Comparison between the Japanese Extended version on the Japanese Blu-ray and the Extended Cut of 88 films on the British Blu-ray
- 20 changes, including 2 re-cuts
- Difference: 170.2 sec (= 2:50 min)
in addition 60 changes to the regular version
Difference: 431.8 sec (= 7:12 min)
A few master errors shorter than 0.5 sec were not listed in the cut report.
Combined this summarizes to difference between regular version and extended version:
- 80 changes
- Difference: 602 sec (= 10:02 min)
Different versions and the British Blu-ray of ARMOUR OF GOD II
Armour of God 2 - Operation Condor is one of the highlights in Jackie's Chan's career and at Christmas 2014, a 7 minute extended cut appeared here in Japan, probably for the first time ever. It was a Japanese cinema print without English language options and with burned-in Japanese subtitles. Nevertheless, this was a small sensation thanks to the unexpected additional material, moreover it was a real HD-scan.
This classic was also restored in 2K by Fortune Star and 88 films have secured the rights. The label released a Blu-ray in the UK on June 15, 2020. As with the last Chan classics from the 80s, a lot of fan support has been brought on board and so a lot of different soundtrack options and exclusive bonus material can be found. The shower scene is uncensored at least in the Extended Version, the alternate censored shot is shown in the following report for reference.
The big surprise though is that they came across a new, according to their own statement, never before released extended cut. It runs 10 minutes longer, so it's even more extended than the long version from Japan mentioned at the beginning. This version is also completely restored in 2K, respectively is clearly superior to its Japanese counterpart. And fortunately there are no burned-in subtitles here, instead you get the more interesting ones in English as an option. Additionally, the 88 Films Extended Cut isn't as dark as the Japanese print where it's often difficult to see many details in darker interior shots.
The American Miramax version, altered and cut by over 18 minutes, isn't available on this release. No loss here though, as this heavily abridged version is not recommended to any fan.
The new extended cut of 88 films
First of all, it is noticeable that the Japanese extended version did not have any more extensions after about an hour of the movie. And lo and behold: Exactly this first half of the film is also 1:1 identical to the Japanese version in terms of differences on 88 Films' Extended Cut. Here the eager fan/reader already knows all extended moments from the Japanese version and therefore this one was also taken as a base for the following comparison. Whether this was perhaps only an oversight with the last film reels in Japan, is not known. Anyway, the version presented by 88 Films is now extended from beginning to end in small places for the apparently very first time ever.
So even in the second half of the film you can often find only small moments, which had to give way for the more popular Hong Kong version. Among them are some nice little moments that fill in the gaps or play out moments that were previously only hinted. Here, for example, Elsa's short usage of her camera to distract the opponents should be mentioned. How the three girls finally fight back after a lot of beating with helmets is also better introduced with another "we don't give up that easy" scene. Therefore, the other shots of it were even moved a bit in the structure of the movie.
There are also somewhat longer extensions when Jackie explores new rooms for the first time. Especially nice is probably the little maneuver with a blow on the head of a pursuer. You could always see an NG-shot of it in the outtakes and so you can finally classify the roots of that better now. Also the way to the room where the gold is hidden is not as abrupt as in the theatrical version. Also here one can summarize: Everything feels a bit more complete in the Extended Cut.
All in all the longer version is clearly recommended for fans, but surely doesn't make a completely new movie out of it. The newly translated English subtitles alone, which are generally available for the first time, are worth a look.
Timecodes are arranged according to the scheme
Japanese Blu-ray / Extended Version on British Blu-ray
Credits / logos
The Japanese version starts only with a local creditd. The extended version starts with various logos instead. Not included in cut duration/quantity.
The regular version shows Golden Harvest instead of Media Asia, but otherwise the logos are similar to 88 Films' Extended Cut.
Extended Version 25.7 sec longer
The British Blu-ray shows the well-known red credits. In Japan it looked a little different, including its own movie title.
39:07-39:09 / 39:33-39:35
A censorship already known from early HK releases of the film and some German DVD editions: In Ada's shower scene, the Japanese version shows the alternative take during a shot, which is much closer to her back. The extended version of the British Blu-ray is uncensored (as are the newer DVDs and Blu-rays from Germany or most other releases worldwide).
