Very badly, this is how the international version of this little Jackie Chan movie, which is a mixture of comedy, action and exaggerated romance, was hit. More than 20 minutes of plot have been removed, and especially the female main act of cute Shu Qui has been degraded to a pretty small support act. The reason is probably the lacking prominence of HK-star Shu Qui in the western world, especially since the movie was made before "The Transporter" or the export-hit "So Close", which later put said lady internationally a little more into the spotlight.
Disregarding alternative scenes, the following cut-times result:
37 cuts with a total length of 21 min. 18 sec. (1278 seconds) in the international version.
The HK-version has, next to a hand full of master-deficiencies, a cut amounting to a total length of 19 seconds.
Bu's (Shu Qi) father's bar is shown, there's a lot of partying, singing Karaoke, drinking beer etc. - the father goes from table to table, greets everyone and does hasty commentary. He sits down next to a few friends outside and invites them to a beer on the ouse. His wife is not amused about this, she tells Bu that the men come every day and pay nothing. She orders Bu to eke out the beer with water. Bu rhetorically asks whether she should do this trick again - as she brings the men their beers, they immediately ask her warily whether she had mixed the beer with water again. She loudly says no. As all men start drinking at the same time, they disgustedly spit it all out again. The father notices something in his drink and gets angry. Bu runs away and the father follows. Cut to a distant shot of the bar, and there is a voice-over of Bu saying that this was the same every evening, and that there was no place for romance on this island.
Bu and her mother prepare the oyster which Bu got from the guy who wants to marry her (future: the admirer) as a gift. Bu tells her mother he proposed to her. She looks surprised for a short time, then asks Bu very calmly whether she loved him. Bu hesitates and says he wasn't bad etc. - her mother interrupts her and says her answer shouldn't be any longer than four words, either she loves him or not. Then the father is heard singing outside, the two turn to him and laugh. Now, the international version continues.
The father singing outside is edited shortly after as the two talk about him.
The talk about Bu's father is also strongly cut down. After the mother explains to Bu that her father is a phenomenal cook etc., Bu asks how it is to love someone. The mother explains her that you miss that person and it hurts when he isn't there etc. Then the mother says it's even nice to watch that person sleep and there is a cut to the father who now has fallen asleep. A fly flies into his open mouth, he swallows it, harrumphs, coughs and the fly flies away unharmedly.
The international version continues as the two laugh about this.
Again, general ado in Bu's father's bar. Someone sings a romantic Karaoke-song. The camera sways from the house up to Bu's window. She is sitting depressedly in front of the proposal and the romantic message from the bottle post and cannot decide. Then she notices her dolphin in the water. She says it should decide and holds the proposal out to it. Since nothing happens, it's the bottle post's turn, now the dolphin is jumping out of the water and does tricks. She repeats that once more. Then, dreamingly and amusedly she tells the dolphin it just decided her future.
Jackie Chan's first appearance was shortened, too. The scene takes place directly after the one with Bu in the aeroplane.
A training room is shown, then a shot of a rubber doll. One of Jackie Chan's assitants awkwardly boxes against it. Then, Chan enters, the two go to a sideroom and Chan opens up a newspaper. His assistant calls somebody and asks whether they were ready. The international version continues at the following start of a viewphone talk.
After Bu and the gay man looked at the poster with the bottle post and he says he was going to right it, the scene continues. To understand the content, it is to be said he says something completely different in the original version, namely that he is going to look for a hotel for her for that night - which is why she looks at him so resentfully. But completely different translation of HK-movies are nothing new to begin with...
The scene continues as follows: The gay man wants to look for a hotel for Bu, but she'd rather stay with him. She twitches his arm etc. He says he couldn't stand women to be in his apartment. She continues twitching and pesters him. Then he pushes her away and she stumbles not very gently against a wall. She looks sadly and says she came that long way and didn't deserve something like this. She plays sad and walks towards the door. The gay man calls her and she turns around hopefully, but he only throws her suitcase after her. Then she leaves and depressedly sits down in front of his front door. Shortly after, the door opens again, and he is giving her her purse, too. Then he says he couldn't stand anybody cry, because he feels guilty, and that she can stay. She says she was so grateful, she'd help him with everything. He snidely laughs and says he was a make-up artist. He puts on some glasses and a comedic rendition of him looking into the camera and explaining he even was the best make-up artist in HK takes place. - The international version continues as the cut to the sailer takes place.
