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.
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.
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!