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
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
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
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.
PICTURE & SOUND
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
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
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
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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