Comparison between the HK version on the HK DVD by Kam & Ronson and the export version on the Australian VHS by Palace Entertainment.
- 29 cuts in the HK version: 309 sec (= 5:09 min)
- 2 scenes with additional footage in the HK version: 601 sec (= 10:01 min)
Before we start with the actual comparison, let's have a few words about the different versions in general. The BBFC entry states that the British VHS had to be cut by three seconds. The Australian VHS by Palace Entertainment is said to be uncut. Both versions were compared for individual reports, but it turned out that the British and the Australian VHS are absolutely identical. So, either the already mentioned three seconds are missing here, too, and hence there's no uncut release or the BBFC entry has to be ignored and the British VHS is actually complete. In fact, it's quite bloody and there's no scene in which censorship is apparent.
Moreover, this quite decent HK actioner by Ronny Yu about rivaling gangs of criminals in Amsterdam (a rather exotic location) also comes in an export version and a version for the Asian market.
The most outstanding feature of the Asian version is a 10 minute long additional story part. Some other stars of the Hong Kong cinema (Andy Lau, Alex Man and Shing Fui On) appear in a flashback, which focuses on the close relationship between the main characters Bobby and Danny and their uncle Chi. But to be honest, this part isn't really necessary for the main plot and actually slows down the movie. In return, the HK DVD was heavily cut in almost every action scene. Additionally, some other story sequences which are necessary for the understanding of the plot (the cocaine deal) are missing, for some inexplicable reason.
All in all, the HK DVD is not to be recommended, despite the additional footage; the British/Australian VHS absolutely suffices. Unfortunately, it hasn't been released on DVD yet.
Thanks go out to Mr. White, who provided the whole material for this comparison!
The running time indications are in the order
HK DVD / Australian VHS
The playback speed of the two versions is identical.
The opening credits differ slightly: the English credits are displayed on pictures of a tattooed fighter; on the HK DVD, the credits are displayed on a black background in between of those shots. Moreover, the production logos before are different.
Australian VHS 16.6 sec longer
04:00 / 04:16-04:40
Mr. Chi is shown longer in the export version and then speaks to the photo of his deceased wife. He praises Bobby and Danny; they are supposed to take over his business.
06:55 / 07:36-08:20
The two are earlier shown walking through the red light district. Danny wants to introduce some prostitutes to Bobby and tries to convince him to have some fun. Bobby goes away.
08:12 / 09:37-09:38
Master error: the two, walking, are shown longer.
Alternative / Additional footage in the HK version
12:03-12:05 / 13:29-13:31
In the export version, the shot of Bobby and his acquaintance (Lorenzo) is shown in one go and Bobby says his thanks for the information.
The HK leaves out this short part, shows the cop at the gambling table instead and then continues with Bobby asking about the party on that evening.
No running time difference
17:36 / 19:02-19:12
Chi gets hit more often in slow motion; he stumbles backwards and goes down. Phong shoots the guy who just ran away in the back.
18:02 / 19:38-19:42
Bobby's girl getting shot in slow motion is shown earlier.
18:14 / 19:54-19:55
The wounded leg can be seen a little bit longer.
18:16 / 19:57-19:59
The thug going down in slow motion after being hit in the chest is shown longer.
Additional footage in the HK version / Alternative
19:50-29:49 / 21:33-21:55
The exclusive flashback comes up in the HK version, when the three are driving in the car with Chi, who is wounded, on the back seat (599.2 sec or 9:59 min).
- Smooth transition: Young Bobby is going to a mahjong game together with his father (Alex Man, character name: Choi). There, they get into a little quarrel with hot-headed Tuko (Shing Fui On), who wants to bet on everything with Choi. It becomes clear in their conversation that they've been in prison together and Tuko says that they still have a score to settle with each other. Choi wins of course and Tuko trudges away angrily.
