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Unleashed
DVD disk
10.11.2005 By: Quigles
Unleashed order
Director:
Louis Leterrier

Actors:
Jet Li
Morgan Freeman
Bob Hoskins

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Raised as a dog, the physically able-bodied but mentally not-so-capable Danny works for his mean uncle Bart, as he is forced to essentially tear sneaky non-paying businessmen from piece to piece. But when an accident occurs, Danny runs off and finds refuge with a blind pianist and his daughter, who help him to learn the brighter side to life.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Get ready to let loose the dog inside you, as UNLEASHED brings a whole new layer to the standard Jet Li / Kung Fu format. To put it simply, it’s a brutally intense action film with a plot. In its most basic form, the plot actually sucks. It’s creative and interesting enough, but it’s sort of stupid too. However, the way in which it’s executed is outstanding. The first half hour alone is filled with terrific action scenes that are sure to blow your balls clear off. Then, to give you some time to heal, UNLEASHED delivers a solid dramatic story with none other than Morgan Freeman. But, things don’t stay calm for long, with the final half hour delivering an even bigger helping of ass kickery. Suffice to say, I had quite a good time with this flick. Insanely cool action, an interesting concept, excellent direction, amazing cinematography, perfect casting, as well as every other positive adjective you can think of for the rest of the movie’s facets; man oh man, this movie really delivered the goods.

I have actually heard quite a few complaints about this movie, all of which I disagree with. The main issue is the supposed lack of action. I have thought deeply over the matter and only have one thing to say... *ahem* ... SHUT YOUR MOUTHS YOU A.D.D. WHINERS! This movie is loaded with action, and people who say otherwise obviously watch too much TV (which doesn’t trust an audience to be able to actually sit five minutes without something blowing up or someone dying).

The other main complaint I’ve heard is that the movie is annoyingly melodramatic, which I can understand, although personally disagree with. It is indeed melodramatic at times, but I didn’t find it annoying at all. I felt the emotional and over-dramatized scenes really gave a nice contrast to Danny’s alternative, overly horrible style of living. It also helped that Morgan Freeman is great at being likable, while Bob Hoskins is even better at being totally despicable. And then we have Jet Li, who as we all know, is at his best when he’s punching someone in his face. And in UNLEASHED he does just that, sometimes even with his face (Whoo! Face punching!). Best of all, he manages to get through the entire flick without sucking at acting. Shocking, but true.
THE EXTRAS
Disappointingly, UNLEASHED has only a few extras, all of which are barely worth watching.

This DVD includes two different versions of the film to choose from. The first is the UNRATED version, which unfortunately didn’t seem to alter too much from the theatrical release (at least not to my notice).

The EXTENDED version was also rather disappointing, forcing you to click an icon whenever you want to watch an extended scene. They don’t even match the video quality of the rest of the film, which makes me wish they had just included the scenes to select separately through the DVD extras menu.

Director Louis Leterrier: Unleashed (5:13): A semi-interesting interview filled with more movie clips than interview footage.

Serve No Master (9:58): This is basically a collection of retrospective interviews. At the end, they also include a very basic before-and-after comparison of one of the action scenes. Unfortunately, it shows hardly any of the “before” with a huge chuck of the “after”. Um, I already saw the movie! If I wanted to watch it again, I wouldn’t be checking out the DVD extras!

The Collar Comes Off: Behind the Scenes of “Unleashed” (12:45): This is basically more of the same (as little as that may be), except with a stronger emphasis on the movie’s stunts. The majority of it is movie clips, with only a teeny bit actually featuring behind-the-scenes footage.

There are also two Music Videos: “Atta Boy” by Massive Attack, and “Unleash Me” by The RZA.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
UNLEASHED is a highly stylistic and intense action flick that’s high on both brutal violence and engaging drama. It may be ridiculous, but thanks to its fun factor, you just won’t care. People expecting a nice helping of extras will be disappointed, but I personally recommend buying it anyway. After three viewings, UNLEASHED continues to grow on me more and more.
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