Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Jet Li
Morgan Freeman
Kerry Condon
Bob Hoskins
Scott Adkins.
Directors
Louis Leterrier.
Screenwriters
Luc Besson.
Running Time
TBC minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Ida
4 Star Empire Rating
Night Will Fall
4 Star Empire Rating
Grand Piano
3 Star Empire Rating
20,000 Days On Earth
4 Star Empire Rating
Manuscripts Don't Burn
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Unleashed


submit to reddit


Plot
Danny (Li) has lived most of his life as the slave of crime boss Bart (Hoskins), kept in a cage and forced to fight on command. When Danny escapes during a hit attempt on his boss, he’s taken in by blind piano tuner Sam (Freeman), who attempts to give him a normal life.


Review
As screenwriters go, Luc Besson is a great director. Having been clapperboard-shy since 1999’s Joan Of Arc: The Messenger, Besson has filled the gap with a series of action unspectaculars (Kiss Of The Dragon, The Transporter, Taxi 3). Unleashed attempts to reunite the mix of heart and hurt that worked so well in Léon, Besson’s last great writing/directing gig, but with far less success.


Transporter’s Leterrier makes a good fist of the action (a scrap in a cramped toilet is the standout), but his direction in the character-driven scenes fails to match up. The quiet domesticity of the scenes with Sam (Freeman) and his stepdaughter (Condon) attempting to acclimitize terrified, battered Danny (Li) to the real world are completely at odds with the dark violence of the underworld scenes. The acting in the former is restrained, in the latter loud and grating; even in look they’re polar opposites.


Initially it works as a contrast between the two aspects of Danny’s life, but as the second half tries to bring the two together as Danny’s 'owner' (Hoskins, over-acting to the brink of hernia) attempts to reclaim his pet, the two styles clash with the subtlety of a Li-administered kick in the crotch.


Verdict
A promising idea that never develops beyond that. The original title of Danny The Dog was perhaps more apt.


Reviewed by

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Unleashed
Empire Star Rating

What! 2 stars-good thing the reviewer is anonymous!

I think EMPIRE should search for top critics. IMDB rates this as 7.1/10 for 34,776 votes, so who the fuck is writing mumbo-jumbo reviews? Watch it for sure, it Jet Li"s best movie till date! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by batbhai at 04:41, 11 May 2010 | Report This Post


I saw this on the TV. I do love my kung fu movies, but unfortunately, I'm not a Jet Li fan (I find a lot of his characters are overly cocky - in a bad way), but I thought I'd give this film a go. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't have paid for the pleasure, but it was a light brainless fun. I was rather confused as to why everyone in the film who didn't speak with a Chinese or American accent were uber-cockney when it was clearly stated that the action was in Glasgow. Truly weird.... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by eaws1 at 18:12, 12 August 2008 | Report This Post


Love this film! I have more taste in my left nut than Empire has in movies! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tallaght24 at 15:51, 18 July 2007 | Report This Post


Love this film! I have more taste in my left nut than Empire has in movies! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tallaght24 at 15:51, 18 July 2007 | Report This Post


zzzz...... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 19:07, 06 April 2007 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I was really looking forward to this film thanks to the brilliant trailer, but alas the way the story was told was terribly dull, it kept on back-tracking, it lacked any sense of excitement or danger and didn't really know what it wanted to be... which was a huge shame considering the cast and the soundtrack. A much better version of the film can be seen by watching this trailer: images.apple.com/movies/rogue_pictures/unleashed/unleas hed-tlr_m480.movlus they shouldn't have changed the f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kingoftheducks at 22:43, 08 December 2006 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I liked the story but being from Glasgow I couldn't help thinking that all these cockney gangsters wouldn't last five seconds up here. ... More

Posted by liviclyde at 22:31, 08 December 2006 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Not as good as most of Jet Li's ngilms, but not bad compared to the rest of his western attempts at the genre! ... More

Posted by BobaJango at 14:28, 04 December 2006 | Report This Post


RE:

Actually, Unleashed is one of my favourtie Jet Li films. I think its a charming story that is nice enough to interest my "chick-flick" friends....and the fights are very good! If you actually pay attention and watch them, the detail is great. I think you all expect too much of this film. remember its not supose to be a huge, life-changing, revelation filled film...just good fights and a nice story. I love it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by flyaninnocentlife at 14:04, 04 December 2006 | Report This Post


... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ualsox at 10:33, 31 October 2006 | Report This Post


unleashed

I didn't notice that it was set in glasgow, but I did notice that it was a half decent film. You people are too harsh. I was wondering to myself wether to give it a three or two out of five, my decision was none of them, Two and a half would suffice. Yeah it was cliche, but damn, give the actors some credit. Bob Hoskins you wanted to hate, and that's what his role was for. Jet Li was brilliant; his body movements at the first scene with the pianos were un-deniabley human. As for cliche, the o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Spameth at 23:01, 14 June 2006 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

The Empire Podcast #128: Interviews With Sir Roger Moore And George MacKay
Plus we say goodbye to Richard Kiel and the British Expendables are assembled...

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Paul Newman
A cat so cool he makes Steve McQueen look geeky.

The Boxtrolls Interviews: The Cast And Crew On Laika's Latest
Sir Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning and more talk stop-motion

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)