The creative team of Perrier Morrel, Luc Besson and Louis Laterrier collaborated to bring forth unleashed. It was released simultaneously in French where it was called Danny The Dog. The three collaborators went on to make serious impression on the action adventure scenario. Morrel directed the gems Taken and then an equally entertaining From Paris with Love. Luc Besson went on to direct the well known The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc duology though his best achievement still remains Leon. Louis Laterrier directed box office smash hits like Transporter 2, The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans. Unleashed stands testimony of the combined genius of the three with healthy doses of action, thrill and human drama seamlessly conjured up to make an engaging watch which is both aesthetically satisfying and entertaining.
Danny (Jet Li) is a orphan who is brought up and trained like a dog by a ruthless Money Lender Bart(Bob Hoskins). A chance encounter with a blind pianist Sam (Morgan Freeman) breathes some life into the otherwise morbid existence of Danny. As luck would have it, an accident puts him out of leash and into the arms of Sam and his daughter Victoria (Kerry Condon). As Danny tries to piece together his life and gets the first taste of happiness, his past quickly catches up with him. Now the Dog has to stand up to his masters to protect the ones he loves.
The basic premise is simple enough but what sets Unleashed a class apart is the performance of Jet Li and Morgan Freeman. I have o admit that this is probably Jet Li’s finest performance in Hollywood till date. Freeman complements him scene for scene and the two draw the audience into the drama which makes them fall in love with the characters. The fact that we start caring for the characters make the ensuing action sequences not only more climatic but also more effective.
That brings me to the USP of Unleashed which is off course the smashing action sequences. Jet Li is terrific as always but here, unlike the Chinese movies, the fights are not choreographed to present a picture of beauty. Instead they are haphazard and chaotic with induces the much needed reality keeping in line with the plot. The editing is top notch and it adds volume to the action sequences. The background score is apt.
Overall, Unleashed is a worthy watch and leaves little room for any complaints.