Unleashed - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Unleashed Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2011
"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.
Super Reviewer
½ January 9, 2007
an excellent action film with solid fight sequences and a touching although bizarre story.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2011
I was a bit worried about watching this film as I thought it would just be another western kung fu film, it wasn't though and I found myself very pleasently surprised. Unleashed really comes through as a story of self discovery and the most enjoyable parts of the film the ones in which Danny (Jet Li) comes to terms with a normal life, not just one of fighting.
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2007
This is terrible, avoid it!
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2006
It's utterly spectacular. An action movie masterpiece. A triumph for Director, Louis Leterrier and Writer/Producer, Luc Besson. A stylish and magnificent film that mixes film noir and martial arts. It's packed with extreme non-stop action and searing emotion. It's an incredible ride like you wont believe. Riveting, original, electrifying and unforgettable. Thrilling, chilling and exhilarating. It's a gripping, powerful and outstanding movie. It keeps your pulse pounding and your adrenaline pumping through every explosive action sequence and dramatic scene. One of those rare action classics you have to see to believe. A trio of powerhouse performances from it three amazing leads. Jet Li gives an knockout performance, showing a fierce intensity in the action scenes but shows surprising emotional vulnerability. This is Jet Li's best movie and best performance to date. Morgan Freeman is brilliant, he gives a subtle, effective and absorbing performance. Bob Hoskins is terrific, he gives a fearless, intense and hard-boiled performance that you have not seen him in before.
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2010
Instead of being just a fighting movie, this is actually very, very emotionally gripping. While it might be hard to fathom the extreme genre clash, it is one that's completely original and touching. While Jet Li does kill about 10 people within the first two minutes of screen time, it morphs into a story about a man finding out who he is and why his world was so terrible. This is without a doubt the most vulnerable i've seen Jet Li and it's really a great surprise. Louis Leterrier and Luc Besson have created something truly powerful.
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2009
While I don't prefer action movies much, this one's the only exception besides the DIE HARD series. Though I'm allergic of dogs, this dog really amazed me. Would have been better if it hadn't slowed down after the entry of Morgan Freeman.
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2009
"Serve No Master"

A man raised into behaving like a dog, escapes from his captor to start a new life, who seeks to reclaim him because of his unnatural martial arts skills that are triggered when unleashed.

This has everything you want from a film, and even more if your a Jet Li fan. It has balance of different genres which create a near perfect film in my opinion.

Firstly, the fight scenes are superb, bone crunching jaw dropping martial arts from Jet Li, who plays the main role of Danny. Though some may judge this film to be a violent action film, they couldn't be more wrong. Despite its certificate rating and cast, this film is mainly a drama, and a very good one. Like in Jet Li's Fearless, we see Li's acting come into play here, acting out the role of the poor, corrupted Danny superbly. Morgan Freeman is the icing on the cake, as always, he acts out his character superbly.

So what do we have here? A violent, powerful drama, with hints of comedy throughout. Even if you don't like Jet Li, watch this film, its deep storyline will definitely move you if the amazing choreography doesn't.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2006
Wyeth: That thing with the collar... how did you do that?
Bart: Like my saint of a mum used to say, "Get 'em young, and the possibilities are endless."
Wyeth: I thought it was the Jesuits who said that.
Bart: Probably got it from my mum.

Along with Jet Li, this film has a story by producer Luc Besson, a strange but strong supporting cast, music by RZA, and some cool aciton. Its not great, but it certainly provides good entertainment.

Jet Li stars as Danny, a young man who has essentially lived as a slave most of his life to his master, a bull dog-like gangster played by Bob Hoskins. Danny has been trained to attack people when a collar is taken off his neck.

After a realization of what he does and a timely incident, Danny runs away only to land in the home of a blind piano tuner, played by Morgan Freeman, and a young girl who lives with him.

Danny: I don't want to hurt people anymore.

What follows is Danny's attempts to live a normal life and be released from his past with the collar. Of course bad things will eventually happen in an attempt to bring Danny back to the world he left.

The most noticeable thing about this movie is the forty minutes in between action scenes devoted to Danny's initial time with his new friends. Here we get to see Li attempt to elevate himself above pure action star in favor of his attempts to place more acting in a role. This more or less works, but by the time the action kicks back in, it is interesting to see the change in style he uses from vicious dog at the beginning to more restrained and non-lethal.

So the film does drag in the middle, but it is enjoyable enough.

Danny: This one's ripe!
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2006
Where do I start with this one? This film came across as a very low budget film with no strong storyline, I just didn?t think the whole master and dog thing worked, there were no amazing fight scenes, the whole thing was pretty much a mess ? you?ve guessed it, it?s off to the ?worst films? list.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
Jet Li gives a strong performance in an English language film where he actually has to act and do more than just physically kick ass. I really liked this film. It was done well, the other performances are also strong, and it's not just a mindless fight picture. Checking it out is highly reccomended.
Super Reviewer
½ June 27, 2008
Jet Li plays Danny, a man who has been trained like a dangerous human attack dog to beat people who have not paid their loans. Given that premise, I was worried, but the fight sequences are impressive and the movie has a lot of heart.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2006
Good movie. Jet Li was pretty good but I thought that Hoskins stole the show.
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2007
Jet Li is the martial arts expert but he plays the little duck in the kid's book "Where's my Mommy?" The movie has the traditional fight scenes and everybody lives happily ever after in the end, so all is good with the world.
Super Reviewer
½ September 16, 2007
I loved this movie. Very dark and dreary, but the performances by both Hoskins and Freeman make it worthwhile, even if Li can't act dramatically worth a dime.
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2007
Here the merit goes more to Jet Li's performance and Hoskins playing the bad guy. The story is quite forgettable, and can get very soapy for moments. Fights are good but most of them seem to have been slowed on purpose, guess the stunt man were too slow for Jet.
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2007
Jet Li is raised as a dog in this movie. Thats definitely different. Its a great film, though.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2006
Boy oh boy . . . Thank goodness for Morgan Freeman trying to breathe some life into this. It's more than CPR; Freeman is a cut above anything that's going on here. One humongous star for helping out the team. Hoskins was a lost cause a long time ago in a galaxy way the heck far away. Sad, really, to watch him keep at it. Jet Li . . . ah man . . . get yourself a new management team, buddy. You definitely are not getting any younger.
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