Originally Posted by J.Howlett
So, rewatched the theatrical cut in comparison to the the extended cut and I think I take back what I said. I think the theatrical cut works a bit better because of what the theatrical cut does with Snake Eyes.
In the theatrical cut, Snake Eyes is essentially a ghost. We have no idea where he is. Roadblock even makes a comment that if Snake Eyes isn't here, he's got a good reason. The next big scene with Snake Eyes is when Zartan, acting as President, says that Snake Eyes is the one who assassinated the Pakistani president. The next time we see Snake Eyes, he's in hand cuffs. Granted, we know Snake Eyes didn't do this but the film plays on this idea. After it is revealed that Storm Shadow is alive and acted as Snake Eyes in the assassination, we then get the reveal, after the escape of Cobra Commander, that Snake Eyes has been on the job all along and also the revelation that Storm Shadow is alive.
Cut to Tokyo where he's given instructions from the Blind Master that they have to help their fellow Joes and now that they know that Storm Shadow is alive, Snake Eyes is tasked with bring him to justice.
In the extended, we get the Tokyo scene first which kind of strips away the mystery of what Snake Eyes is up to and whether or not he in fact did the assassination. Not only that, he's not given instructions from the Blind Master to bring Storm Shadow to justice. And on top of that, the instruction he is given from the Blind Master makes no sense in the narrative. Cobra hasn't indicated anything in the film yet that they are up to something but Snake Eyes is given the task to stop their plans.
The theatrical cut also cuts the Flint nonsense that doesn't play better in the extended cut anyway. Jinx having to prove herself to Snake Eyes has no weight in the extended cut as well.
And while the credits of the film show a whole bunch of footage that wasn't in the theatrical cut at all, it doesn't hurt the film. Yeah, the end credits do play better when you watch it with the theatrical cut but I don't watch credits anyway, so it's a wash.
I completely disagree, I think the Extended Cut works a lot better, and makes some characters look quite a bit more competent.
In the theatrical cut, Snake Eyes isn't present for the beginning of the movie, and shows up (scoping out the scene and hanging back) for the prison break. So even though he's been trailing Storm Shadow the entire time, he can't be bothered to put any real effort into stopping him (and the leader of the most notorious terrorist cell, freshly escaped). In the extended cut, he and Jinx are both introduced before anything happens and is dispatched to follow up on rumors of "a new attack by our enemies"--right before the two major strikes by Cobra. So when "Snake Eyes" gets captured the movie allows for the possibility that he's fallen into a Cobra trap pursuing a false lead, rather than being given the information (by an established bad guy) that he assassinated the Pakistani prime minister (which we know he didn't) and given that, was somewhat randomly ambushed and captured (which would never happen). In the theatrical cut, everyone looks bad, out of touch, and superfluous. Snake Eyes at least gets the dignity of arriving too late to stop Cobra Commander's escape in the EC (and hampered by a potential turncoat), rather than just looking too absent-minded to bring along a sniper rifle and finish the job.
Jinx as a character is not any kind of game-changer to the story, but her introduction and handling here feels a lot more natural rather than in the TC where both she and Snake Eyes are clumsily re-introduced in a pseudo-training scene that comes across as padding (since it has no purpose
in the theatrical cut other than to do just that). Jinx comes across as a completely superfluous character in the theatrical cut, someone to fill up the roster after 99% of the good guys have just been wiped out. In the EC, she is least given a chance--made a potentially dangerous rival that Snake Eyes initially doesn't want around, and then grows to respect as an equal in battle (exemplified by her and Snake Eyes fighting simpatico in the tunnels)--rather than him just handing her the carbon fiber blade at the end of the TC (after she has disappeared for the climax), like "uh, I guess you're a Joe now since it's the end of the movie." Whether she was a necessary addition to the film is debatable, but at least as the only other female Joe in the movie she gets a good representation in the EC.
Flint--now that I agree with you. The "knuckles" scenes were completely unnecessary and contradictory to each other (with no reprisal to Roadbloack, bizarrely), and nothing was gained by it.
The climax is also quite a bit less abrupt in the extended cut, and manages to not make Storm Shadow look like a chump, since after an entire movie of being ambushed and knocked unconscious (it's almost a running gag by the end), Storm Shadow outfoxes Zartan and is only delayed from the killing blow due to Firefly's interference.
Overall it's better paced and arranged in the extended cut, and all those involved look better by comparison.