Danny the Dog (2005)
Critic Consensus: 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.
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Critic Reviews for Danny the Dog
Li's dramatic turn is no match for his fists of fury.
An intriguing little action thriller, a half-and-half story divided between sequences of vicious violence and quiet, wryly comic scenes of newfound domesticity.
It's the same stuff that as we always get where like the henchman come up to him one by one.
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.
A nice, violent little film about the redemptive powers of art and love.
Audience Reviews for 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.
"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.
an excellent action film with solid fight sequences and a touching although bizarre story.
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