7.0/10
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308 user 179 critic

Unleashed (2005)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 2005 (USA)
A man enslaved by the mob since childhood and raised into behaving like a human attack dog escapes his captors and attempts to start a new life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Danny
... Sam
... Bart
... Victoria
... Raffles
... Lefty
... Georgie
... Wyeth
... Distinguished Lady
... Maddy
Mike Lambert ... The Stranger
Jaclyn Tze Wey ... Danny's Mother
Puthirith Chou ... Teen Danny
Tony Theng ... Little Danny
Owen Lay ... Baby Danny
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Storyline

A man treated like a dog and raised as a fighting machine his entire life, ends up in a coma and is taken in the care of good people, but his sinister owner is looking to retrieve his most prized possession: a non stop human weapon triggered by the collar leashed on his neck. Written by mystic80

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Chained by Violence. Freed by Music See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violent content, language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Rogue

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

13 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unleashed  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,924,204 (France), 4 February 2005

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,900,901, 15 May 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$24,520,892, 10 July 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,013,571, 5 January 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It has been considered that the film is a loose remake of the Kurt Russell film Soldier (1998). The film is about an emotionless futuristic combat soldier who was stolen at birth and trained to fight and kill, who is dumped and left to die on a garbage planet and lives among the survivors of a crashed spaceship and he sets out to defend his new home and his new family, when genetic engineered soldiers are ordered to kill the survivors and destroy the colony. This film is about a man who was enslaved as a child by his loan shark master and raised and trained as a fighter, who lives with his new family, a blind piano turner and his adopted daughter, when he is wounded in a ambush and he sets out to protect his new family and his new home, when his master sends his armed thugs after him. See more »

Goofs

During the fight with the bald stranger in the bathroom, the dents in the walls made from punching turn into holes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bart: Get 'em!
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Lindsay Lohan/Coldplay (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Aftersun
Performed by Massive Attack
Vocal by Dot Allison
Written by Dot Allison (as Allison), Robert Del Naja (as Del Naja), Neil Davidge (as Davidge) and Magnus Fiennes (as Fiennes)
(p) 2003 Virgin Records Ltd
(c) Copyright Control/Copyright Control/BMG/Warner Chappell
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Surprises never cease, Unleashed is the best action film I've seen in years.
15 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Rating: **** out of ****

If I'm always skeptical of Jet Li's English-speaking films, it's for good reason. They're usually crap. Too often, he's either been put in the hands of incompetent directors who couldn't properly film or edit his impressive martial arts abilities and/or he's teamed alongside a cast that includes one rapper too many. It also didn't help that these movies were poorly written and acted, failing to work as either a showcase for Li's moves or his charisma. So it's all the more satisfying that Unleashed goes through its entire running time without succumbing to any single one of these flaws.

Jet Li stars as Danny, a fully grown man with the mind of a child who is a literal slave/pet to Bart (Bob Hoskins), a Glasgow mob boss who keeps Danny in a cage and uses him as a form of "persusasion" to those who owe him money. Like a dog, Danny wears a collar, shy and seemingly dumb whenever it's clasped around his neck, but a ferocious killer once he's unleashed.

After a mishap with another criminal, Bart and Danny are left for dead, leaving an injured Danny to crawl to a warehouse where he's taken under the wing of kindly blind piano tuner Sam (Morgan Freeman) and his stepdaughter, Victoria (Kerry Condon). Starting over with a clean slate, Danny comes to enjoy his new life and loving family; no longer is violence or cruelty something he must face everyday. But fate hands him an unlucky turn when he's forced to confront Bart, finding no choice but to give in to his violent side one last time.

The film's premise, that of a violent man finding a better life, is nothing new but rarely have I seen the simple but effective premise delivered so well and with such genuine heart. To my immense surprise, it's Jet Li's performance that anchors the film, showing us a side of corrupted innocence and child-like enthusiasm that is sweet, moving, and occasionally even quite humorous. The transformation and natural maturity Danny undergoes is engaging, and it's to no small measure of Li's performance that we hope Danny can entirely shed his former life even when we know it'll inevitably catch up with him.

Li is surrounded by a fantastic cast with great actors Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins pulling their own weight. Freeman delivers as always, playing the kindly authority figure with firm but gentle resolve. Hoskins is over-the-top but suitably so as Bart, whom we're quite sure is complete scum, yet one can't dismiss the fact that he holds Danny in a certain esteem, and that he may actually be the only person in the world Bart cares for, however twisted a manner he chooses to show it. Relative newcomer Kerry Condon is cute and appealing, although she could just as easily have won me over with that great smile of hers.

As a kick-ass action film, Unleashed is superb. The ratio of action to story might be a bit less than hardcore martial arts fans desire, but there's no question every facet of the plot bolsters the fight scenes, giving every battle a palpable and underlying current of emotion that adds to the thrills of the spectacle. And spectacular action this is; every fight scene-most especially the brutal opening sequence and the thrilling, almost emotionally exhausting climax-is brilliantly filmed and edited, wisely emphasizing Li's natural abilities in favor of quick-cuts and wirework. There are a few instances of Matrix-style slow motion, but the spare usage works to the film's advantage. There's even a terrific fight scene inside a tiny bathroom that far outdoes a similar scene in The Matrix.

An absolute winner on almost every conceivable level (the exception being that the title should be changed back to Danny the Dog, but I'm not going to hold that against the movie), Unleashed delivers some of the best action scenes I've seen to go hand-in-hand with memorable characters I adored and a story that riveted me from start to finish. I should also not slight director Louis Leterrier, who puts it all together with the right mix of strong style and natural storytelling. Why can't all action films be this good?


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