Revolver : Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

This is intended for all people who have seen the US version:

About 22 minutes in (just after the Horowitz scene), Jake explains in the car to Avi and Zach his history with Macha. With his sister-in-law and niece held as leverage by 3 of Macha's flunkies ("the 3 Eddies"), Jake was involved in a card game representing Macha. He wins, but when one of the losers says a derogatory comment about Jake's mother, Jake shoots him in the foot, a fight breaks out, and the lights go out. Money is lost and a couple days later one of Macha's 3 flunkies points the finger at Jake and he goes to jail. A stupid argument takes place by the 3 Eddies and a gun accidentally goes off, whose stray bullet kills Jake's sister-in-law and orphans the little girl we see in the US version (a baby at the time).

At the 1 hour mark (the scene after the guy chasing Jake shoots himself by mistake), instead of the restaurant shoot-out scene, Jake goes to the Paramount City to talk with Avi and Zach. In the above conversation, Jake said that Macha buried them in cement for their incompetence, but Avi and Zach know that was a lie and recommends that Jake "revises" his story. The truth was that the 3 Eddies, fired by Macha, met up with Jake once he was released with the intent to kill Jake. Instead, Jake "borrows" money from one of the 3 Eddies (@ 3% ROI/month) for a small "profitable" deal he made while in the joint. Jake pays him back a month later (plus interest). "Nobody kills a man who's going to make him money", so the Eddies protected Jake and each pitched in for a similar "deal" (@4% ROI/month), each thinking they were the only Eddie dealing with Jake.

These "deals" continued for 2 years regular like clockwork. In actuality, he was taking money from one Eddie to pay another Eddie (plus interest) and slowly he was "buying" their trust - that trust was the "profitable deal" Jake mentioned. This is the setup for the con - after 2 years they gave Jake money to "invest" without a second thought. They got so greedy that they had to start borrowing money from Macha to make the "investment." Macha gets interested in their little sure thing investment and suspects Jake is behind it, but they each lie and protect him time after time. ("protect your investment") Macha loans more and more money to the 3 Eddies and Jake uses the money (now using Macha's money) to gamble and making himself "seriously *beep* rich from the winnings. After a year, he had enough money to buy a chain of hotels. So much money that he decided to take a 3 month holiday with brother and niece. While gone Macha's flunkies were shaking down the Eddies and the Eddies had no clue how to pay back the "obscene amount of cash" they owed Macha with Jake gone. After a lot of torture, they say it was Jake who "invested" their money. Since they've been protecting Jake for so long saying it wasn't him, Macha didn't believe them and had Paul kill them. And there ends the con. Avi and Zach admit that Jake is smart and a good con man, but not as smart as he thinks he is. (the torture scenes and "it was Jake" comments by the 3 Eddies was recut into the US version at 1:12-1:15 during the shakedown for information montage). The restaurant shootout scene follows….

During the Driving Range scene, a couple extra comments are cut into it explaining the game. They tell Jake that he's protecting Mr Gold with his pain. ("Embrace the pain and you will win this game). Jake remembers a comment he made in the car during their first drive that "nothing hurts more than humiliation and a little money loss." (in a Matrix-like epiphany) Zach and Avi say that if "you change the rules of what controls you, you change the rules on what you can control."

At 1:16 (after the driving range scene and Jake gives the money to charity), instead of the Macha scene where we start to hear his thoughts (or Mr Gold's thoughts in him, if you prefer), the structure of the film is changed. We see the Machiavelli quote, then we have the scene where Jake is standing in Macha's bedroom, admitting his inferiority to Macha (the climax of the US version). This's plays out just like the US version does. Instead of the US epilogue (where Jake and Avi play chess and talk about Jake's enlightenment), after the "Fear me" scene it cuts right into the "crucifixion" of Lord John's man and the scene where we can start to hear Macha's thoughts. Originally, this marks the natural transition of Mr. Gold's thoughts from Jake (where he is now powerless) to Macha who has just been humiliated by Jake and deep in fear of Mr Gold (So it now makes more sense why we now can hear Macha's thoughts). Instead of the torture montage, Macha brags of Jake's groveling the night before and that he "knows who's boss" (conveniently forgetting to mention the "fear me" scene). Once Paul tells him Jake was behind everything, Macha has a very brief flash of the "fear me" scenes played back in his head (yelling instead of whispering the words) instead of the "they don't fear me" monologue the US version has. The UK version omits the "Sam Gold will kill me" internal monologue and replaces it with one of the whispering/crying "fear me" scenes.

