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Unleashed (Danny the Dog)

Unleashed (Danny the Dog) (2005)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 130
Fresh: 85 | Rotten: 45

Jet Li gets to emote in some emotionally awkward scenes, but the gritty fight sequences come through in what is Li's best English language film.


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 16

Jet Li gets to emote in some emotionally awkward scenes, but the gritty fight sequences come through in what is Li's best English language film.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 92,183

My Rating

Movie Info

Two men cut off from the world in different ways become unlikely friends and protectors in this offbeat action drama. Danny (Jet Li) is a physically powerful but emotionally stunted man; never given any sort of proper education, Danny has learned little in his lifetime but how to fight, and his minder, Bart (Bob Hoskins), treats him more like a guard dog than anything else, using him in illegal no-holds-barred brawls that earn Bart plenty of money but only reinforce Danny's violent alienation.

Oct 11, 2005


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All Critics (136) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (45) | DVD (33)

Li's dramatic turn is no match for his fists of fury.

August 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An intriguing little action thriller, a half-and-half story divided between sequences of vicious violence and quiet, wryly comic scenes of newfound domesticity.

January 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the same stuff that as we always get where like the henchman come up to him one by one.

May 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film contains enough quiet, reflective moments for us to become aware how preposterous the central conceit is, and that keeps us at arm's length. For a movie that strives to be in-your-face, that's too far away.

May 14, 2005 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A nice, violent little film about the redemptive powers of art and love.

May 13, 2005 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film that could use a little less conversation, a lot more action.

May 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is by far Jet Li's best English language film, and one of the finest of his career, not because of the thrillingly choreographed fight sequences but because of its well constructed story and Li's riveting performance.

March 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

Li's fighting sequences are unique for their street fighting style of realism and brutality...

June 20, 2009 Full Review Source:

a dog of a movie, better not unleashed on any discerning viewer.

August 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film | Comments (2)
Eye for Film

We're treated to some impressively percussive fights.

July 25, 2007 Full Review Source:

Unfortunately, the fight scenes (and there are several) are very frontloaded.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

An irritating excuse to glorify senseless slaughter!

June 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Princeton Town Topics
Princeton Town Topics

Has a "been there, done that" feel, as if writer/co-producer Besson has returned to this concept one time too many.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Freeman is better than his role, and Hoskins is a powerful presence. Li almost pulls off a psychologically complex role. But in the end, Unleashed is a muddled film.

November 10, 2006
Christianity Today

Para cada bom filme que escreve, produz ou dirige, Luc Besson realiza outras dez porcarias. Esta é uma delas (e nem mesmo as boas seqüências de luta podem salvar um roteiro absurdo, esquemático e com personagens unidimensionais).

May 30, 2006
Cinema em Cena

Unleashed is a must-see for Jet Li fans -- he's so good in it, in the end he even prevails over the movie's boldly improbable and distracting plot.

February 7, 2006 Full Review Source: MTV

A promising idea that never develops beyond that.

January 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

If a movie is only as good as its villain, then Unleashed is a very good movie indeed.

November 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Benefits from an unabashedly sentimental heart.

November 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Although silly, the premise is engaging enough to let viewers invest in the characters, giving them an emotional stake in the frequent, and spectacular, fight sequences.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

There's a lot to enjoy in Unleashed.

September 27, 2005 Full Review Source:

Anyone bold enough to meld various elements of Fight Club, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, A Clockwork Orange and Douglas Sirk melodrama deserves a nod for trying something new

August 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A pretty weird flick. But it's got some good stuff in it.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

An enjoyable, off-beat action thriller that has 'Future Cult Movie' written all over it.

August 20, 2005 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Audience Reviews for Unleashed (Danny the Dog)

Jet Li plays the son of a Chinese immigrant who is taken in by a London gangster at a young age and brought up as a kind of human attack dog, kept in a cage and trained only to fight. Upon finding himself free for the first time in his life after an attack by a rival mobster, he returns to the only person who ever showed him kindness, blind piano tuner Morgan Freeman; but the past inevitably catches up with him. Actually this rather unpromising and hokey sounding premise is easily the films greatest weakness. If you can look past it, you'll discover an extremely stylish and unusual thriller. The scenes between Li and Freeman's family have a genuine warmth and sincerity which never resorts to schmaltz, Li in particular bringing an innocence and pathos to his role. The direction is much more sophisticated than you would expect from an action film, and the East End gangland setting combined with the bursts of visceral violence is very reminiscent of Guy Ritchie's work. If anything, the fight scenes are amongst the least interesting parts of the film, the arena scene in particular is clumsy and unnecessary but Jet Li's athleticism and skill are always worth watching. A superior action film that's far from the usual dim-witted thuggery you'd expect from Hollywood.
September 27, 2012
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

"Unleashed" is definitely Jet Li's best English film. Man, are there some pretty awkward moments in this. The follow up to most of the fight scenes is very drab and very rarely does the drama actually have an impact, but the action fight sequences are incredibly satisfying. I liked the gritty cinematography also. Only one thing: why was there nudity in this movie? It was so unnecessary.
March 10, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

an excellent action film with solid fight sequences and a touching although bizarre story.
August 13, 2011
danny d

Super Reviewer

Ignoring the absolutely ridiculous premise...

Is it just me, or is it a little disturbing that Li "performs best" as a socially awkward man-child who has less lines than the entire supporting cast?

Honestly, I'd rather be thrown into another adrenaline pumping "brainless" action flick than watching a humble blind Freeman steal the show as Li tries so painfully to feint innocence in this contrive attempt at "emotional depth"

But hey, the actions still there and grittier than ever. Unfortunately, it happens to explode without the consistency and balance you wish it did throughout the downtime and that? That's just bad storytelling/directing.
May 31, 2011
Drake Tsui

Super Reviewer

    1. Sam: There's nothing like self-discovery for turning a boy into a man.
    – Submitted by Frances H (2 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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