Compared are the censored Chinese Version available on the HK DVD and the uncensored International Version available on the German Blu-ray
75 differences, among them
* 19 with alternate footage
* 5 additional footage HK Version
* 3 scenes with censored audio track
Difference: 467.6 sec (= 7:48 min)
In order to keep it simple, a very few more missing moments with a length of less than 0.3 seconds (not removed for censorship reasons!) haven't been considered.
Basically, only one version of the remake shot in 2010 was released internationally and most of our readers probably don't see any reason at all for censoring it because the picture is quite family-friendly. But in parts of Asia, it was a whole different story because of the conflict between the Asian and the Western culture which didn't exist in the original Karate Kid series.
Here and there, it was implied that the Theatrical Version in China was different. The HK DVD/Blu-ray which is usually an option for some people confirmed that assumption.
In this particular version, approx. 8 minutes are missing. But then again, there is a little bit exclusive footage in it as well. Apparently, this version is only for the Asian market or - to be more specific - for the Chinese market because all the alterations have one goal and one goal only: to make the fellow countrymen look better.
Especially the fight and bullying scenes are either much shorter or they have been completely removed. This way, Cheng and his boys appear entirely different. They do not treat Dre as obnoxious and ruthless as they do in the International Version. Quite the contrary, actually. Curiously enough, it seems as if Dre was provocing them for no reason. In this conext, Master Li's behavior must be pointed out, too. He is still strict but he doesn't teach his students to crush their opponents anymore. And in the finale, he doesn't suggest to break Dre's leg either.
The romance between Dre and Meiying has been toned by one cut in particular: they do not kiss. There are still a few hints on the HK DVD though but physical contact like that was obviously too much.
Furthermore, a few statements about China and its culture have either been changed or added to the audio track. The forbidden town for instance is being described much more positively and Jackie says about Master Li's presentations that it wouldn't represent China. That Mr. Han doesn't get dead flies with his chopsticks falls into the same category.
All in all, the HK Version should be avoided. It's quite interesting though what needs to be considered to release a motion picture on a particular continent / in a particular country. Whether it was a precautionary measure or required alterations is a whole new ball game. In Japan, the International Version was released by the way - according to the stated length. So it seems that it doesn't concern any Asian country.
Timeindex refers to
HK DVD in NTSC / German Blu-ray
The additional logos on the HK DVD at the beginning.
+ 31.1 sec
The credits of the following scenes differ as well. On the HK DVD, the credits are smaller plus there is additional writing in Chinese - exemplary only screenshots of the title.
08:09-08:10 / 07:38-07:44
Extended shot of Dre and Harry walking to the new apartment while chatting. Dre mentions the reason for moving to China.
Harry: "So how come you guys are moving to China?"
Dre: "My mom got transferred. She works at the car factory."
On the HK DVD, the following shot of the old man near the flower starts insignificantly earlier (no screenshots).
International Version 4.6 sec longer
HK DVD longer
10:23 / 09:57
When Dre reaches for his suitcase, the shot begins a few frames earlier on the HK DVD.
+ 0.6 sec
The following shots slighly differ as well. Each of them is less than 0.5 seconds longer on the HK DVD.
HK DVD longer
10:53-10:57 / 10:26
The exterior tracking shot starts a bit earlier on the HK DVD.
+ 3.5 sec
11:03 / 10:32-11:23
Therefore, it is longer in the International Version and an additional scene follows: before he comes to Mr. Han, Dre goes to the wrong room. The language barrier becomes an issue again resp. the men are just looking at him when he speaks to them in English. When Dre clearly mentions Mr. Han's name, they can make it clear to him by hand signals that he needs to go one room further. That is the reason for a further shot of him being outside.
Dre: "Mr. Han? Hi. We just moved into 305. Hot water's not working."
He tries to keep it simple and makes an attempt to express himself with hand signals: "No hot agua."
He waits a moment. Then he adds: "Looking for Mr Han."
One of the men repeats "Han?" and they finally understand resp. the point him in the right direction.
11:03-11:08 / 11:23-11:28
The subsequent first meeting with Mr. Han is slightly different as well.
The International Version shows Dre longer kicking against the door, followed by shot of Dre addressing Mr. Han.
HK DVD 0.3 sec longer
11:51-12:00 / 12:11-12:32
Only in the International Version, Mr. Han gets the fly with the chopsticks which he subsequently use for his meal.
