This is a comparison between the cut international version and the uncut original version - both included on the Japanese double-DVD-set.
290 documented differences:
* 35 cuts potentially due to censorship
* 39 re-cuts
* 8 scenes with alternative course
* 25 scenes with altered audio
Difference in time (not including logos/credits): 13:33 min
Additionally, there are several cuts with a runtime of under 0.5 seconds which will not be listed in the report below. Only those scenes with such a short runtime that might have been taken out due to censorship or that are relevant for some other reason will be included.
The 1996 movie Mr. Nice Guy was shot in a pretty interesting time of Jackie Chan's career: Thanks to Rumble in the Bronx he was able to deliver an international hit that did wonders for his popularity. Soon after that followed Rush Hour which meant his breakthrough in the western world. Mr. Nice Guy is an action-comedy movie with a TV chef getting in the midst of a gangster story. The movie was directed by Sammo Hung and shot in Hongkong. Because of that, it was clear right from the start who was allowed to distribute the movie internationally.
Just as for Police Story 4: First Strike and Rumble in the Bronx, New Line Cinema made some cuts for the international version. All three modern classics of Hong Kong cinema suffer from this to this very day. Besides the old Japanese DVDs, there are hardly any copies of the uncut original version. The quality of these DVDs (which are letterboxed) is not too good. Yet - in contrast to many other discs that you can get from Hongkong or Taiwan - they (for the most part) include the mostly English original audio.
With Mr. Nice Guy, there is one additional exception: The Hongkong Theatrical Version missed out on one dialog in the first half of the flick that was radically trimmed, yet mostly included in the international version that this report will talk about. Therefore (and because the Japanese DVD is better than the Hongkong/Taiwan releases regarding sound and image quality) we used the Japanese DVD as a basis for the comparison to the uncut "Original Version". So - what is the international version missing out on and why have we not taken a look at this movie earlier?
The International Version
Regarding the latter question: This is mainly due to the immense mass of cuts that were done to shorten the movie as well as minor re-cuts (which is a major part of this report). If you watch both versions, you will hardly miss any important scenes despite the 13.5 minutes that were taken out. This is a nightmare-situation for this report's author. As mentioned above, there are 290 documented differences - which sill do not include all cuts. After all, every now and again there are just one or two frames missing. There is hardly any sequence which had not been edited. This was done to give the movie a faster pace. However, this was hardly ever necessary and takes away a lot of the fun for experienced Hongkong-movie-fans when spectacular stunts are shown once - due to the continuity - instead of twice from different perspectives. An altered course of scenes sometimes simplifies the dramaturgy.
A similar thing can be said about many alterations of the sound track which could only be recognized thanks to the DVD that included an English sound. Terrible reinventions of soundtrack/score are already well-known for US-studios, yet this time they also altered dialog. Some of the actors with a prominent accent were re-dubbed to make it easier to understand them. Even actors like Richard Norton had to dub some of their sentences while in other scenes they cut out or added some sentences (the latter was done to make things easier to understand for the audience). Not every change will be listed in this report - only those scenes with alterning sentences.
Now, lets talk about the striking changes which is the aspect that is probably the most relevant one for potential viewers: There are a few cuts due to censorship in the international version. Those will be highlighted in red. Especially violence against women - an aspect that is present in the entire flick - was taken out, whenever slaps or kicks become too heavy. Also, Jackie often takes more hits or beats up his opponents a little more that the international viewers get to see. Then again, especially with the latter aspect it is not entirely sure how much of it was taken out due to censorship and which scenes were just taken out to "improve" the pace. Also, don't expect the original to be an extremely violent flick - still, it is remarkable that a lot was taken out.
Before we start with the report, we have to talk about a few remarkable contentual cuts. One thing is actually positive: Romeo's screentime (Vince Poletto - son of Jackie's colleague) was drastically reduced. Since he (along with the operations manager who is always by his side) mainly attracts attention with his overacting and is not too relevant for the story, this decision is actually a good one. However, one can debate about the fact that Jackie's role as a womanizer was toned down for the international version. Throughout the movie, colleague Lakeisha makes approaches to Jackie - there is even a flirty undertone in the score during one shot. This adds some spice to the story, yet it is not really necessary.
