further child if she got actually pregnant.
Yu goes into it. He wants to know if Tang was alright and Tang responds he was thinking of the two bodies. Yu tries to calm him down. He explains they were evil men, he (Tang) had done the right thing plus the detective appeared to have been a decent, upstanding guy because he refused to get bribed. Then she invites him to dinner.

The following shot of Xu starts earlier. Heís meditating and buried in thoughts. Flashbacks of Tangís dispute with the criminals.
Xu says humans were made of stinky fluids, one way or another, and thatís why he didnít give a damn whether they were good or bad. He adds good or bad was defined by physiological characteristics and then he makes a hazy comment about Ren-ying:
"The Ren-ying meridian controls hunger. His Ren-ying appears to be overdeveloped. The short man was a born glutton. Give me four pints... Wait... Give me eight. Wine impaired his Qi, a contributing factor to his cardiac arrest. He died because his Ren-ying meridian betrayed him."


The International Version only contains a longer shot of meditating Xu at the beginning. He explains that humans were made of stinky fluids and that was why it didnít matter whether they were good or bad via voice-over but he keeps it shorter here.


Original Version 105.4 sec longer



15:03 / 22:53-22:55

Extended shot of Xu taking off the shirt.

2.2 sec




Additional Footage International Version / Alternate / Partially Recut
15:35-16:07 / 23:28-24:01

Here, we have a slightly different order of the scenes. Furthermore, some of them or shorter/longer. Screenshots only for the new footage.

Further shot of Xu suffering in the Original Version. He injects the needles (exclusive footage: a shot of the needles in the flame plus an extended shot of him in profile). He also explains why it is necessary. Subsequently, heís sitting around, buried in thoughts. First a distance shot, then a close-up.
The International Version on the other hand begins with the last shot of him sitting around. Then an exclusive shot from the needle flashback from above, followed by the remaining close-up part. The order of the footage of him injecting the needles basically remains unchanged.

International Version 0.9 sec longer

International VersionOriginal Version




16:18 / 24:12-24:14

Two further close-ups how the food is being prepped.

1.6 sec




17:26 / 25:26-25:35

After Xu wanted to know how Yu and Tang met, the former has a little flashback. First, heís buried in thoughts. Then close-ups of her in the water.

9 sec




19:06 / 27:19-27:30

Extended shot of Tang marching across the landscape. The shot of him in the woods starts earlier as well.

11.1 sec




21:16 / 29:46-30:11

After the ear ended up on the table, some dialog plus further flashbacks about the tiniers criminalís death are missing. An alleged witness eagerly explains he jumped, hit his head on the edge and went down.

24.2 sec




25:55 / 35:02-35:12

Extended shot of the village elders talking about a festive ceremony if Fangzheng doesnít screw up his exams.

9.2 sec




Partially Recut
26:02-26:12 / 35:19-35:44

Alternate order of the scenes again. Furthermore, a few shots have been removed when the village elders keep talking to Yu who bursts into tears out of sheer joy.
Screenshots only for the exclusive footage!

The International Version begins with the kids watching, then the shot of Yu with the men in front of her when she starts weeping.
The Original Version sticks to the previous shot for a trivial period of time, then additional shots of her and the men in front of her. Now the shot of the kids, followed by two additional shot of her weeping.

The following comments are missing in the International Version: "You and your husband have worked hard to raise your children. When they grow up and succeed you will be proud parents."

Original Version 13.5 sec longer




26:14 / 35:46-35:53

The men predict: "The House of Jinxi is surrounded by a water of jade. I foresee a man of prominence."

7 sec




29:21 / 39:08-39:32

Extended shot of Tang and Xu looking at each other. The latter questions the theory that no one had actually free will resp. he intentionally changes the subject of the conversation: "Are you saying that a killer doesn't have free will when he kills?"
After hesitating for a moment, Tang explains "He was conditioned to the act."
But Xu remains stubborn: "And when he kills - because we're all part of that sin we're all accomplices?"
Tang: "I wasn't thinking of killers."

22.8 sec




30:06 / 40:18-40:44

Extended shot of Xu talking to his CI who advises Xu to watch out because he wasnít capable of fighting anymore. Not in his current condition. So if he figured Tang could be a wanted assassin, he better be careful.

