Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Danny The Dog (aka Unleashed) (2005)


No, it's not perfect, but the emotional punch is awesome.

Jet Li is Danny, Bob Hoskins' "dog". He's a trained killer who shows no mercy once the collar comes off. He's emotionally still a child and barely speaks. Through circumstance he's thrown together with Morgan Freeman and his stepdaughter. Over the course of weeks Danny becomes human. The three become a family. Things are fine until Hoskins reappears and wants Danny back.

There's more to it than that but its enough to go on.

Wow and wow. And WOW.

This is going to annoy many people who want a straight action film. This is not that sort of film. This is what is called a character driven action film, or a drama with violence, since the fights are secondary to the humans, something most action directors seem to forget these days. The fights are at the start and the end, and it's all drama for the rest of it. All tension and emotion (and there is a great deal of both) come out of the characters and what you feel about them. You feel and are moved because you care. Even the violence changes as Danny changes.

Amazing.

Jet Li is fantastic as Danny, and if you only know him from action films you're in for a treat. He breaks your heart. His co-stars are equally wonderful.

See this movie. Remove any expectations, but see this movie.

I can't say enough good about it.

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