In the UK version, instead of letting the Sorter shooting spree scene play out like seen in the US version, we get an over the phone retelling of the event by the surviving flunky Lou to Macha. He says he got tired of waiting at the car, went inside, saw Paul getting carried away with the little girl, and "from out of nowhere, Sorter shot him" (the dialog we hear in the US version is not in the UK version thanks to the voice over of Lou). Macha is in disbelief. "Then he turned the gun on the 2 bodyguards, both gone in a blink of an eye." The rest of the scene plays out the same in both versions. At the end of Sorter's killing spree when he is wiping his glasses, Lou is the one who kills Sorter by shooting him in the back of the head. Lou says he was the only one left. Macha asks "where's the girl?" before the scene cuts to the exterior of Macha's casino. (In my opinion, the US version of this scene was better since it showed the internal struggle of Sorter that made his face-turn that much sweeter, but they should have added his demise)

The next scene (Jake's final meeting with Macha) starts differently since Avi explicitly tell's Jake to bring the powder. One of the hotel staff tells Macha that Jake's in the casino to which he replies in surprise "how does he know?" (Macha has Jake's niece, but we don't know this yet). When Avi tells Jake that he has a meeting, he suggests a game of chess since they have time to spare. Macha tells the clerk to bring him up. Now what was normally the US Epilogue (where they talk about Jake's new enlightenment) is played out here with some added content. After mentioning that everyone has Gold in them because they think they are Gold, Avi follows that by saying "if you try to destroy (Gold) to save them, they'll destroy you to save him." Instead of the large memory flashback leading up to the checkmate (US version), they just play the chess game out and Avi drop's Jakes keys after the checkmate - then Jake puts the pieces together (cue flashback sequence). Once Avi told him that they were always going to take him with them, but he wasn't ready for how hard that was going to be," he adds some more stuff that definitely fuels the debate if Avi and Zach were real or did Jake imagine them while in prison (these guys are all in his head - his superego). Avi says "We didn't do this because we like you; we did this because we are you. Time for that meeting." Since the groveling/fear me scene has already played out, when Avi tells him to "give him what he wants", he's referring to the powder, not the groveling.

Jake goes up the elevator with a henchman and during the ride, we hear Jake's thoughts (not Gold's, because the tone of voice is the one Jake used when he fought Gold). He tells Gold he knows that he's still there (in his head), because he can feel Gold dying. Gold wants something to feed him, but Jake goads him "now who's clucking for a fix" (during this voiceover we see Macha sitting by a pool in a blue-lit room casually holding a gun at Rachel). Jake now knows that the claustrophobia is actually Gold's fear and not his so he further goads that it is "tight in here because the walls are moving in" (referring both to the perceived walls of the elevator and the walls that once blocked his now expanding consciousness). He tells Gold that "his eyes are now open" and he won't feed Gold what he needs anymore, so he needs to find someone else to move on to someone else to feed him. Someone who won't see him coming or know he's there. (during this, it focuses on Macha - lip trembling and eyes welling with tears just like at the end of "fear me", nervously awaiting Jake).