A short scene on the gay man's sailer, on which the photos are being taken is missing: Bu is hungry and nags around, wanting to know how long its going to take. The gay man answers about six hours. Completely bitter, she says he couldn't be serious. Then, the photographer comes from below deck and says they should close the hatch.
After Jackie and Bu have been saved from their "shipwreck", a short scene ashore is missing. The dragonship that towed them off is seen at a dock, the crew is doing dry runs. Jackie telephones with a mobile phone and is asking for the newest stock prices and his friend's company's (which he wants to take over) condition. Bu is standing next to him and is bored, so she annoys him a little and then goes away. Jackie looks after her and has to smile, then he says he should be bought a new mobile phone.
Here, as Jackie leaves his assistant with 20 Dollars and takes Bu with him instead of him, there is another plot scene cut from the international version. The scene is exactly on a reel change, though, why the international version has the incredible honour to be actually ca. 1 second longer than the HK-version. Here, you see the assisstant standing on the way and looking at the car a little longer.
1 Sec. in the HK-version (Master error)
The international version misses the following in return:
The assistant looks at the bill and tells himself, a little disgustedly, that Jackie was a liar.
As Bu bails on Jackie during diner and his assistant tells him, she just went downward by elevator, the scene continues a little: Jackie is a bit sad, goes back into the kitchen and finds Bu's clothing. He laughs a little, because this means she left an excuse to return later. The scene continues, first the pictures:
(Change of scene)
Bu is back with her gay friend in his apartment. He is just putting on some face mask and she dreamily tells him about Jackie. But he is sceptical.
all in all 65 Sec.
The scene showing Bu's admirer ariving at the airport in HK has been shortened as well. A woman runs to him and thinks he is Chow Yun Fat. He tries to explain her he is not Chow Yun Fat, but she immediately tells another bypasser and asks him to take a photo. Then, the two go away quickly and, too late, the guy notices they stole his luggage. He runs after them, but they already jumped into a glass-elevator and make faces.
Close-up of CN's (Jackie Chan) hand on the elevator button, as he opens the elevator for the first time, in which the gay man, who painted his apartment, wants to disappear.
The door-open-door-closed game with the gay man was shortened, too.
Another small shot of the elevator-nonsense.
Time and again.
The cameo appearance of HK-star Stephen Chow was also cut out mercilessly. The original version shows it after the short beating with the baseballbats. Here, Bu doesn't propose leaving before the police arrives but says that the police will probably follow them. After that sentence, the original cut continues like this:
Suddenly, an officer, played by Stephen Chow, is standing behind CN and Bu. Several times, he orders the dog to sit down, but it only obeys after a few tries. The policeman says, somebody reported a beating. The two confirm that. He asks whether some proof has been left. CN gives him the baseballbat which he still has in his hand. The policeman lets his dog sniff it and orders it to keep track. The dog starts running, the policeman drops and is being trailed (godawful puppet). After the dog ran out of the frame with the policeman, a short take of the completely messed up policeman sitting on stairs is shown. He says something to his dog, which immediately runs away again and pulls the poor guy with it.
After the circus-like dance routine by Bu and CN, a complete plot scene has been removed again. Also, the dance is normally faded-off instead of just being cut off. The following is missing:
CN is leisurely walking over a golf course with an elderly man. They talk about CN's business etc. Then, the man asks CN whether it was right that he tried to take over LW's (CN's bad friend) company. CN nods. The man explains to him that the biggest victory was not simply a victory, but one a man earns a lot of respect from his enemies with.
After the guy who intentionally wanted to marry Bu and followed her to HK now has found the bottle post, another rather long plot sequence is missing:
Bu is sitting at home with her gay friend and asks him whether she looked good. He answers yes and she is happy. He criticizes her clothing and gives her money to buy new ones. She is very grateful and recites what things he does for her and says he was her guardian angel. He pushes her toward the door, as he just wants to close it, she goes in between and asks him what she should talk about during dinner that night. He gives her a few tips, wants to close the door again, but all this repeats.