Dre, disgusted at first but then full of hope to get help, comments Mr. Han's action in the following way: "That's nasty. I'm gonna go throw up. In 305, where the hot water's not working."
The HK-DVD shows Mr. Han (without the chopsticks incident!) going on with his meal and Dre says without a clue: "Um, I can always come back if this is bad time."
International Version 12.8 sec longer
17:09 / 17:42-17:56
Dre gets in fighting position. When running at each other, Cheng trips him up. As a result, Dre goes down.
17:12 / 17:59-18:18
One of the boys helps Dre up. After looking around irritatedly, he gives it another shot: this time, Cheng tosses him over his shoulders and Dre ungently hits the ground again. One of Cheng's friends is laughing, Mei tries to do something.
17:18 / 18:24-18:46
After Harry's attempt to smoothen the situation, the shot of Dre getting up and getting in fighting position again is missing.
When Dre lunges, Cheng easily blocks him and kicks him down hard.
17:19 / 18:47-18:48
Short shot of Dre on the ground, Mei approaches from the background.
17:27-17:29 / 18:56-19:05
When Dre gets up suddenly, Cheng blocks his punch on the HK-DVD resp. there is a little additional scene that doesn't exist in the International Version.
In the International Version on the other hand, Dre hits him by surprise. Cheng goes down for a moment but he is back on his feet pretty fast. Mei is whining again and Cheng gets ready for the next attack.
International Version 7.3 sec longer
17:30-17:31 / 19:06-19:08
The HK DVD shows Dre writhing, then a rotation by Cheng.
The International Version contains another shot of Dre with his face more twisted in pain. Then Cheng bitchslaps him.
International Version 1.3 sec longer
17:37 / 19:15-19:18
In the same shot, Cheng hits Dre in the face. Then a cut to Dre on the ground.
17:39-17:40 / 19:19-19:20
The HK DVD shows Mei approaching Cheng from another angle. The International Version shows it during a tracking shot of Dre lying wounded on the ground (it is only one single take in the International Version while the take is interrupted by the mentioned shot on the HK DVD).
International Version 0.1 sec longer
17:42-17:44 / 19:22-19:24
The HK DVD sticks to the shot of Mei when Cheng walks off and she bends over to Dre.
The International Version cuts to wounded Dre instead.
17:58 / 19:38-19:52
Dre significantly longer plus additional high-angle shot of him after a short transition.
Then another transition to the peephole.
22:06 / 24:00-24:48
The scene at the cafeteria ends quite harmless on the HK DVD: Mei says goodbye to far-away Dre.
But after that, Cheng actually approaches and provoces him. His tablet with food on it ends up on the ground. Dre wants to push him but the hall monitor intervenes instantly and Dre leaves gloomily. Mei watches him leave with a sad lok on her face.
28:33 / 31:15-31:27
Cheng and his entourage give Dre the evil eye, one of the guys empties his pocket.
28:42-28:44 / 31:36-31:40
Extended shot of Dre in the HK DVD after Cheng passed him.
The International Version contains an additional shot of Cheng kicking Dre's backpack in the air and his buddy kicks it in Dre's direction.
International Version 2 sec longer
30:10-30:15 / 33:06-33:11
Alternate take of Dre intentionally not looking at his mom. Most likely related to the following difference: on the HK DVD, it is supposed to look like they were standing in front of the school already.
30:17-30:19 / 33:14-33:25
On the HK DVD, the mom turns around with icecream in her hand. Then the shot at the entrance of the martial arts school.
In the International Version, she follows Dre around.
International Version 9.3 sec longer
31:13 / 34:19-34:26
First distance shot of the coach passing by the students and hollering out the battle line one more time.
31:45-31:50 / 34:58-35:12
The mom's probing has been shortened by some alternate shots. The Asian audience was not supposed to know that she obviously does not care about the differences between kung fu and karate.
In der Original Version antwortet Dre in gleicher Einstellung auf die Frage, was passiert sei: "Nothing."
Mutter: "Something happened. What, you don't like that karate class, baby?"
Dre: "It's not karate, Mom."
Mutter: "Okay, all right. Karate, kung fu, whatever."
Die HK-DVD wechselt zu näherer Perspektive und hier meint Dre: "Nothing happened."
