Comparison between the cut US-DVD by Dimension Home Video and the uncut HK-DVD by Joy Sales
- US-DVD by Dimension (R-Rated): 103:38 min in NTSC
- Uncut HK-DVD by Joy Sales: 106:41 min in NTSC
- 5 cuts (+ 3 scenes where additional differences occur due to changes in the opening and end credits
- Cutting length: 79.6 sec (=1:20 min) (+ 103 sec)
"Crime Story", released in 1993, is one of the few more recent films which feature Jackie Chan in a rather serious role.
In other respects the film is quite untypical for Chan, too, since it is a thriller with only a few fighting scenes. Still, the film does not miss out on a fair share of action. Especially during the terrific showdown there's explosion after explosion and the one or other impressive shooting.
The actors are convincing, as well. Above all, Kent Cheng, who plays Chan's opponent from his own ranks, delivers a great performance.
So whoever has been annoyed by the often foolish and outlandish humour of Chan's other works before his rather average Hollywood appearances, should definitely sneak a peek at this film.
The RC3-DVD by Joy Sales / Fortune Star, featuring a HD-Master, is highly recommendable. It was used for this comparison.
The US-reissue by Dragon Dynasty, featuring an audio commentary by HK-expert Bey Logan and director Kirk Wong, is said to be of good quality, as well.
Just as with the American releases one has to be cautious, since initially the film was only released by Dimension Home Video in a slightly cut version which this censorship report is concerned with.
All the action scenes have remained unaffected and only the last five minutes have been messed with, but this is bad enough: the film's message has been considerably softened in the old US-Version.
1. The film is based loosely on true events, namely the kidnapping of a rich businessman called Teddy Wang in 1990. Wang has never been found and was pronounced dead in 1999 - his abductors, however, claimed to have thrown him into the sea.
The film never really shows kidnap victim Wong being rescued, but immediately before the coast guards' arrival one can see him getting tied to a heavy object by one of the kidnappers and being thrown into the sea. These short scenes have been removed from the old US version.
2. Similarly, the US version does not contain a scene in which Jackie destroys Wong's document before the latter escapes abroad. This certainly trespasses against his own personal attitude towards his job.
A step towards his former mentor Hung whose behavior he could not understand before.
To sum up, one can say that the film has been deprived of some of its thoughtfulness in the cut version, that is to say it has been reduced to the typical "hero rescues the kidnap victim" ending of an action film.
Runtime references are given according to the cut US-DVD
On the US-DVD, the Dimension logo is visible.
+ 13.5 sec
logos / opening credits
The credits differ.
On the US-DVD there are several English fade-ins, the producers and the director are mentioned.
The HK-DVD only has two fade-ins followed by a long black screen - then the first dialogue begins.
HK-DVD 3.8 sec longer
Between the shots of the kidnappers' ship and the coast guard's ship, one single shot is missing.
Inside, one of the kidnappers grabs hold of the enchained Wong.
Again, Wong is shown on board. The kidnapper shortly rips the tape off Wong's mouth, stuffs some rice in and puts it on again.
He says (Engl. subtitles of the HK-DVD): "You'd be a satiated ghost. That's not what I had in mind."
In passing, the kidnapper takes off Wong's blindfold and drags him off outwards.
After both ships have encountered each other, one can see one last time what actually happened to Wong.
The kidnapper throws him through a door from the ship into the water.
Jackie steps aside in the same shot.
He places down the files concerning Wong.
After they have decided to leave Hong Kong, Wong's wife (in the uncut version) asks the driver to stop the car.
Cut to Jackie who has just produced Wong's wallet and reaches for his lighter.
When he sees Mrs. Wong, he puts the lighter away. She approaches him and, overcome by emotion, clasps his hand and, near to tears, thanks him repeatedly.
Mrs. Wong runs back to the car and Jackie gazes after her sadly.
He takes out the file again and pours a flammable liquid on Wong's wallet. There's also a close shot of that.
Jackie ignites the wallet and throws it down in the water after a while. Then he reaches for the file again and the rest of the shot is also visible on the US-DVD.
The US-DVD just fades out here (ca. 2 sec), followed by the shorter US closing credits on a black background.
In the uncut version, however, Jackie moves a bit further backwards, then the picture freezes.
Text panels are faded in, first of which is particularly relevant for the end of the film.
"On March 27, 1991, Wong Yat Fei was gained back his freedom. For reasons of security, the police files regarding the case were destroyed. Wong left Hong Kong never to return."
Subsequently, there are three more text panels containing notes from the producers. The final credits are then running over this last frozen image, up until the last minute, when they run over a black background.
HK-DVD 112.7 sec longer
In about 20 scenes in the film, there are fade-in messages informing about the events or e.g. the current whereabouts.
For some reason those are missing on the HK-DVD (also in the subtitles).
(exemplary pictures from the US-DVD)