All in all, the original version is the preferable one, especially for Hongkong-fans. One can only hope that in the age of HD there might be a new edition with better quality that includes the original cut.
Runtimes are listed as follows:
International Version [NTSC] / Original Version (Japanese DVD) [NTSC]
There are different logos at the beginning.
Immediately after that, only the US Version names the place.
Original Version 3.8 sec longer
00:19-01:25 / 00:23 bzw 02:22-03:29
In the international version, the exterior shot is followed by Jackie inside of his culinary studio. During the scene, there are more credits. In the original version, this happenes two minutes later, after Gina was buried.
The comments of the cooking sequence were re-dubbed (thus there is a little less accent in the international version). Also, the credits are different.
+ 66 sec
Subsequently, only the international version shows some more credits (not illustrated below).
01:51 / 00:49-00:50
Giancarlo (Richard Norton) kisses Gina a little earlier...
01:55 / 00:54
...and pushes her inside the water a little longer.
01:58 / 00:58-01:01
Giancarlo drowns her longer and says: "You're with the Demons. And I detest spies!"
02:45 / 01:48
The slow motion shot of Gina in the air begins a little earlier.
02:46 / 01:50-01:53
Another slow motion close-up shot of the fall.
03:02 / 02:09
Gina looks up panicked a little longer.
03:06 / 02:13-02:22
There are two more shots of her being buried. Then we see the first credits (along with the above-mentioned cooking sequence postponed in the international version).
03:26 / 03:49-03:57
The goons take a few more steps through the room and bring their captives along.
03:30 / 04:01
Maybe it is because they do not blieve that international audiences are able to think, yet only the international version shows a shot of Giancarlo presenting pictures during which he adds: "It's Tara. She's a Demon girl!"
04:13 / 04:44
In order to make everything more dramatic, the international version icludes an off-screen comment saying "Tara, you bitch!" during a shot of Sandy.
04:15 / 04:46-04:56
Sandy is shown a little longer. Giancarlo says: "I hear you have something that belongs to me."
Demon-leader: "I don't think so!"
The bad guy comments "Sluts!" before walking towards Tara.
04:23 / 05:04-05:06
The leader is shown a little earlier.
The international version had started half of his comment during the previous shot.
04:31 / 05:14-05:17
Giancarlo is shown a little longer and he orders: "Put him away."
04:59 / 05:45-05:47
The leader talks a little longer.
The content of it can also be heard in the international version during the following shot. The international version was re-dubbed.
05:08 / 05:57-05:59
Demon-leader: "You want it, you pay the price."
05:17 / 06:08-06:09
There's blood during a hit.
Censorship / Re-Cut
05:22-05:23 / 06:14-06:15 bzw 06:21
The money is shown in the air a few frames longer. Then, the leader is hit by another shot.
In order to get a better transition, the international version shows Giancarlo shooting a little earlier. In the original version, this sequence follows a few seconds later.
Original Version 0.7 sec longer
05:26 / 06:18-06:22
Grank is shown a little longer. He fires a shot. Then we see the bullet hitting its target and some more chaos and in between there's the aforementioned shot of Giancarlo shooting.
05:39 / 06:34-06:35
Weirdly enough, the edit in the international version resulted in a jumpcut: The shot of a demon-member reaching out for a grenade was slightly sped up due to a few frames in the middle were taken out.
Re-Cut / Altered Soundtrack
05:52 bzw 05:56-06:00 / 06:48-06:52 bzw 06:56
Two shots of Diana walking away were postponed for the international version.
In both versions, she says during the second shot: "Hurry up!".
During the first shot, the international version includes an added sentence: "We should hurry!"
06:09-06:17 / 07:05-07:13
A few shots were mixed up; Grank is actually already shown sitting in the Jeep and aiming to the back (in slow motion).