Mutter: "What is it, you don't want to take that class?"
Original Version 8.8 sec longer
HK DVD longer
31:51 / 35:12
The following shot of the mother is insignificantly longer on the HK DVD.
+ 0.5 sec
Censored Audio Track
33:45-33:54 / 37:06-37:15
The narrator makes a different statement in front of the Forbidden City (the HK Version is more inviting). The shot itself is the same though.
HK DVD: "Welcome to one of the most popular landmarks in all over China. It is visited by millions of people every year: 'The Forbidden City'."
International Version: "As the emperor was considered to be divine, no mere mortal was permitted access. Hence the name 'The Forbidden City'."
37:55 / 41:16-41:23
The chase through narrow alleys is longer: for instance, Dre knocks over some babana boxes in the process.
38:16 / 41:44-41:47
Another high-angle shot.
39:20 / 42:51-42:56
One of Cheng's older friends locks the gate.
39:37 / 43:14-43:27
A first hard punch by Cheng, Dre tumbles in slow motion.
39:39 / 43:29-43:37
After Cheng lunged on the HK DVD as well, the actual hit is missing. Subsequently, he takes a run-up and kicks him - this action is what makes Dre fall backwards (also on the HK DVD).
39:47 / 43:45-43:54
Close-up of Cheng, then Dre lying wounded on the gruond. Then a blurry shot from Dre's POV.
39:51-39:53 / 43:58-44:06
The HK DVD contains a shot from a different angle and Cheng repeats the motto.
The angle itself is the same in the International Version but there is more dialog.
Friend: "He's had enough."
Cheng: "Don't you remember what we learned? No weakness! No pain!"
International Version 6.1 sec longer
40:02 / 44:15-44:18
Dre on the ground.
41:20 / 45:36-45:37
When Mr. Han is kicking Cheng around, the actual hit in the International Version is being interrupted by a close-up of one of the other guys getting hit.
41:25 / 45:42-45:44
The guy who got hit rises up.
46:21 / 50:41-51:00
Missing shot of Mr. Han and Dre after the short fight. Then the student who hesitated hitting the student lying on the ground goes back to Master Li. He gives him the look and bitchslaps him.
46:25 / 51:04-51:06
The student again, he's holding his cheek.
46:33 / 51:14-51:20
Li speaks longer. A part of it is audible during close-by-scenes but when he deepens his motto, the following is missing: "No mercy in competition..."
Censored Audio Track
Not a cut but the audio has been censored again - as a result of the previous alteration: while the following shots of Dre and Cheng contain the remaining "no mercy" lines coming from the off, Li says in the International Version: "Our enemies deserve pain."
48:54-48:58 / 53:41-53:45
At the end of the shot, Li says something different to Mr. Han. The International Version sticks to the shot while the HK Version switches the angle.
According to the subtitles, the dialog is equal. But that is not true because it definitely sounds different.
International Version 0.2 sec longer
Censored Audio Track
49:48 / 54:35-54:36
Mr. Han and Dre slightly longer. The reason for that can be found on the audio track a second before. It seems as if the shot simply ends too early in order to hide the lip movements at the end because they do not match the original comment anymore.
HK DVD: "That's not Kung Fu. That does not represent China."
International Version: "That's not kung fu. That's a bad man teach them very bad things."
64:02 / 68:50-68:55
The two characters from the play are getting closer, they are about to kiss. Mei looks at Dre.
64:06-64:26 / 68:59-69:43
The scene ends differently, the kiss is being kept from the Asian audience.
On the HK DVD, the previously removed shot of Mei has been re-inserted, followed by a further shot of the different characters. Subsequently a distance shot of Dre and Mei looking at each other innocently and last but least sparkles during the next shot of them.
The International Version on the other hand cuts right to chase: they shyly get closer and kiss. But this takes place right in front of the light. As a result, Mr. Han and Dre's mother in the audience recognize their silhouettes.
Finally the sparks but the shot is much brighter here.
International Version 24.1 sec longer
78:02-78:07 / 83:20-83:25
No censoring or anything like it but still worth mentioning because this is a rather extrem example for the different coloring of the versions. On the HK DVD, the overnighter is driving in deep darkness.
91:24-91:28 / 96:43-96:47
Han mentions another date resp. the death of his wife occured in another month. As one can see on the screenshots: another example for too dark images on the HK DVD.
