This is a comparison between the shortened US Version (included on the US DVD released by Echo Bridge / Miramax) and the uncut regular version (included on the UK DVD released by Hongkong Legends).
- 17 cuts + one mirrored sequence
- Difference in time: 141 sec (= 2:21 min)
Here's another treat from the good old days of Jackie Chan's Chinese action movies which Dimension released in a shortened version in the USA. Again, score and opening credits (which apparently are old export-credits) stayed untouched and the difference in time of roughly 2 minutes is not that bad. However, the cuts themselves are pretty weird. Most of the time, the studio chooses to cut out scenes that evolve the plot a little further. This time, however, most of the scenes that were cut out include action-sequences that probably were the most complex scenes of the whole shooting: the tower game at the beginning and the foot badminton game. Both scenes miss out on roughly one minute of footage. It's not too bad but absolutely unnecessary.
This version was included on both the single-disc edition and on the collection box that also includes Twin Dragons and both Armour of God flicks. Additionally, there's a "Jackie Chan 3 Film Collection" that was released on both DVD and Blu-Ray which includes the two Project A movies. The DVD we used for this comparison comes from exactly this box set. All three movies share the fact that they are all shortened and released in a unique cut, even though the studio could also have released the - already shortened - export versions.
The UK DVD by Hongkong Legends is entirely uncut and also offers a pretty good image quality.
NOTE: We call the uncut version the "regular version", since it is the most widely available version worldwide and was also used as source material for the US Version. In Asia there's also a longer alternative version which was completely re-cut. An example: the tower game is shown after the final battle and the movie directly starts with Jackie's training. This version is included on the DVDs from Hongkong (JoySales) - which by the way have a top notch quality - and South Korea (Spectrum).
The time designations are given as follows:
US DVD [NTSC] / UK DVD [PAL]
The runtime of the cut out footage is included in PAL speed!
00:00-00:29 / 00:00-00:30
At the beginning of the movie, both versions show different logos.
Regular Version 2.6 sec longer
There are different opening credits during the first scene.
03:13 / 03:07-03:32
Before the tournament starts, we see some firework while the teams prepare themselves.
03:38 / 03:56-03:59
This long shot is a little longer.
03:45 / 04:06-04:08
Another scene that is a little logner: A guy falls down.
03:52 / 04:14-04:17
04:12 / 04:36-04:41
After the zoom away from the ball to the scuffling players we see the scaffold which slowly collapses. The following shot begins earlier.
05:45 / 06:10-06:16
A missing tracking shot shows a lot of players falling to the ground while fighting for the ball.
05:50 / 06:21-06:24
The beginning of this shot was cut out.
06:00 / 06:34-06:40
A shot from above was cut out and the following scene begins a little earlier: another player gets hold of the ball.
06:02-06:05 / 06:42-06:45
In order to cover up a cut (see next scene) this shot was mirrored. By doing so, this part fits to the following material where we see Jackie's teammate, since the ball enters the screen from the right.
06:05 / 06:45-06:59
Actually, there's some more footage of the brawl, where several players get and lose the ball.
44:59 / 44:16-44:29
A player from Jackie's team gets fouled and the referee decides that they should get a penalty kick. Jackie is the one to do it. The US Version continues when we see the goalkeeper catching the ball.
45:15 / 44:45-44:52
We see a few more moves, including another great catch of a goalkeeper.
45:20 / 44:57-45:11
While you in the US Version get the impression, that Jackie's shot goes towards the goal, the regular version shows some more footage: Jackie's teammate steps up to the ball. After Jackie's reaction and a shot of the commentator we see more moves.
45:38 / 45:28-45:38
Jackie gets the ball. After some hassle, he kicks the ball towards the goal but misses. The US Version continues after the goal kick.
46:27 / 46:25-46:35
For no particular reason (other than making the movie shorter) the beginning and the end of two sequences were shortened and the scene in between was cut out entirely. We see Jackie doing some defense work.
47:48 / 47:53-47:56
The first shot is a little longer. Than Jackie dances around with the ball before he passes it to a teammate.
47:50 / 47:58-48:10
This shot is longer as well: Jackie does some impressive tricks with the ball.
47:53 / 48:13-48:18
Actually, Jackie receives the ball in the same shot and then passes it to a teammate. Soon, the ball comes back to Jackie.
This was cut out pretty well, since it - due to the close-up shot of Jackie - looks like Jackie is receiving the pass which was just mentioned.
The original credits which include outtakes and stunt highlights from the movie in a small frame were replaced by credits that roll over a still picture of the last scene of the movie.