The main Hongkong version on the UK Blu-ray shows the censored shot which is closer to her back.
No time difference
Up to the 64th minute, all deviations between the regular version and the Japanese long version are also included in the extended version 1:1. If you also want to see all these differences listed, you should first read the report on the Japanese Blu-ray.
There are only a few mini deviations during reel changes. The extended version of the British Blu-ray is always < 0.5 sec longer here.
71:20 / 71:48-71:49
You can see the gate a little longer.
71:27 / 71:56-72:11
The discussion about dangers of their mission is much longer. Momoko asks why Ada does this at all and she questions why Momoko is wandering alone in the desert. Momoko explains that she brought a lot of medicine for the locals. Ada uses this as a cheap explanation that their mission would certainly help many people as well.
72:06 / 72:50-73:09
The trio has a longer way to the inside. Ada hurries ahead at first, but then fearfully lets the others go before her. The sounds of the tribe can also be heard a little earlier here.
73:35 / 74:38-74:42
In the regular version, Elsa was seen shortly before with a camera in her hands on the way back inside. After showing the attackers, this scene is now resolved: she takes a few photos and briefly irritates the guys with this. Some objects are thrown and Jackie drags her inside.
76:55 / 78:02-78:17
Jackie and co explore the inside earlier. He thinks it must be a military base. Jackie also walks with the light to the candle and takes out his lighter. In the follow-up shot included again he lights it.
81:23 / 82:45-82:50
After a shot of Adolf, Jackie chases the girls around here. The baddies point their flashlights down from above.
81:42 / 83:09-83:22
Jackie and co are shot at a little more and they freeze. Adolf warns that everything could easily explode down below. Startled, they hurry away.
81:44 / 83:24-83:31
More wandering around, and Jackie also takes some cobwebs with him.
82:09 / 83:55-84:28
Jackie can be seen more extensively with the light. He notices that the girls are easy to spot and distracts a baddie with a loud scream. Jackie hides on a tube and shines to the side. As the guy follows the beam of light, he knocks him down from the tube. His colleagues shoot in Jackie's direction and he hurries away again. The baddie on the ground takes a gun again.
By the way, you can see an outtake of it in the credits even in the regular version. Jackie misses his punch here and then dances around a little bit. So now you can see for the first time where it actually comes from.
82:13 / 84:31-84:40
Adolf gives further instructions to his people: They could climb through the ventilation shaft. Mark looks around and says that he will do it.
83:37 / 86:04-86:06
Ada and Momoko are still disgusted by the hatch at the end of the shot. Ada throws the first rifle in.
84:45 or 85:32-85:46 / 87:15-87:29
The trio of girls realize they have reached a dead end. The baddie is happy and they go into battle pose.
This also comes unchanged in the regular version just a short minute later, after further scenes with Jackie.
85:46 or 86:26-86:35 / 88:16-88:25
While here the scene was inserted again, the Extended already shows the next scene with the girls lying in the corner and getting back up to fight again.
This is shown in the regular version about one minute later.
86:35 / 89:05-89:16
Thanks to these two advanced parts of the girl-fight you can see a bit of it additionally here: They're still outnumbered and folded on top of each other in a pile. Elsa motivates the others to attack again. The baddie joyfully takes a step forward.
How we see them again two minutes later with helmets, able to fight back by then, is identical in both versions.
91:05 / 93:46-94:01
Before Jackie and co come to the entrance, everyone has to take a few more steps.
91:36 / 94:33-94:35
More close-ups of the automated shots.
97:55 / 100:54-100:58
Ada and Elsa play around with the levers for a longer time without success. Ada then hurries off to the side.
100:12 / 103:15-103:18
At the beginning of the shot, Ada wonders why Adolf has not come up yet.
109:26 / 112:32-112:40
First shots of Ada and Momoko outside. More explosions inside.
110:10 / 114:24-114:28
At the end of the shot a few more steps are taken to the side.
Additional copyright notice at the end of the Extended, after otherwise identical credits.
Not included in cut duration/quantity.