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- Good boy!
The outlandish plot concerns Danny (Jet Li), who has literally been trained to be an attack dog by a vicious loan shark named Bart (Bob Hoskins). He wears a collar that makes him docile; when it is removed and his master gives the word, he becomes a vicious killer that can take on any ten men in the vicinity at the same time. When he becomes seperated from Bart, a blind piano tuner (Morgan Freeman) and his goofy step-daughter (Kelly Condon) take him in and he begins to recall his past and become reacquainted with his humanity. Of course, it wouldn't be a movie if that went smoothly...
As ridivulous as the premise may be, the conviction of the cast and crew make it hugely entertaining. Working from a script by Luc Besson, director Louis Leterrier attacks the savage fight scenes and the sweetly eccentric humanistic scenes with equal conviction. Jet Li shows that he has some acting chops. As fearsome a warrior as he is, the ultimate impression he leaves of his character is rather timid and sweet. ...more info
- I love Jet Li but I hate this movie
This is one of those movies where you know 2-5 minutes into it, it's going to be a stupid flick. And you know what- it delivers on that on sooo many levels. I think what bothered me about it is the movie tried to have heart. It's almost like a plot was trying to form about halfway through the movie.
Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman were too great for this film- very weird to see them stoop down to such a dumb, violent film.
Jet Li can be seen in better fight scenes from Once Upon A Time In China, Forbidden Kingdom, Fearless, Hero and even Romeo Must Die.
- Lousy Li
Not at all what i thought it would be like based on other jet li movies. He is a good actor, but this movie is gross and hard to follow much less understand. Surprised Morgan Freeman got involved in this one....more info
- suspension of belief isn't quite enough
This was thrilling and disappointing all at once. It takes western martial arts movies to a whole new level, then lets you down gradually, instead of sucking from the very start. As much as I love Jet Li, most of his American movies suck, which is not his fault in the least. Nor is it the fault of his choreographers like Cory Yuen, or in this case, Yuen Woo Ping. These large Hollywood companies just butcher the hell out of the fights in post-production, and this is almost an exception. Does Hollywood believe that that's what we want to see? Six angles for one punch, filmed on a shaky hand-cam? Not me. I hate that. This is still easily Jet's best film since he came to America and blows away crap like "Cradle 2 the Grave" and "The One". Though I must admit that for some reason, I loved "Kiss of the Dragon".
Jet plays Danny, a "dog", raised since childhood by gangster Bob Hoskins to help with collections and other assorted tasks. Hoskins will warn potential deadbeats by threatening to remove Danny's collar, which has a Pavlovian effect on Danny where he knows it's time to kick the tar out of everyone. An accident later leaves Danny injured, wandering, assuming that Hoskins is dead, and into the care of kindly old blind piano-tuner Morgan Freeman and his step-daughter Victoria. Under their influence, Danny starts to come out of his very shy shell and appreciate the nicer things in life, like music, ice cream, warmth (temperature and human), cleanliness, and non-violence. Hoskins isn't dead of course, and Danny will have to fight again for his own freedom.
What bothers me about this movie is that is sets up a silly premise and almost, almost pulls it off. Which wouldn't have bothered me as much if I wasn't so engrossed in Danny's plight. The acting is good all the way around, with an especially impressive performance by Jet. He really pulls off a combination of vicious and deadly under the care of Hoskins, and sweet, shy, and inquisitively wide-eyed under the care of Freeman. It totally sucks you in to the contrasting duality before falling short. It certainly raises some interesting questions about our own feral nature and the effects of civilization. Even more so than Tim Allen's "Jungle 2 Jungle".
The fights are really what attracted me to this, as it should be. After all, this is a Jet Li movie. It likely won't disappoint. All the fights are good, but I am bothered by a film that fails to improve on the opening rumble. The final fight is flawed only by its absurdity of origin, otherwise it rocks. Jet and a bald dude duking it out in a bathroom that's barely larger than a phone booth. These brawls are quite a bit different than any that Jet & Woo Ping have done in the past, together or otherwise. Again, they are over-edited, but in the grainy, dark, "Snatch"-like film quality, they don't suffer as much.