After CN has told LW to grow up and he left the screen, the camera stays a little on LW and Alan (the small fighter). Alan gives LW a cassette and asks him to play it.
Then a cut to Bu, who followed CN, this shot is contained in the international version, too, but it only replaces another shot that is missing (see below).
The international version shows Jackie walk slightly longer before Alan blocks his way.
1.5 Sec. in the HK-version
LW gives one of his henchmen the cassette he got from Alan with the request to play it during the fight and says "Music!".
Now, the international version features the scene showing Bu following CN in her blue dress. But here, a small take of her face is missing, which should have been shown now.
The international version features CN depressedly sitting in front of the fence a little longer. Possibly due to a continuity error resulting from the previous edit.
Bu trains with CN
As the romantic music plays and the two work out together, a lot of stuff has been cut again. The first cut takes place at the scene's very beginning: After the two jogged up the mountain, Bu being totally exhausted but CN still conditionedly running on the same spot is missing, breathlessly she says something to him.
Before CN is shown rope-jumping, a few scenes are missing depicting him train on a boxing ball, but he is still out of practice and makes mistakes.
Because of the sound track, the training scene couldn't be simply cut, but it was completely rearranged and adjusted to (alleged) western tastes. The international version e.g. features much more romantic and comedic renditions than actual training scenes.
After CN does modified pushups with the wheel, nothing is where it was in the original version any more. Besides, both versions feature numerous scenes missing in the other.
Because a comparison is next to impossible, only a time line-up of the scene's entire length in both versions.
From the scene differing up to the point as Bu asks CN in the pool whether she was in love the scene runs for
The international cut is actually longer in this scene, but not neccessarily better. Here, mostly romantic or comedic elements were used, the original version shows CN fight more often, becoming better and especially faster.
A picturized line-up of scene missing in the respective other one:
The international version misses:
Bu is sitting with her two potholders with smileys on them behind CN and draws a smile over his face. (In return, the potholder scene of the international version is missing)
Further shots of the two diving with the dolphins and Bu feeding them with a fish.
An alternate scene showing CN jogging and Bu driving the scooter.
CN training with two dumbbells.
CN training much longer at the horse
More swift skipping-rope excercises.
The HK-version misses:
Jackie is exercising on a small boxing sack and tries to hit it with his head but misses all the time. In the end he is squinting.
The HK version misses the potholder scene of the international version, showing Bu holding this thing in front of exhausted Jackie's face, making him laugh.
Another take of Jackie jogging and Bu on the scooter.
A scene in which Bu is playing with two bottles of water shaped like dumbbells and CN training next to her.
Bu is standing in front of CN's training tools and fools with them.
The scene in which Bu is hiding in her gay friend's fridge from her admirer has been cut again. The cut starts after the gay man opened the fridge and says that Bu is absolutely crazy. The following is missing:
Bu shakingly says that it was cold. Suddenly Bu's massively drunk admirer stumbles back into the kitchen. The gay man hastily closes the fridge. The admirer is looking for a bottle opener to open another bottle of wine. The gay man helps him to get rid of him quickly. Suddenly they hear a sound coming from the fridge. The gay man wants to reassure the wary pushed off admirer by telling him it was the neighbor's boy from the apartment above. The admirer doesn't buy that, though and presses his ear to the fridge. As another loud noise sounds from the fridge, he points at it and says "Ha!", but then adds that this sound came from above. But as he wants to get the bottle opener again, the gay man takes the bottle away from him and carefully knocks off the tip. He gives the baffled guy the decapitated bottle telling him to drink it that way. The gay man opens the fridge as the other one has left the kitchen.
Bu continues telling the gay man how much she is in love with CN. Meanwhile there is a cut to him looking at her touchedly.
After Bu's admirer finally has dropped unconcious, the scene continues a little:
The gay man hastily goes back into the kitchen and opens the fridge. Apparently, Bu is unconcious, too. The gay man quickly takes some water and spills it on her face. (The fridge's door covers the action)
A short cut to the assembly line workers, who earlier watched CN with the gangster chick and than see Bu coming is missing.