24.5 sec




30:16 / 40:54-41:15

Further scenes at the table. Yu gives the hastily eating kids a little slap on the wrist and Xu gets more food on his plate.

19.9 sec




33:08 / 44:14-44:15

Tang trivially longer.

0.7 sec




33:11 / 44:18-44:40

Tang and Xu clink glasses and drink. Xiaotian asks if they had enjoyed their meal and Tang says no with a smile on his face. Xu remains serious.

20.4 sec




33:12 / 44:41-44:42

Tang slightly longer, he lowers his head.

1 sec




33:16 / 44:46-46:08

Their conversation characterized by awkward silence continues. Xu also asks for a place to stay resp. she spends the night.
It goes on with the following scene: While Tang is asleep, Xu is kneeing next to him and says: "After years of killing the murderer's face becomes pale, the eyes turn green, even the air around the body grows cold. Why aren't your eyes green?"
Tang wakes up and says he was going to get a drink.

78.8 sec




33:44 / 46:37-46:51

Fangzheng proudly returns with the new shirt and Tang helps him to put it on.

13 sec




39:19 / 52:41-53:39

Several villagers go to Xu and sing for forgiveness for Tang. But Xu is not impressed, he vanishes in the stable. He locks the door from the inside and thatís when the International Version is back in the game.

56 sec




42:28 / 56:56-57:00

Trivially shortened shot of Xu from behind, a close-up is shorter in the International Version as well.

3.7 sec


42:41 / 57:13-57:14

A further shot from behind that lacks a few frames.

0.8 sec




43:07 / 57:42-57:45

Tang passes Yu who can can be seen from another angle for a moment.

3.4 sec



43:28 / 58:07-58:09

Tang is shown longer from behind.

2.4 sec


43:43 / 58:25-58:27

Xu longer and Tang earlier, as he is turning around.

2 sec




44:02 / 58:47-58:53

Xu is still walking behind Tang, who is also shown in a frontal shot once more.

5.8 sec




44:16 / 59:08-59:10

The long shot starts a bit earlier.

1.9 sec


44:41 / 59:36-59:40

The two are embracing each other a little bit longer.

4.5 sec


44:50 / 59:49-59:51

Tang is shown longer.

1.8 sec


44:57 / 59:58-60:00

Ditto.

1.6 sec


45:07 / 60:10-60:13

Xu keeps walking.

2.3 sec




45:27 / 60:34-60:35

Xu's feet are shown as he's running in panic through the woods.

1.1 sec




45:28 / 60:36-60:43

Some more shots of Xu in panic, also from his own perspective.

6.5 sec




47:39 / 63:00-63:19

Xu tries earlier to start a conversation with his wife. He asks her if the business is going well; after that only follows an awkward silence.

18.7 sec




47:47 / 63:28-63:41

After Xu's wife has refused to light an incense stick for her deceased father, she adds that he wouldn't have wanted that. Xu asks: ĄDo you?ď.

13 sec




Additional Footage in the International Version
52:08-52:09 / 68:13

A black screen is longer at this point in the international version.

+ 0.6 sec




52:13 / 68:17-68:30

Another smooth transition was inserted at this point into the international version. Some further shots of the farmers are missing along with that.

12.5 sec




52:27 / 68:45-69:20

Tang insignificantly longer; then some shots of him riding around. He looks at the farmers and his companion says that they are praying in order to free souls from the purgatory. It's because when they are plowing the ground, they can't avoid harming small animals living in the ground (in accordance to that, we saw some worms at the beginning at the spot where a villager is digging with a shovel).

33.8 sec




55:11 / 72:11-72:15

Tang's sons are shown briefly in between.

3.3 sec




59:26 / 76:41-76:44

The master's wife is shown longer in an additional shot when the police attacks her.

3 sec




60:48 / 78:10-78:13

A short long shot in Tang's house.

3.5 sec




62:33 / 80:03-80:07

Yu is crying longer at the door.

4.2 sec


Additional Footage in the International Version
63:17-63:18 / 80:53

Yu is shown a little bit longer at the end of this scene in the international version.

+ 0.7 sec




63:43 / 81:19-81:22

Further shots of Tang and the begging butcher.

