- 1 hr 42 min
In Unleashed, Jet Li plays Danny, a man that has been raised by a crime lord and along the way turned into little more than a conditioned killing machine. A rabid dog with a collar, Danny is kept in a cage and trained like an attack hound. That is until one day where he meets a kindly blind man who treats him like a person, reawakening his latent humanity. Eventually Danny runs away from his owner, learning how to be human again. However, when his former owner finds him, a showdown occurs for the life of Danny's adopted family; the blind man and his daughter. Unleashed is one part martial arts film and one part Frankenstein story, showing that no matter how monstrous a person can be made to act, the choice to be a monster still rests inside them. The story is timeless, showing a violent man's transition to a happy, fulfilled life with normal people living a mundane life. And what really sticks out, particularly for fans of Jet Li films, is that the fight scenes have a unique, almost feral feel to them. Danny isn't trained in a flashy martial art, but rather he's been tempered for years to inflict maximum harm on a single target and to destroy them as quickly as he can. That style leads to some particular brutal, bone crunching scenes that leaves the audience wanting to see more, and wondering what was done to Danny to make him into what we see. As an action movie, Unleashed is both fast and slow. When you get down to it, the film is actually two stories in one; the violent life of a bestial enforcer, and the slow awakening of a man that's been in the dark for so long that he's almost forgotten what things like love and joy are. To really enjoy, you have to remember that.