Another take of the to workers looking at cryingly running away Bu.
After Bu ran away, a (relatively) small cut takes place, removing the rest of the ongoing scene, a small scene completely, as well as the first shots of a third scene:
After Bu ran away, the girl who triggered all this chaos asks CN whether her gab caused all this. CN says no, though. Then, his friend proposes running after Bu, but he doesn't want to. Finally, the two leave.
Bu is sitting in an aeroplane and is on her way back to Taiwan. She is still very sad as one of the chicks she met on the outward fly sits down next to her. She immediately starts her nonsense and reports to Bu that she has bought many pretty dresses. Then she asks what Bu has bought. Bu just says she bought a story. The woman looks at her weirdly, makes a comment and sits down next to the other tattletales. Bu still smiles after her tolerantly and well-meant.
A shot of CN, just having a business conversation over his monitors, as well as a close-up of said monitor is missing.
all in all 48 sec.
The businessmeeting was also slightly cut:
The woman on the left monitor is asking CN whether they should support the other companies. CN uninterestedly says they could decide that. The woman on the right monitor warns him not to buy any companies that are heading south. Angrily he answers he is not going to do that anyways.
Before CN, who is just dining with another woman, is shown, the tracking shot is slightly longer. Petty...
Furthermore, the scene in which CN is dining with the other woman sounds differently. The HK-version features the soppy title song, the song in the international version on the other hand is very silent and the talk has been dubbed: The woman asks CN what was wrong, but he only apologizes and says everything was okay.
Then, another small shot is missing in the international version, depicting the woman lowering her glimpse disappointedly.
Again, a small part of the dinner with the other woman:
She holds her glass of wine to CN to clink glasses. He smiles and clinks. Then the two take a zip.
Weird: When it's about to degrade Shu Qi to a support act, every second scene is cut, but when it's about to stage the romance and separation of her relationship to CN, footage is being added. Thus, the western world gets its familiar amound of Hollywood-schmaltz.
Back to the topic: Only the international version features a small scene during which CN suddenly extremely euphorically picks up the phone (hoping it's Bu on the other end) in the middle of an important business meeting. All of the co-workers are looking at him sceptically. CN then hands the telephone to his co-worker.
19 Sec. in the HK-version
The international version shows Allan (the small fighter in black) slightly longer, after CN answered his question whether he was back in the training again. There is a voiceover of CN that says it was not because of him.
1 Sec. in the HK-version
As CN is trapped in a corner by Allan and he notices the smiley in the garbage, reminding him of the nice time with Bu, some flashbacks to the mutual training take place. As mentioned above, the entire training scene was cut differently to a degree of peerlessness, so the flashbacks in this part are different in the two versions, as well. This time, the HK- version is slightly longer, though.
The scene goes on for:
Shortly before the end an entire plot chunk:
Bu's father's bar is shown. The regular ado is going on. Bu studies some papers as her mother sits down next to her. The mother look at the papers and notices they are college-applications. She asks Bu whether she wanted to go to college. Bu sophisticatedly says she is thinking about it. Her mother then says that she had changed, and that love changed people etc.
After a short fuss, Alber (the gay man) and her admirer join them. Bu just wants to enthusiastically greet Albert as her admirer pushes himself in between. She first looks baffeledly, but Albert gives her hand signals from behind. Then she finally confesses to him he is not her type and that she liked older men. As the guy responds that he actually is older, she points to the fact she is talking about maturity. After she pushed him off, she greets Albert and introduces him to her mother.
As Bu's father tells CN where to get off and Bu joins, a short take of Albert doing a sophisticated hand sign, is missing.
CN is being dragged on the ground by a second one of Bu's relatives and falls onto some chairs.
A little from the love, peace and harmony ending was cut, too. The HK-version shows a pretty girl stand next to Bu's (former) admirer. He, completely exasperatedly, asks her who she was. She tells him she was his neighbor. Then he shouts with glee. Then, CN's assistant and gay Albert are getting a little closer, too.
The outtakes are rearranged and differnt altogether in the two versions.