Unleashed (2005)

Posted in Reviews by - October 18, 2014
Unleashed (2005)

A mismatched film revolving around three very different character actors. Bob Hoskins plays a British gangster in a Lock, Stock setting filmed in grimy Glasgow; Morgan Freeman plays a wise, blind soothsayer in a sentimental aside; and then there is Jet Li, who randomly explodes into violent flashes of kung fu action, and barely stringing a single sentence together. Such clashing elements give the film a bizarre, unsettled tone, despite succeeding quite confidently in all three separate departments. Li plays the cooped-up property of Hoskins who keeps the fighter on a leash like an animal (the film is also known by the title, Danny the Dog), utilising him as a rabid assassin to kill off his rivals. When Hoskins’ car is riddled with bullets from a scornful hoodlum seeking revenge, Jet is unleashed and seeks solace in the comfortable abode of Freeman and his stepdaughter. Li uses puppy dog eyes to see the world for the first time, developing life skills and a personality before starting to question his past. The sombre moments are quite touching and Li plays the childlike role earnestly. Despite acting in a second language, Li is very convincing in the lead role, and the quieter moments suggest a new life for him outside of the martial arts world. Hoskins and Freeman are also excellent, even if this is just another pay-check for them.

AKA: Danny the Dog.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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