If you like American martial arts films (even though it's technically European), you should see this. It's in a league far beyond most, if not all, in that genre, and nearly transcends several others too... but not quite.
2005. aka: Danny the Dog...more info
- Happy ever after
This was my first Jet Li film and won't be my last. What I expected, I did not get, meaning real fight scenes. What I did not expect, I got, meaning a really touching story.
Danny (Jet Li) was raised by Bart (Bob Hoskins in a unbelievably brutal and inhumane performance) as a dog, a pit bull, to fight when "unleashed." Early on, the director gives the impression that Danny cannot talk, that he really is like a dog. However, the scene with Sam (Morgan Freeman playing Morgan Freeman, a wise and kind man), Danny reveals he is human, he does respond to humane treatment, and that he is a sweet person inside the dog collar. This is the part I love--the touching story.
Sam and his step-daughter Victoria (Kerry Condon), an accomplished pianist, awaken Danny's deeply dormant sweetness and bring him back to life and eventually help him solve the mystery of his life: Who is he? Where does he come from? Where is his mother?
What I expected was violent fighting, but what I saw was skilfully choreographed martial arts. Other reviewers praise this, but it did not look real to me. It looked choreographed. I could literally see them NOT making contact. A much better movie for realistic fighting is "Ong-Bak: A Thai Warrior" with Tony Ja. Now that fighting looks real!
I really like this movie for its story: for the rebirth of a person from brutality, unkindness, vulgarity, violence, skulduggery. What results is a family, love, kindness, compassion, things that make us better than we are. Add to this the soft kiss of a young girl and the sublime music of a concert hall. Danny is unleashed all right, from a poverty of spirit into a largess of love.
What a fine film this is! Highly recommended!
- The best Jet Li vehicle in years
After getting stuck in a few pointless, hip-hop flavored actioners paired with DMX, Jet Li finds himself in the best film he's starred in in years. He plays Danny, a man conditioned to be nothing more than a violent dog by a ruthless gangster named Bart (Bob Hoskins) who manages to escape and finds shelter with a kindly, blind pianist (Morgan Freeman) and his step-daughter (Kerry Condon). Naturally, Bart and his goons come looking for Danny, who soon proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks. While the action is brilliantly coreographed, it's Li's sympathetic and vulnerable turn as the tortured Danny that makes Unleashed worth checking out, and Hoskins is a rabid dog himself as the obscenity spewing gangster. Unleashed is undoubtadly the best mainstream domestic Jet Li vehicle you'll see, and here's hoping that Li and writer/producer Luc Besson team up again down the road....more info
- I love this site
i enjoy this site very much evrything i look 4 is here thank you 4 providing me this servis ...more info
- Unrated? Unleashed!
Unleashed (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
This is a great DVD featuring an incredible movie. Unleased is probably one of Jet Li's best films, featuring him as a poor, mistreated "slave" fighting for a cruel master. One day he tastes freedom, and the rest is a dramatic roller coaster. The DVD itself is pretty thin on features, but what's there is pretty decent (behind the scenes, fight sequences, etc). Pick it up! For such a low price, you should unleash it on your home theatre!...more info
- Lots of action and a good story
It was a good story with lots of action. I found myself wondering if such brutality exists and realized it probably does somewhere. Maybe here in the USA. Humans are are capable of great acts good and evil. Jet Li was very good in this. I've never heard of him before but I hope he does other movies. Morgan Freeman was his usual fantastic self.
- fantastic, emotional story with brutal action
basically its a story of hope, redemption, and rebirth. Danny(Jet Lee) has been raised as nothing more than an attack dog for his entire life(that he can remember). he has been forced to hurt. forced to kill. he never gets anything in return for the atrocities. he is forced to live in a cage. its the first movie in a while that actually made me care for any characters.
one day a hit is taken out on his owner and company. after things quiet down and the smoke clears Danny is the only man left breathing. he takes his first steps out of the car and to freedom.
