Compared are the uncut Original Version (= "International Version" in the bonus features of the German Blu-ray by Splendid) and the Alternate Asian Version (= Main Movie aka "New Extended Version" on the German Blu-ray by Splendid)
67 differences, including
* 3 scenes longer in the Original Version
* 9x alternate courseof events
* 5 recuts
* 2 scenes with speed difference
Additional Footage in the Original Version: 475.2 sec (= 7:55 min)
Additional Footage in the Alternate Asian Version: 895.1 sec (= 14:55 min)
Furthermore, there are a few minor and insignificant differences below 0.5 seconds. Probably resulting from the bad quality of the master and not considered in the following comparison.
Background / The Versions
The overview of the version of this Jackie Chan classic is quite confusing as well but with rather little effort, it is not that hard to see through. Thanks to inconsistent names, not least because of several home theater releases (please see the following segment of the intro for more information), it is not as easy as it coud be for the average potential buyer.
Exclusively based on the Original Version, there are two more versions worth mentioning:
"Version 1a" or considering its chain of distribution, it could aso be called European Export Version which approx. 5 minutes cut.
Available e.g. on the old German VHS, the UK VHS and probably on the old French releases.
"Version 1b" aka Dimension US Version with approx. 2 minutes cut, compared to the Original Version.
Available on the US DVDs and Blu-rays by Dimension/Buena Vista/Miramax. Not to be confused with the above mentioned release by Tai Seng.
The German Blu-ray
Basically, one can only applaud. As often, the Blu-ray by Splendid is exemplary even though the above mentioned "European Export Version" (Version 1a) is unavailabe. But this is where it gets a little confusing: the uncut Original Version is only available in the bonus features of the Blu-ray and it is called "International Version". But when one inserts in the disc in the player, this version is named "Export Version" for some reason... which can be deceiving because it implies that this is the "European Export Version" (Version 1a) which is not true.
The main movie of the Blu-ray is the Alternate Asian Version. Easily comprehensible on the back cover and yet less than ideal named "New Extended Version" and without any further explanation. As a consequent, one might assume that this is the uncut Original Version.
As the following comparison shows, the Alternate Asian Version lacks footage that was in the Original Version. A version that contains the entire footage is not available.
The Alternate Asian Version
One can devide the differences in three huge sections.
The Original Version starts with the Rugby match resp. the pyramid game. This scene represents the finale in the Alternate Asian Version which means it follows the fight against the supervillain. This also means the Alternate Asian Version starts calmer and the Rugby scene at the end of the movie seems misplaced.
During this course of events, there are further smaller recuts but that is of minor significance.
b) Small Scene Extensions
The Alternate Asian Version also contains a few additional scenes such as Jackie's dad reveals that he intended to hook him up with his love interest. All in all, the additional footage consists of smaller plot extensions and stunt scenes that are also in the Original Version and do the trick.
There are positiveand negative aspects about it: on the one hand, it is quite nice for fans of the movie - especially the Rugby pyramid scene or the footminton match have a length of several minutes each. The elaborately choreographed mass scene is simply nice to look at plus it is positive to see more of the hard work behind it. But then again, one cannot deny that the pace of the Original Version is almost perfect. In spite of some rare moments that make the pace look a bit better (e.g. when Jackie throws a huge book to his two buddies while quoting poems), the cuts in the Original Version are reasonable. Sometimes, the action scenes seem drawn out in the Alternate Asian Version. Escpecially when Jackie is quoting poems, one gets easily tired of the punchlines.
c) Cut Scenes
In addition to the negative connotation of some redundant extensions, the most critical issue: annoyingly, three longer scenes from the Original Version (written cursively in the comparison, screenshots of the Original Version can be recognized by the missing black bars) have been removed for the Alternate Asian Version.
It makes kind of scene for the barrel scene at the end because it doesn't fit in anymore with the rugby paramid match.
In the middle of the movie, Dragon and the others pay the girl a visit and they are being welcomed with tomatoes, water and eggs. Admittedly rather irrelevant for the course of events and yet it is a bummer that this nice little comedy performance is gone.
Finally, Tiger's leaving the pack of thieves violently is missing. This is totally odd, especially since there is an alternate explanation in another additional scene. A small fight goes by the board, too.
Putting that aside, the Original Version contains a few seconds of exclusive footage during the alternate scenes.
Bottom line: having the Alternate Asian Version is nice but there are a few downsides as well plus it is not the longest version with the all the available footage in it.
Time index refers to
Original Version (German Blu-ray) / Alternate Asian Version (German Blu-ray)
01:10-09:01 / 01:10 bzw 90:47-102:07
After several production logos, the Original Version starts with the fight for the pyramid. In the Alternate Asian Version, this is comes after the regular final fight. Since this comparison is based on the Original Version, the differences have already been listed in a colored frame because the scene is 209 seconds (=3:29 minutes) longer in the Alternate Asian Version.
09:01 / 01:10-01:16
The first shot of the Alternate Asian Version is longer resp. there is a tracking shot of the rooftops on the right.
09:07 / 01:22-01:28
Shot of Dragon's buddy standing guard during which the title pops up in the Alternate Asian Version plus further credits during the footage which is also in the Original Version. After that, Dragon a brief moment earlier.
16:11 / 08:32-08:57
The baddies' conversation is longer. Cowboy's dad says they were going to be rich a month after shipping the antiques.