Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay)
Starring: Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins, Kerry Condon, Vincent Regan, Dylan Brown, Tamer Hassan
Plot: A man enslaved by the mob since childhood and raised into behaving like a human attack dog escapes his captors and attempts to start a new life.
Tagline – Serve No Master
Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Unleashed starts as we see how ruthless mob boss Bart (Hoskins) uses Danny (Li) like a dog to take out the enemies he has been facing, a position where he leaves nobody unharmed, rarely even alive.
When Bart crew is ambushed, Danny manages to escape, finding help with Sam (Freeman) a blind man that fixes pianos who takes him in, offering Danny a look at life for the first with his stepdaughter Victoria (Condon), until Bart finds him and forces him back into the world of fighting and killing.
Thoughts on Unleashed
Characters & Performances – Danny has been trained to become a relentless killing machine, locked away and never given a chance at an original thought, obeying the orders of his master when his collar is removed. He gets involved in an ambush, where he can escape and start to be taught new things from strangers, wanting to live his life for the first time. This character is caught in the middle of the world he hasn’t ever left and a world he could never imagine. Jet Li is brilliant in this role, we know he can handle the action with ease, it comes to the serious side, where he brings the film a breath of fresh air. Sam is the blind piano tuner that doesn’t see the pain Danny has lived through, but is willing to help Danny, seeing the good spirit in him. Morgan Freeman gives us a nice calm character that is only interested in doing good. Bart is the ruthless mob boss that has kept Danny as his personal attack dog for decades, with Danny next to him, he has him by his side, which strikes fear into the enemies he has, he is a greedy and will use anyone that comes into his life or kill anyone that crosses him. Bob Hoskins is wonderful in this full psychotic mob role. Victoria is the stepdaughter of Sam’s, she becomes the positive ray of sunshine in Danny’s life, showing him the little things he could enjoy in life. Kerry Condon is great in this film, in fact the whole cast is great to watch through this film.
Story – The story here follows a man that has been locked up trained into an attack dog for a mob boss that gets free after an ambush, where he gets to experience life for the first time, learning there is more to just fighting and killing. This is a nice story to watch, showing us that people can become trapped into a world they never imagined, where they will have no hope but to do bad things, never knowing things could be better. This reflects on how the kindness of strangers could give someone the light they need to enjoy life, showing them more to life. The two sides of the light versus the dark are drawn out wonderfully to give the story of Danny a bigger impact.
Themes – Unleashed is an action drama where we get to see the pure fighting skills of Jet Li when he is either taking out people for his master or fighting back against his master, with different fighting environments. This environment changes when we see the calmer music-based world that Danny gets welcomed to, which will give him memories of the calmer happier younger days of his life.