4.2 9
Director: Louis Leterrier

Cast: Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins


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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…  See more details below


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. When Bart is injured in an auto accident, Danny is left to fend for himself, and stumbles upon Sam (Morgan Freeman), an elderly piano tuner who has lost his sight. Sam is the first person to treat Danny with kindness, and the music he plays soothes the troubled soul of the fighter. However, Danny's fighting skills soon come in handy when Sam runs afoul of a pack of small-time crooks who believe he knows too much about their operations.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Directed by Louis Letterier, a protégé of filmmaker Luc Besson (who co-wrote and produced this movie), Unleashed uses A-list star power and stylish cinematic technique to bring class to something that might easily have been a routine martial-arts action flick. Jet Li plays Danny, adopted in childhood and trained (via cruel Pavlovian methods) to be a remorseless killing machine by gangster Bob Hoskins, who sics the mature Danny on recalcitrant debtors. When by chance Danny escapes his captor, he is taken in by blind piano tuner Morgan Freeman and his adopted daughter, played by Kerry Condon. We see Danny gradually becoming humanized as his new friends shower him with care and affection, and while this sort of acting doesn’t come easily to Li, the veteran action star holds his own in his scenes with Freeman and Condon. Although Unleashed has more heart than previous Li outings, its highlights are still bone-crunching fight scenes, in this case choreographed by the legendary Yuen Wo Ping (whose other Hollywood successes include the Matrix movies). He’s shown working with Li and various stuntmen in “Serve No Master,” a ten-minute featurette that’s the best of this disc’s many extras.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
An action movie that attempts to balance bone-crunching brutality with considerable heart and soul, Jet Li's second teaming with French action icon Luc Besson blends some genuinely exciting fight scenes with a refreshing sincerity rarely seen in high-octane Hollywood blockbusters. Borrowing considerably from Besson's own Léon (albeit turning the concept of that earlier effort on its head in favor of exploring the plight of a lost but essentially innocent soul sadistically manipulated for evil means rather than an innocent soul corrupted by tragedy), this variation on the familiar theme may ultimately prove too emotionally heavy-handed for hardcore action fans, though the thoughtful balance of tear-jerking and tough-guy posturing may be the ideal compromise for those nights when couples can't seem to choose between explosions and emotions. By now, even the most casual American action fan is well aware of star Li's remarkable skills as a martial artist, and though Transporter director Louis Leterrier shows considerable skill in staging a stylish and spatially believable action scene, his MTV quick-cut sensibilities ultimately undermine the star's considerable natural abilities. Unlike many modern-day action stars, Li has trained his entire life to perfect the fighting skills that have elevated him to international superstardom; when the camera angle changes every tenth of a second, much of the joy of watching him perform ends up getting lost in the shuffle -- and while Li's transformation from killing machine to ice-cream-loving puppy-dog may be a bit too rapid for some, his natural humility makes the transition relatively painless while keeping the pace of the film well on track. Though a phoned-in performance by supporting player Morgan Freeman ultimately lends little to the film's emotional impact, a snarling, scenery-chewing performance by screen veteran Bob Hoskins offers a sadistic and viciously manipulative villain who's easy -- and fun -- to hate.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Serve No Master; The Collar Comes Off; Interview with director Louis Leterrier; Massive attack and the RZA music videos

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jet Li Danny
Morgan Freeman Sam
Bob Hoskins Bart
Kerry Condon Victoria
Silvio Simac Actor
Michael Jenn Actor
Vincent Regan Actor
Dylan Brown Actor
Phyllida Law Actor

Technical Credits
Louis Leterrier Director
Olivier Beriot Costumes/Costume Designer
Oliver Beroit Costumes/Costume Designer
Luc Besson Producer,Screenwriter
Jacques Bufnoir Production Designer
Steven Chasman Executive Producer
Bernard Grenet Executive Producer
Thierry Guilmard Production Manager
Cyril Holtz Sound/Sound Designer
Jet Li Producer
Pierre Morel Cinematographer
Pierre-Ange Le Pogam Producer
Pierre Spengler Co-producer
Nicolas Trembasiewicz Score Composer,Editor
Vincent Tulli Sound Editor,Sound Mixer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Unleashed
1. Attaboy! (Main Titles) [5:36]
2. Daily Rounds [3:37]
3. Get 'Em! [1:58]
4. Out of Tune [:57]
5. Lucrative Proposition [1:08]
6. One Lovely Day [7:14]
7. Strange Surroundings [4:27]
8. Opportunity to Learn [2:26]
9. "Ripe Means Sweet" [4:29]
10. "Sweet Is Good" [4:04]
11. Asking Questions [5:48]
12. Part of the Family [5:59]
13. Look Who's Come Home [3:50]
14. No More Killing! [4:23]
15. Families Stick Together [4:24]
16. Remembering the Past [4:30]
17. No Time [2:47]
18. You're My Dog! [:30]
19. Saved By Music [:19]
20. End Titles [5:33]


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Unleashed 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After seeing this film. I saw alots of things in common with Deaf people because I am Deaf and communicate by ASL ( American Sign Language ). This film is very excellent in that it goes to show why it does not pay to be cruel to people. A Deaf character easily could have been in that movie that Jet Li was in. Be warned this is a very brutal movie. The movie is better seen with subtitles ( closed captioning ).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this film and not only for the awesome fight scenes. I was really impressed with Jet's acting abilities and one can easily imagine him studying dogs to perfect the gazes and behavior he performed in the film. Besson has always had a comic sense of action and this could have very easily become a farce about a man acting like a feral dog, but they went to great lengths to humanize Danny even before he escaped.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie blew me away! Not only is it a great action movie, it is a great example of how resiliency can be embodied in some of the most vulnerable people: children and trauma survivors. The movie showcases the use of dissociation as a defense mechanism in response to extreme cruelty with no traces of pity or self-indulgence. In my clinical experience, many trauma survivors excel in one or more domains, but continue to struggle with the past that weighs them down even as they continue the motions of living they often feel isolated from the rest of the world. Jet Li's character lives in a flat world of his own his emotions are tapped only by hearing music for the first time in years and the fleeting memories this uncovers. Jet Li's acting is sublime: he conveys the tense inner struggle and turmoil that can embody survival as well as identification with the aggressor. The conflict in a person between the identification with the aggressor as well as the fear and loss of control that often come with trauma is wordlessly played out by Jet Li's character. Morgan Freeman...no words can describe the healing influence his patience and wisdom present for Jet Li's character, who is literally so traumatized, he is speechless for most of the film. Many of Morgan Freeman's lines are interpretations of Jet Li's behavior as Jet Li's character learns the words that describe his life from the narrative Morgan Freeman's character offers, he cultivates his own vocabulary and narrative of his life. This is a very well-written movie that the director, actors and editors have translated well into film. This movie demonstrates excellence from the choreography to the nuances of acting and complicated sentiments the actors convey. I can't believe this movie didn't do better in the theaters.
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