Jake steps into the room, drops down the bags - he is on one side of the pool and Macha (w/Rachel) is on the other side. (Keep in mind that throughout the whole scene, he's not aware that Jake has the powder with him in the bags.) Macha says "you think I'm an evil man, don't you?" - internally he thinks he's saying it coldly in coolly but on the outside he is trembling (this becomes a common thing throughout this scene - the calm Macha is how Gold perceives he is expressing himself, but the trembling Macha is reality (just like the Jake/Gold fight in the elevator) - if you try to keep in mind that whatever the "real" Macha thinks or says can be directed at and referring to Jake and Gold at the same time, the conversation takes on two totally different meanings. Jake is very calm and ignores Macha, but instead talks to Rachel to let her know things will be alright. Gold (inside Macha) says in chorus over and over "You think I don't know your game, well I do! I see your game; I am your game!" Still calm, Jake continues to only focus on talking to Rachel (it's like Macha doesn't exist).
(Calm)"You don't play be the rules, Mr Green"
(scared) "You like to play silly games with my head.."
(calm)"Don't you?"
Jake still is serene while scared Macha cries.
*beep* survivor (to Jake) "whiner" to Macha
Macha cries while Gold keeps his internal monologue going - now Gold's officially turned his attention to Macha. "You pussy drowning in your own sh*t." (Calm)"Shut up and leave me alone." said aloud
Macha thinks to himself "I can't let him kill me" to which Gold responds, "you are weak. It's too late, you're a dead man anyway. You'll be dead before dawn." Cue flashbacks to Macha talking about how fearsome a man Sam Gold is and it's Sam Gold that he's "found himself chained to." It's during this time that Macha may have a brief moment of understanding who/what Sam Gold really is. Gold quickly pulls him away from that revelation by telling Macha to "get control of yourself." Cue more audio-flashbacks from Gold's assistant reminding him it's "anything, but under control." Macha thinks "(Gold) will kill me" to which Gold replies "where's your pride?" Macha gets enough balls to put the gun to Rachel's head, but then Macha thinks, "I'd rather kill myself then let him kill me." Gold now getting a bit worried wonders why Jake isn't scared ("he's just staring at me") then after thinking about Gold's assistant again, Macha thinks "he can't kill a dead man can he?" (which he repeats aloud). Gold now also repeats that same thought. Gold goads Macha that "he can't even do it, can you" (since he's still pointing the gun at Rachel, it could refer to killing her, but it can also refer to killing himself, based on the previous epiphone). Macha on the verge of complete breakdown, thinks he sees Jake pull his fingers to his own temple, giving the sign of shooting himself in the head. Like a challenge or disbelief, wide-eyed Macha takes the gun off of Rachel and points the barrel at his own temple. Rachel hides her eyes, crying. Jake calmly looks at Macha while Avi recites via voiceover "the greatest con that he ever pulled, was making you believe he is you". We get a close-up of the barrel Macha's temple and it cuts to black while Avi finishes his line…. then we hear a gunshot.

Roll credits.

Personally I think the UK/global version was far better than the US version, with the exception being the Sorter shootout. It also opens the debate further if Avi and Zach are real or just aspects of Jake (a la Tyler Durden in Fight Club, but instead of being the ego like Tyler was, they are the SuperEgo). Like Donnie Darko, this movie was too smart for it's own good and although the American version gave a more fulfilling climax at the end, the story made more sense and was deeper in meaning and symbolism in it's original form. Had Ebert seen the UK version, he may not have been so harsh (but he wouldn't have maybe gave it 1 thumb up/2.5 stars - it's a different film than Richie's previous films so it would be a fairer judgment if don't compare it to his previous work). Personally, once you watch it a couple of times, it's like peeling an onion.

Lets hope the "Original Director's Cut" comes to the US, because honestly there was nothing wrong with the original.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

The movie makes a lot more sense now…thanks for taking the time to put up such a detailed post! After watching the US version, I was wondering why the young chinese guys Macha had kidnapped to get information from had morphed into chubby older English guys by the end of the torture scene (which was really brutal), and how they knew Jake was the source of the problem. That detail didn't make any sense in the American version. Also, it was obvious that another guy had survived the Sorter killing spree, but the US version doesn't do anything with that detail, even though I really felt like it should have some import on the plot. There were just a lot of missing details that added up hurt the plot and the depth of ideas in the movie. Sometimes it just felt like lazy editing…but overall, a really interesting movie.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

kelly jonez, thanks for all that…I have only seen the american version and didnt understand it…I think that part of the problem was in the casting of the leading man, we are used to seeing him kicking ass in all his movies, plus his relationship with guy ritchie..therefore I expected a certain kind of movie..Jason Stratham did an excellent job acting wise but as I said, maybe someone else should have had the lead role……by the way is there any chance of you explaining the movie as you perceive it and answering some of those questions that we all may whats it all about alfie??

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Thank you so much for that! The film makes a lot more sense to me now.

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Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Wow, thanks a ton for the detailed description. Now I gotta see the UK version. Makes a lot more sense! Why on earth they needed to recut it, I don't know.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Thanks, kellyjonez, for an outstanding post. I just watched the US version on DVD last night. I saw it as a good film with a great deal of unrealized potential. It seems, based on your post, that its potential was better realized in the UK version.