He ends up being taken in by a blind Morgan Freeman and his step daughter. their kindness awakens the humanity inside Danny.
i dont want to elaborate on the story beyond that. ill just say this was an amazing movie, and anyone should see it (even non action fans)
great action, great story, great soundtrack, and great acting(the most and best acting ive ever seen from Jet Lee)
apparently the violence was a bit much for some. now, while it was the most brutal violence ive scene in its own stylized subgenre, theres deffinitely more violent fights out there. if the sound of bones bones breaking bothers you, walk away....more info
- An original drama that proves Jet Li can do more than just beat up bad guys
Unleashed is about a man named "Danny the Dog" (Jet Li), raised like an animal since childhood and trained to unquestioningly obey his master (Bob Hoskins). With his collar on, he is docile and emotionless, but when his master takes it off he turns into a powerful, unstoppable killing machine. When Danny is injured and separated from his master, he is taken in by a kind old piano tuner, Sam (Morgan Freeman) and his equally friendly granddaughter, Victoria (Kerry Condon). With their compassion and the solace that Danny finds in learning to play the piano, he tries to regain his humanity and escape physically, mentally, and emotionally from the oppression that had been forced on him for so long.
Directed by Louis Leterrier, Unleashed deals with familiar themes, but within completely different circumstances. Sure we've seen movies about people who were trained since they were young to kill, and we've seen movies about dogs that run away from their abusive owners, but combining the two concepts creates a very original and intriguing storyline. Though it seems like it could easily become weighed down by its implausibility, Li's honest portrayal of Danny makes everything work. That kind of extreme contrast, of being a violent murderer and yet still being nayve and innocent, is incredibly hard to pull off, but Li does it flawlessly. Hoskins also does an excellent job as the cruel antagonist of the story, and the scenes when Li's character confronts him are all intensely convincing.
If you haven't guessed by now, this is not a typical Jet Li martial arts movie. It focuses more on the drama and underlying emotions than on the fights themselves, but that's not to say the fight scenes weren't extremely well-done. All of the fights were elaborate enough to be interesting without being over the top, keeping the special effects at a refreshing minimum. And even though these scenes were also very gory, the bloody violence was used to show the contrast between the two worlds that Danny becomes engulfed in; it wasn't just thrown in for looks.
The only thing about this movie that annoyed me enough to comment on it was Freeman and Condon's characters. Both actors did a great job with their parts, but...how many people would unconditionally take in some mystery man that they found on the streets who wouldn't even tell them his real name and who hid under the bed whenever they tried to bring him food? As much as I'd love to believe otherwise, pure-hearted philanthropists like that are one in a million, and the fact that Danny just happens to encounter two of them is almost too coincidental. Almost. But everyone was so perfectly cast and the story flowed so smoothly that for 1 hour and 43 minutes I could just forget about that minor detail.
Unleashed has just the right mix of drama and action, with a nice touch of humor, to create a truly compelling movie. It takes fears and desires that many of us have felt before and portrays them in new and original context. Recommended for fans of music, Jet Li, or good movies in general....more info
- Very underrated!
I'm not a big fan of Jet Li but I actually enjoyed this film alot! The fight scenes are very brutal and aren't like most other martial arts movie. Li actually acts in this flick and is supported by a strong cast, Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins. Luc Besson was clearly behind this project and it shows through the story telling. Also very stylistic effects. The movie isn't perfect but it's worth checking out....more info
- Unflinching, offbeat and intriguing action film
Trained from childhood to become a killing machine for a mobster (Bob Hoskins), Danny (Jet Li) is literally a caged animal. When bills need to be collected upon, the gang brings Danny along. If payment isn't made, they release him from his steel leash and Danny becomes a barbaric war machine of unspeakable fury, using lightning-quick hands, feet, elbows, head-butts, and any other tool at hand in staccato blasts. The gang always gets paid.
But when his boss crosses the wrong crew one day, Danny suddenly finds himself wounded badly, bewildered and homeless. With no social skills whatsoever, he staggers back to the scene of one of his recent battles, where a piano and a blind piano-tuner (Morgan Freeman) had briefly captured his attention. Bleeding profusely, Danny collapses at Sam's feet.