HK DVD: "It's July 8th."
International Version: "It's June 8th."
109:53 / 115:13-115:28
Cheng punches an opponent who is already lying on the ground in the face several times. After cutting to Dre, Mr. Hand and Master Li, the kid is being carried away by his pals.
HK DVD longer
111:52 / 117:27
After Cheng's opponent went down, a slighty longer shot of the referee rushing to him.
+ 0.4 sec
111:53 / 117:28-117:35
Therefore, the International Version contains a spectacular jump of Cheng. The referee manages to save the kid in the last moment, Cheng's fist only hits the mat. He pushes him aside, Master Li looks rather disappointed.
112:21 / 118:03-118:06
Extended shot of Cheng holding his opponent tight and looking mean. The referee comes running.
112:24-112:25 / 118:09-118:11
Two further shots of the suffering opponent in the International Version. But then again, the following shot of the referee dragging him away starts slightly earlier.
International Version 1.2 sec longer
112:27 / 118:13-118:15
The following shot of Mr. Han and Dre begins slightly earlier.
112:42 / 118:30-118:31
Cheng stares longer at his defeated opponent, followed by a shot of the cheering crowd.
112:43 / 118:32-118:33
Cheng's teammates are cheering longer, the crowd insignificantly earlier.
112:44 / 118:34
Before Cheng's arm gets pulled up, the following shot starts a few frames earlier.
HK DVD longer
113:20 / 119:10
Mr. Han and Dre a bit longer on the HK DVD.
+ 0.5 sec
113:22-113:25 / 119:12-119:31
The following shot is longer on the HK DVD plus the following shot of Mr. Han and Dre starts with a first pat on the back to cheer up the latter one.
Therefore, the International Version shows the first student approaching Master Li who demands the fight to end brutally.
Li whispers something and the student innocently says: "But, I can beat him.
Li: "I do not want him beaten. I want him broken."
International Version 15.3 sec longer
114:24 / 120:30-120:31
The student keeps flailing at Dre's leg from a different angle.
114:24 / 120:32-120:40
After the cut to Dre's mother and Mei in the audience, further punches to the leg have been remove. The referee tries to intervene but he doesn't make it in time.
114:39 / 120:55-121:03
The rough punches on the screen again. Mr. Han turns around speechless to Master Li who doesn't care at all.
120:39 / 127:03-127:04
Two shots of the cheering crowd are slightly shorter for some reason.
121:14-121:15 / 127:39-127:44
Afterthe roll, the HK DVD only contains Dre taking his position.
In the International Version, he also sits on Cheng and punches him in the face. He remains still but the referee stops him by taking his hand anyway.
International Version 4.3 sec longer
121:16 / 127:45-127:46
Li insignificantly longer, Dre's mother slighlty earlier.
121:18-121:20 / 127:48-127:49
When Dre diverges from Cheng lying on the ground, the shot starts way earlier on the HK DVD while the International Version begins with a different shot from behind.
HK DVD 0.8 sec longer
121:59-122:02 / 128:28-128:35
Li says something different to Cheng. Furthermore, the International Version contains another take of them plus a shot of Li while the HK DVD sticks to the shot of Cheng all the time.
HK DVD: "No mercy."
International Version: "I want you to break his leg."
Subsequently, the "No mercy" comment in the International Version which is not being repeated on the HK DVD.
International Version 3.8 sec longer
122:59 / 129:32-129:39
Dre squirms with pain plus a shot of Cheng.
123:16 / 129:56-129:59
Dre on the ground again.
123:21 / 130:04-130:07
123:23 / 130:09-130:15
123:26 / 130:18-130:21
123:28 / 130:23-130:37
Cheng looks at Li, then Dre trying to get back on his feet, the mother in the crowd and Li again.
123:31 / 130:39-130:44
Further shots of Dre before he also manages to get up on the HK DVD.
124:49 / 132:02-132:04
Li yells: "Finish him!"
124:58 / 132:13-132:16
The crowd is cheering.
125:04 / 132:22-132:24
Further shot of it.
126:02 / 133:22-133:24
And again: the HK DVD lacks the fact that Dre has won the hearts of the domestic audience.
The end credits are different as well. The production pictures are identical though.
International Version 6.6 sec longer