I would recommend the DVD director's commentary for some additional insights on the changes. There is also a short but interesting description of the Sorter shootout (2 cameras, one tight and one wide, with some creative wipes).

I would like to have the opportunity to see the UK version. Maybe we will get a Director's cut in the US. Thanks again, kellyjonez, for taking the time to write this vivid summation of the contrasts in the two, distinctly different films.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

You hit it on the spot. Finally saw the UK/Global version last night and easily preferred it over the U.S. version. However, as you said the U.S. version did a better job with the Sorter shoot out. However they should have left his death in.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

I have only seen the UK version and I am curious what exactly are the psychologists that appear during the credits of the US version saying?

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

I have only seen directors cut is it worth to look at uk and us version if i'm a fan of this movie? And i can never get enough " The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you'll ever look" it fits so perfect on zach on avi that he was in prison with and he never knew it :D If they know exists. And for the ego it is amazing I just can't get enough of this movie sometimes.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

I saw the UK version first and felt a bit ill after watching the US version. I would never recommend anyone see the US version. I just watched the Director's Cut, and i get the feeling they just called it that for marketing purposes. I actually think the UK version is the original director's cut and then when had such a bad time at the box office Ritchie did a re-cut and then labelled it the Director's Cut in attempt to make sure investors got their money back on the project. In short I think the US version is the Director's Cut, and I think everyone should ignore it and see the UK version.

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Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

For all you evil crime-doers living in the bad person underworld… the Original/UK/Director's Cut is available for download. (Or at least it WAS - when it was in big demand here in North America [i.e. - when it was available on DVD everywhere from Russia to Mexico but NOT Canada or the U.S.], the O/U/D/ Cut was a big item. However, I haven't looked since it came out [in the "U.S. Version"] here in North America.)

Point is, it was VERY popular at one point, and if enough of the people who downloaded it are "film freaks" (like us) who want every version, then the downloads should still be "being seeded".

But this is only for you criminal types! (Unless you live in Canada, where downloading is legal…)

"And people wonder why I beat hookers…" - Tig, Sons Of Anarchy


Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Wow! Thank you kellyjonez for this.

This is really huge in understanding this wonderful film, especially why Macha begins to hear "the thoughts" halfway through (which was very confusing in the US version).

Since the US version is so different, I was left wondering about what happened to Billy. Did he get away from his hideout after the Sorter shooting spree? Did the UK version show a final resolution to that character? Mainly, did he live?

I understand that (presumably) Rachel survived, but did Billy?

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Yes thanks a million, i just finished watching it for the first time, and those UK scenes totally put it together.

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Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

In response to Doug384: No.

The Billy situation was the one bit of this movie (UK-v) that bugged me since I came away from this movie assuming that Lou must have killed Billy to get Rachel. Although he may have just left Billy nailed to the table seeing as he wouldn't be going anywhere.

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground, try this sig with spinach!

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Wow! It sounds like a completely different movie. I gotta see the UK version in order to see how much all those additions/omissions have changed the tone and interpretation of the movie.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Is the longer cut you're referring to the one seen here:

It is listed as running 11 minutes longer than the US cut, but it seems as though the extra scenes you've described would run longer than a mere 11 minutes. If this is in fact the original cut, I'd be interested in picking it up.

-There is no such word as "alot."

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Up until now I had only seen the US version. I didn't even know there was a different version. Then when I discovered that there was a UK version, I searched high and low and managed to find a torrent for it.

Tonight I watched both the US version and UK version and I have to say that the UK version is FAR SUPERIOR. It has much more development and the editing/storytelling are much better. After seeing the UK version, the US version seems clunky and uneven. One thing I really liked about the UK version was the fact that we are filled in on the back story between Jake and Macha. The US version touches on it very briefly in the beginning, but never goes into detail. Not to mention the the fact that the UK version has such a better ending. I was amazed that Jake's battle with his ego happened only 3/4 of the way through the UK version and in the US version it is basically the end of the movie.

All I know is that the second the UK version comes out on Blu-Ray in the US, I will be buying it. Unfortunately the UK version is only available here via torrent in SD.

Re: Detailed differences between US and UK (Major Spoilers)

Thank you!

I just rewatched it after several years and I was wondering why it was missing some scenes I kinda remembered…