This sequence and two more shots of him were put together in the international versions and shown a few seconds later.
06:36 / 07:32
When the bad guys come around the corner, only the international version includes the comment "Move, get out of the way!"
06:48 / 07:44-07:45
The shot of Giancarlo was extended to get a transition to an exterior shot.
06:59 / 07:56-07:57
Giancarlo gets out of the car a little longer.
07:11 / 08:09
When Jackie fights back for the first time, a small sequence at the end was trimmed.
There is no censorship, yet we still included this sequence with a length of unter 0.5 seconds since it is a cut to a fight scene.
07:23 / 08:21-08:22
Jackie is standing in front of the wall a little longer.
07:46 / 08:45-08:46
The shot starts a little earlier before Diana goes over to Jackie.
During the following half minute there are a few minor cuts with a length of under 0.5 seconds.
08:38 / 09:39-09:42
Jackie and Diana are hanging in the air a little longer. Jackie struggles over his stamina.
08:42 / 09:46-09:47
Jackie's face is shown a little earlier in the mirror.
09:01 bzw 09:05-09:16 / 10:07-10:19 bzw 10:23
The original version shows an uninterrupted shot when Jackie lays his hand on Diana's breast and she tells him that he does so.
In the international version, this follows after a cut to the bad guys that surround them. Also, the shots were slightly trimmed.
Original Version 1.8 sec longer
09:20-09:22 / 10:27-10:29
Jackie foot-movie was postponed for the international version.
09:48 / 10:56
After Jackie slipped through the narrow bars and left the bad guys buffled on the other side, he international version does not include the following comment (probaby due to the thick accent): "Why can't I get through?"
10:26 / 11:34
At this point, only the international version includes an off-screen comment from a bad guy: "Let's go get him!"
12:33 / 13:42-13:45
Jackie zermatscht die Torte etwas lšnger.
13:33 / 14:46-14:48
The shot of the cars is shown a little earlier. A guy slams the door.
13:55 bzw 13:56 / 15:10-15:12
A first shot of Diana on the street, Jackie waves his hand.
The waving was added back in to the international version a few moments later. Yet, the shot of diana is exclusive to the original version.
Original Version 1.2 sec longer
13:58-14:00 / 15:14-15:17
Some more unnecessary cuts when Diana gets closer.
Original Version 0.5 sec longer
In between there are quite a few framecuts of under 0.5 seconds.
14:16-14:18 / 15:34-15:17
Nonsense: When she reaches out for the tape, the sequence is shown after a shot of the bad guy shooting.
15:15 / 16:33
Just a mention to have an example (after all, the immense differences to the score would simply blow this report out of proportions): After Diana gave Jackie a little kiss and got out of the car, only the original version includes a few "cool" sounds that are supposed to portray him like a womanizer.
17:15 / 18:35-18:52
After the girl (nancy) pted for cartoons, we can see her brother Sunny pushing her. Immediately, she tells on him at her grandfather Baggio who leads the two of them out and says that they will now watch Jackie's show.
Subsequently, the following shot of Diana begins a little earlier: On TV she already sees a sequence of the cooking show.
18:12 / 19:49
During the shot of the TV, the bad guy in the international version asks: "Where's the tape?"
18:13 / 19:50-20:08
In the original version, the guy now asks this off-screen. Diana responds: "I don't know."
After that, she gets slapped in the face and a foot pushed into her back. Someone points a gun at her neck and says: "Maybe this will refresh your memory."
Diana: "Wait! It's with that guy."
Bad guy: "What guy?"
Diana: "The guy who saved me."
Then the bad guy grabs her arm (the rest of this shot is shown in the international version) and says: "Let's go!"
18:21 / 20:16-20:29
The camera pans up from dead Richard and the bad guy pulls up his weapon. Diana fights off the bad guy with a hit and tires to run off. In the process, someone grabs her by the ancle and makes her fall. The bad guy pulls her back up with his knee pushed into her back and warns her: "Don't do that again, bitch."
The bad guys go outside with her.