Sound: Dolby 2.0
Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: Chinese/English (burned in)
There are two editions of this DVD put out by Universe:
1) the first version
2) the remastered version, which sports a better picture, but has two cuts for violence in it. They occur when Jet fights Billy Chow (he is not shown being electrocuted or impaled with the pole), and near the end (there is a small cut when Valerie Chow is shot; the bullets are not shown hitting her head). There is also another cut in the scene where Chingmy Yau is trapped by a guard in the medical room; Chingmy's attempted seduction and sexual references are taken out. The cuts are pretty jarring, for instance, during the Billy Chow fight, it cuts right to Jet Li wiping his face, which ruins the flow of the scene.
It is hard to tell the versions apart, sice they have the same cover art and serial number. The first version has this on the back:
and the remastered version has this:
At any rate, this review is for the second remastered version. The picture is about average for a HK DVD; there is some wear in the beginning portion of the movie, and overall it comes off as a bit soft, but it's not too bad. Soundwise, the disc does a good job. While the surrounds just fill in their usual job for a HK disc of putting out a dimmed version of the main audio, the mix is clear, with good bass. The burned-in subs aren't that great (they get lost a few times during the movie and seem to be synchronated badly in places), but they get the job done.
Overall, with a total lack of extras, hastily-made edits, and a sub-par presentation, the Universe disc is probably (even with the cheap price) worth a rental only, unless you're a big fan of the movie. This is one of the few times I would recommend the US version (called Meltdown) over the HK version. Even though Meltdown has a pretty poor dub and a cheesy techno/rock re-score, it is uncut.
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