Recognizing that Danny has special needs, Sam and his adopted daughter nurse the youth back to health and begin to integrate him into polite society. Danny becomes a set of eyes for Sam, helping with chores like shopping and escorting Victoria back and forth to school. Over a period of weeks, Danny becomes an adoptive member of the family. It is on a typical daily shopping sojourn that one of the old gang spots Danny. It turns out that Bart, the boss, has survived to live another day. He wants his old enforcer back in the fold. And this is where things get really ugly.
Li, Hoskins and Freeman all do fine work here. Hoskins obviously has the part of Glasgow mobster mastered and you probably couldn't find a more convincing actor to play the role. Freeman is, well, Freeman. He's convincing without being overwhelming and is the warm, stable center of the film. And Li is not only a gifted fighter, he's also convincing as a human being raised in unspeakable living conditions. All told, the film is far more than a cookie-cutter action flick. It's enjoyable, escapist fun with some pretty fine acting to help drive the story....more info
- UNLEASHED IS A WICKED GOOD TIME!
you think of jet li and you think good acting, good movies, and some good beatings. and this movie was no exception. it was very good, entertaining, and touching. the plot was okay, there was a beginning and an ending. why he was this way, and how he finally broke free. he has this collar and once it's off jet li goes crazy. he knows what to do, and man does he do it. his fighting is extrodinary, and what makes him so good is he doesn't have that tough guy look or attitude, but when he gets ready for battle all hell breaks loose. he's treated like a dog, by this ruthless man, and finally one day he sees his chance to run and he does. he's taken in by this man (morgan freeman)and his step daughter where he learns the true meaning of family, respect, friendship, kindness, and love. all the things he yearns to have. little by little the old danny is slowly disappearing, but once again his old boss bart wants him back at all cost. then danny must fight to keep his new family safe and to keep his newfound freedom. excellent fighting scenes, and the whole movie was delivered as it should have. you really can't go wrong with jet li. and morgan freeman, great actor, just putting in his part of the game as well. well done, and weather your into action or fighting scenes you should like it, or even if you're not, the whole sad story on danny's behalf will keep you interested and make you feel for this guy because it's abuse he's being put through. any abuse is bad abuse. but underneath this sweet man is a killing machine he must learn to control....more info
- "You're a dog! You're my dog! "
"Unleashed" is dark and action-packed, combining elements of noir with martial arts. While the premise may not be all that believable, it's already understood that when you see one of these movies, you're going to have to suspend the rules of reality to buy into it all. If you do that, then you're on your way to enjoying a different type of fight/action movie.
Danny isn't your typical guy. In fact, it's hard to find any signs of humanity in him as he's been brought up by a ruthless and heartless crime boss, who has literally brought Danny up as nothing more than a dog. He uses Danny to do his dirty work. When he takes the collar off, Danny does his bidding and turns into a violent killing machine. When the collar is on, he's shy, harmless and not so responsive to the world outside of him. When an "accident" happens where Danny is able to escape, he's taken care of by a blind piano tuner, Sam. Him and his stepdaughter try to show Danny a life outside of the darkness. Things get complicated when the crime boss wants Danny back, and is willing to do anything in his power to make it so. In order to protect the ones he loves, Danny will have to transform himself into the fighting machine he was trained to be.
The action in the movie is very rapid and fast-pace, but they give you enough space for story and character development. The look and feel of it really drags you into this dark and raw atmosphere, which is why we can buy into everything that happens. Make no mistake, you're not going to walk away from "Unleashed" with the hopes of seeing a modern masterpiece, or something very thought-provoking and awe-inspiring. It is an action movie with a cool twist to it and nothing more. Take it for what it is and you'll be able to appreciate it for what it is.
As violent as this movie can get, I was actually expecting more carnage and mayhem, although I have to say that the fight sequences that are in the movie are stunning and amazing. Jet Li has all of the moves and nobody can take that away from him. Also, it was neat to see an action movie presented in such a fashion that I hadn't experienced before. Again, the story may not be completely plausible, but does it really have to be? In this kind of movie, you realize that anything goes. It's a question of if you're allowed to be dragged into the movie and go for the ride. The DVD includes some behind the scenes featurettes, music videos, and also allows you to watch the Unrated version or the Extended version. I don't know what the difference is, so I just went along with the Unrated version.