- As they are leaving the store, Chi and Bobby encounter some young thieves. Choi goes after one of them and notices that he has some drugs on him. He scolds him a bit, but finally lets him go, before the cops arrive.
- The night club is the next location. Tuko acts the tough guy and crudely hits on the singer. The owner of the place (Andy Lau) joins them and clears the situation after a short heated conversation; Tuko leaves angrily, again.
- Choi talks with Chi and the owner of the restaurant where they're at about the problems with Tuko. Bobby doesn't want to eat; his father is angry about that. Andy Lau offers him to take Bobby and Danny on a little tour, in order to unburden him a bit.
- This harmonious "family" trip, a boat tour etc., is then shown, accompanied by pleasant music.
- In the meantime, Tuko is buying some weapons on an open field.
- Choi wakes up Bobby and Danny, who are sleeping at another restaurant table. When they are leaving, Tuko is already waiting outside and starts shooting uncontrollably. The kids run back inside; Choi manages to protect Chi, but gets shot himself. With his last breath, he says to Andy Lau that he should take care of the kids. The fight continues inside and while Andy is busy with another guy, Tuko prepares to shoot Bobby and Danny. At the last moment, he gets shot from behind by Chi.
The last thing is then finally the explanation for why Chi is so important to them; after this shot comes a dissolve to him in the present, lying bleeding on the back seat of the car.
The export version stays a little bit longer in the car with Bobby and also has two additional exterior shots and one in which all bow down in the street.
HK version 577.3 sec longer
31:35 / 23:41-23:49
Phong reaches out for the money and Scalia's helper says angrily, off-screen, that he shouldn't return, ever.
36:52 / 29:06-29:07
Master error: Phong insignificantly earlier.
37:43 / 29:58-29:59
The beginning of this shot, the bloody hit, was removed.
39:42 / 31:58-32:03
Phong is shown a bit longer and gets another bullet in the leg.
40:29 / 32:51-32:52
Scalia and his helper walk longer through the corridor.
45:28 / 37:51
The horses insignificantly longer.
47:23 / 39:46-42:02
After the conversation between Bobby and the inspector, a night scene was removed from the HK version. It shows what kind of favor Bobby wants from the inspector and also explains from where Bobby got the enormous amount of cocaine!
A cocaine deal is taking place at the harbor. Bobby and the others are watching from farther away; the police arrives and confiscates the drugs. The inspector gets out of the car and congratulates his colleague on his good work.
In a side alley, we get to know Bobby's intentions: the police symbol is only a sticker; Bobby takes the cocaine and pays the driver.
52:26 / 47:05-47:06
Another minor master error.
67:02 / 61:42-61:43
Danny turns around and tells his companions to get going.
73:45 / 68:26-68:35
A shot of Anne riding her bike.
73:49 / 68:39-68:42
Anne a little longer; she goes inside and calls for her friend Rasta.
74:49 / 69:42-69:43
Minor master error.
78:03 / 72:57-72:59
The shot of Lorenzo begins earlier; Dai Lo's blood spatters onto his face (he gets hit off-screen with an axe by the blonde girl).
80:06 / 75:02-75:04
The head in the box is shown longer.
84:43 / 79:41
Master error: Leo insignificantly earlier.
90:54 / 85:52-85:53
The shot begins earlier; the thug gets hit more often.
91:36 / 86:35-86:37
Again a shot beginning earlier; the thug gets hit.
92:09 / 87:10-87:11
A man gets hit earlier by a shotgun blast.
94:27 / 89:30
The first few frames of the shot were removed, because Danny receives another bullet at this point.
95:16 / 90:19-90:20
A hit (Bobby this time) was removed again at the beginning of a shot.
The final text displays are in Chinese on the HK DVD.
98:09 / 93:13-93:35
There are no pictures for the other Western actors on the HK DVD; after Ricky Ho, the end credits continue on a black background.
The already mentioned end credits on a black background as before: Chinese vs English.