Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins, Kerry Condon, Vincent Regan, Dylan Brown and Tamer Hassan

Louis Leterrier

Running Time:
102 mins

Out to buy on DVD 21/11/05

"You're my Dog"

Local hoodlum Bart (Hoskins) is making a name for himself in the money lending and protection rackets because everyone knows he has a reason why you have to pay. That reason is Danny (Li), Bart's enforcer that will brutally take on all-comers and always wins. Danny is no ordinary henchman however because he is docile for most of the day but when Bart removes his collar from around his neck Danny is unleashed and the fight begins.

The idea of a man training someone to be an attack dog is an intriguing premise but can 'Unleashed' have enough to take the collar off?

When it comes to his Hollywood film career, Jet Li has been very hit and miss but mainly miss, with only 'Lethal Weapon 4' making any real impact. To see the martial arts master showing his true potential you have to watch him in his homegrown Asian movies in films like 'Hero' and the 'Once Upon a Time in China' movies to see him at his best. There has never been any question about Jet Li's action skills but when it comes to his Hollywood career, his choices have been a little suspect. 'Unleashed' finally changes this.

This movie finally shows Western audiences that Jet Li can actually act. In a script written by Luc Besson, the character of Danny allows Jet to develop him over the duration of the film. Here we see Danny transform from a killing machine who knows nothing other than fighting, to a person that wants to experience the joys that life can bring. This is a major character for Jet Li's Hollywood career and should allow him to expand the range of his roles away from his usual Asian Cop or enforcer parts.

Another aspect that makes 'Unleashed' a far superior film to anything Jet Li has made in Hollywood before, is the quality of his supporting cast. Bob Hoskins returns to his crime roots to play Bart, a complete thug who sees Danny as nothing more than a weapon. This is a role that Hoskins can play in his sleep but he does it with such passion and aplomb, that he makes Bart as power hungry and aggressive as his should be. Morgan Freeman brings even more class to the film as blind piano tuner Sam. This is a mentor like role again for Freeman, as he opens Danny's eyes to the world around him. This is a role that Freeman can also play in his sleep but his class makes Sam even more believable.

Supporting these three big hitters is a good performance from up and coming actress Kerry Condon. Playing Victoria she brings some humanity to the film, showing Danny the joys that real life can bring. There are also good shows from Dylan Brown and Tamer Hassan, playing Bart's henchman.

With exceptional martial arts sequences and a story that finally allows Jet Li to act in a Hollywood film, 'Unleashed' is by far his best western film to date. There are some problems, like the film supposed to be set in Glasgow but no one speaks with a Scottish accent and the city is filled with Cockneys for example, but this doesn't take anything away from the action. Action flicks movies don't get much better than this.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the movie is presented well.


Making of FX (2.08 mins)
Watch the various stages of completion for the 'Danny's mother playing the piano' scene in the movie.

Trailer (2.19 mins)
View the theatrical trailer that accompanied the film's cinematic release.

Complete Scenes (10.13 mins)
View complete, uncut and without enhanced visuals the fight sequences in the jewellery store, the cage fight, house fight and a fight within the hallway.

Deleted Scenes (2.34 mins)
Watch two deleted scenes that show Danny talking to Sam about wanting to give up fighting and watch Danny practicing in the warehouse. These deleted scenes are not accompanied by either a commentary track or introduction to explain why these scenes were removed.

'Baby Boy' RZA music video (3.05 mins)
Watch the music video that accompanied the release of the film at the box office.

The Making of Unleashed (36.25)
Director Louis Leterrier and star Jet Li take you behind the scenes of the making of 'Unleashed'. We find out how the film evolved from the original script from Luc Besson called 'Danny the Dog' (The international title) to the completed film. We see the genesis of the fight sequences under the supervision of master Yuen Wo Ping, the man who choreographed 'The Matrix Trilogy' and we find out more about the casting of picture, including how Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins and Kerry Condon became involved and developed their characters.


While there are quite a few bonus features on the DVD, this is very run of the mill. The lack of a commentary track doesn't help but the making of featurette is good with lots of behind the scenes footage. Fans will still be slightly disappointed however because this was a film crying out for loads of extras.



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