"Unleashed" is a dark and enjoyable action flick with a very nice overall presentation. Those who don't like violent fight movies would be wise to stay away, but for everybody else I can honestly say it's worth giving it a shot. It's not a masterpiece, but it is something. It's nice to see that the same thing isn't being done over and over again and that people are using different approaches and presentations to these martial arts movies. -Michael Crane...more info
- Roll over, beg, play dead. Kill.
"Unleashed" is the tale of Danny (Jet Li) bred to be a killing machine. He wears a metal collar with little hasps and a catch on it: if the collar is released, he beats the Enemy to death.
That is his job, his purpose. He is exceedingly good at it
Until he finds out about the piano, and discovers there's more to life than treeing somebody else's quarry.
Now: "Unleashed" in many ways was poorly served by its trailer, which promised hyper-kinetic brutality, done fast and fierce and foolish, and delivered with skull-crunching finality by Jet Li (who plays Danny, the aforementioned Dog).
"Unleashed" is much less than that---it really moves at a snail's pace for an actioner, which no doubt rendered it a real sleeper when audiences got impatient for the thing to deliver the skull-whacking goods---but it's also something much more.
"Unleashed", for me, was a triple-roundhouse of the Unexpected: it's a marvellously intimate little flick, alternately brutal and tender, delivering at least four stunning performances (no, not Jet Li's feet and hands...sheesh), and serving up its engaging little tale with an unexpected dash of tenderness and whimsy.
It all goes down like a latter-day "Oliver Twist": Danny (Jet Li) plays the unwitting muscle to petty London crime-boss Bart (Bob Hoskins, who positively chomps the East-End scenery, strutting and fretting, screaming and spitting, and then getting all Mommy Dearest in a nasty motherly turn...brrrr). They drag him along to one extortion after another, and the business proposition is always the same: pay me, the collar stays on. Be difficult, the collar comes off, and Danny pounds you blokes into the pavement.
That is, until a well-heeled sadistic stranger gets a glimpse of Danny's rare art, and makes Bart a business proposition of a very different sort: bring the Dog to fight in a London gladiatorial arena and get paid top-dollar---er, top-Pound---for the bloodshed. Danny goes from being part of the show to the star attraction, but still has to sleep in a cage, wallow in his own blood, and eat oatmeal through a mesh screen. Where's Don King when ya need him?
Until a little unexpected vengeance---and a Deus Ex Machina with teeth---shows up, and Danny sets off alone into a forbidding world. And the movie either slows to a crawl, or really takes off, or a little of both, depending on your point of view.
Like "Oliver", Danny is set adrift in a world far less menacing---and certainly more confusing---than the one he knows, where he is at first tended by the goofy, awkward ministrations of Sam (Morgan Freeman, the only veteran actor I know who actually *chills*, man, *chills* when he chews scenery), a piano tuner, and his motormouth daughter Victoria (the delicious Kerry Condon, a quirky discovery).
Danny finds there is more to life than alternating bouts of bloodletting and idle disgrace: there is ice cream, and the piano, and music, and tenderness, and above all things, getting kissed.
The question is: will Bart and his vengeful Black Crew let him get away with a little R&R from Hell?
The really astonishing thing about "Unleashed" is just how good Jet Li is in this understated role: an exceptionally gifted physical actor, he can say more with furrowed brows and a glance than most can with reams of dialogue. Freeman and Condon are no slouches either; Freeman really gets his groove on with this oddly intimate little flick, and Condon sells the deal---or at least, just what is at stake.
But Bob Hoskins---my god!---Hoskins brings the flick alive with his Bart, a grim, grimy, feral, maniacal nightshade of a creature, a master manipulator, a man sunk so deeply in the Pit that he might even believe his own lies. How can tenderness and whimsy fare in the face of this white-suited Monster, who jockeys about his homely domain various ill-fated white luxury rides?
You'd be surprised.