2.9 sec




65:08 / 82:50-83:06

The scene in which Tang is crying while sitting in front of Xiaotian's bed is clearly longer.

14.5 sec




65:10 / 83:08-83:12

The next shot of him also starts a bit earlier, so Xiaotian is reaching out for his hand a bit later.

3.1 sec




65:34 / 83:37-83:49

Additional shots of the villagers before Xu arrives.

11.8 sec




Mirror Effect
66:21-66:34 / 84:37-84:58

Interesting: a small error was corrected at this point by mirroring the shots. Xu only turns around during the conversation in the International Version. Three times, the two shots in between are identical.


International VersionOriginal Version




66:33 / 84:50-84:57

There's an extension in between. Xu says decisively: "I must bring him to justice."

6.8 sec




Additional Footage in the International Version
70:19-70:21 / 88:52

Only the International Version shows the beating heart again, after Tang has been covered up.

+ 2.4 sec




71:24 / 89:58-90:00

A shot of the master begins insignificantly earlier.

2.2 sec



71:30 / 90:07-90:26

The next one is a bit longer. The master is shown whimpering in several shots; Tang and his companions are shown in between.

18.3 sec




Additional Footage in the International Version / Partially Re-cut
72:24 respectively 72:28-72:32 / 91:22-91:31

Some more shot of the master, Tang, Xu etc. are partially reinserted into the International Version again shortly afterwards (72:28), only those of the master and the last two of XU are exclusive and are therefore shown here.
The International Version shows another shot of the beating heart at this point instead.

Original version 8.7 sec longer (exclusive footage: 4.7 sec)

International VersionOriginal Version




Additional Footage in the International Version
72:55-72:57 / 91:59

And again, the heart is only shown in the international version.

+ 2.1 sec



76:00 / 95:10-95:16

Tang is wandering around earlier. .

6.1 sec




76:09 / 95:25-95:28

The shot is longer at the end, too.

3.2 sec




77:52-77:54 / 97:17-97:20

When the master tells Xiaotian of Tang's childhood, the International Version has a cut to Tang, while the Original Version shows Yu.
The shot of Yu comes up a bit later in the International Version, too. The shot of Tang is also used a few seconds later in the Original Version, but this is explained in more detail in the description of the next difference, because some other footage was cut completely at that point.

Original version 0.9 sec longer



Re-cut
77:59-78:02 / 97:23-97:42

Now, the shot of Yu also comes up in the International Version (no pictures).
In the Original Version, the master speaks longer and the shot of Tang, which has already been used in the International Version, is only one of several reaction shots. The master asks menacingly why Yu is nodding her head, whereupon she lowers it in shame.

Original version 14.4 sec longer




79:36 / 99:21-99:33

A tracking shot towards Tang, who's scared; then the master laughs.

11.7 sec




Alternative
79:42-79:44 / 99:39-99:44

Another scary laugh by the master; in the International Version, they preferred another more serious shot of him.

Original version 2.8 sec longer

International VersionOriginal Version




79:51 / 99:51-99:53

The beginning of the following shot was also removed because the master still has the evil grin on his face, before he tells the climax of his little story.

1.5 sec




Alternative
79:57-79:58 / 100:00-100:01

The Original Version shows Tang for about one more second, while the International Version shows the following shot of the master a bit earlier.

No difference in running time



85:57 / 106:14-106:30

Tang isn't immediately flung outside by the impact of the kick; first, he falls down in the corner. The master comes closer and keeps complaining before he kicks him again.

14.7 sec




Alternative
85:57-87:58 / 106:30-106:49

After a few frames of the first exterior shot have been shown from above, the International Version immediately goes on with an exclusive sideways shot and it look as if he rolled over the roof in one motion (it seems to be a dynamic fall all the way down, shown from different perspectives).


The shot from above is actually a bit longer in the Original Version and Tang is lying on the ground. The master is slowly coming closer and when Tang has got up again, the master kicks him hard against the head, shown in slow motion. This is actually the reason for his fall.
The following shot from further away starts a few frames earlier, so the hit can be seen here, too.

(Note: this explains why the master is suddenly standing outside in the following shot, which is then also contained in the International Version, which makes it look like a continuity mistake in this version.)


Original version 17.8 sec longer




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