Just goes to show that every dog really *does* have his day.
- A joy to watch.
I'm not a huge Jet Li fan - yeah, he's talented, but some of his films aren't so hot. This one is. The first fight is cracking! Okay, it was carefully choreographed, but it looked so realistically brutal. Incredible.
Then there's the added joy of watching superb actors at work. No, not Mr. Li! Messers Morgan and Hoskins. Both brought an extra dynamic to a genre which usually overlooks the fact it is there to entertain with quality acting and not just wow with staggering action. Okay, I don't think Morgan or Hoskins will be sticking it at the top of their CV, but it was a welcome joy to see actors of such stature performing in such a film.
The story? Ok. A little more depth than Li usually goes for, but I doubt it'll be studied in Film Schools across the world very often.
A good film, with some excellent action. Li fans will not be disappointed. A film most people will enjoy, not just martial arts enthusiasts.
- Don't Make Me Take My Collar Off!!!!
This is a cool martial arts flick that has heart. Its not just about fighting. Its along the lines of Jackie Chan's Heart of the Dragon in that both films show people caring for each other. Both movies show characters who are mentally handicapped and are helped by someone. The non-violence side of the movie shows that Jet Li can really act. That only makes the action scenes where violence is needed all the more better. The martial arts scenes are execellent with Li fighting like a mad, stray dog. Some of the best fighting is in the pit scenes, especially when weapons are dropped in. It isn't as good as Fearless or the Once Upon a Time in China, Tsui Hark series but it does have better acting between Morgan Freeman and Jet Li then pervious Li movies....more info
- A Brutal-Yet-Touching Film
For a martial arts picture, "Unleashed" was above average because it had some heart and soul to it.....not just people beating the crap out of one another for two straight hours.
However, be wary of those who claim this isn't an action film. That's not true: there is a lot of action, quite a bit of brutality and profanity, mostly by Bob Hoskins' character "Bart" in this movie. Hoskins plays profane, nasty slave-owner who has locked up and trained "Danny" (Jet Li) to be the ultimate fighting machine. Once Danny is "unleashed" (literally) he's a killer and helps the gangster Bart in his criminal work.
Later, Danny escapes his captors and winds up at the house of an older blind American, "Sam," played by Morgan Freeman. He and his 18-year-old daughter "Natalie" (Kelly Condon) befriend young Danny, slowly bringing him out of his "animal" state. Everyone discovers Danny has some very human characteristics and is basically a nice, gentle guy. The family helps uncover that through music (piano playing, to be exact). These are all touching scenes.
But then - and this is almost a clich¨¦ in these kind of films - the bad guy comes back, snatches him away and his former bad life comes back....except Danny is a changed man. How he can get out of this latest predicament and what happens to this new "adopted" family, takes up the rest of the story. That last part has the same thing: ultra-violent and touching scenes.
Jet Li does an excellent job in here, not only displaying his amazing physical talents but also showing us he has warmth in his face and heart.
Overall: a brutal, yet touching film: an odd combination....more info
- Grim. No, really grim
Well one thing we learn in "Unleashed" is that unlike Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme and others, Jet Li perhaps can act. The soft parts where he learns of his mother, her music, and his first kiss ("hmmm. wet. hmmm. nice) under the tutelage of Morgan Freeman show some nice movement and facial expressions.
The other thing we learn is that he may be the best of the martial arts fighters, Mr. Van Damme having put on a little width, Mr. Chan having just turned to what only can be termed as martial vaudeville, and Mr. Norris, well Chuck's hung up his spurs.
But the movie is so bloody grim that who would want to see it much less buy it? Bob Hoskins, not just evil but stupidly so, and his entourage of baseball carrying thugs and smarmy gunslingers. There's a plot here somewhere and it ain't Pygmallion.
So, if you like the fights it's probably worth it. Not much else. 3 stars. Larry Scantlebury ...more info
If I had seen it at the movies I would have asked for my money back! No climax, bad storyline and acting. The initial fight was the only decent fight scene in the whole movie....more info
- Great movie
What can I say? It's a good action movie with a decent enough plot. I'm a fan!...more info