(Unleashed) Danny the Dog, new Jet Li / Luc Besson film?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Max Knight, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    I just saw the trailer for this here:

    http://home20.inet.tele.dk/jetli/video/002.avi

    From the trailer, it looks great! I heard that there is going to be a release in France this year, and the US might get it next year. Anyone know anything more about this film?

    Supposedly Li plays a man raised like an animal by a gangster to fight in underground gladiator rings. But then he meets a blind guy played by Morgan Freeman and starts to break away.

    I have a feeling I'll have to grab the French disc, as I love both Li and Besson.
     
  2. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    Besson is a bit like George Lucas in that he's an amazing visual director but sometimes not the best writer. Admittedly, a lot of his films have a weak story simply because he improvised it on the spot. (Historically, he's been more concerned with spectacle than content.) The writing could be hit or miss. The acting department is solid though. Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins together could make any film if the director is smart enough to use them. Leterrier (What an ironic name for this flick!) has already shown he can direct action flicks competently. It will be interesting to see if he's up to the dramatics. It would be awfully nice if a new Jet Li movie came out that didn't suck dingo-balls.
     
  3. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    Personally I think Kiss of the Dragon is Jet Li's best american film too date. Plus, I really think this could be more than just an action movie. Besson seems to bring out the heart in relationships.
     
  4. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I've been trying to watch the trailer even before this post and I just can't get to watch it. Hopefully some more opportunities will come up to play the trailer.
     
  5. Cassy_w

    Cassy_w Second Unit

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    This looks so strange, I cannot even put it into words. Gimme THE TRANSPORTER 2 instead so I can drool over that Brit dude.
     
  6. Gregg Shiu

    Gregg Shiu Second Unit

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    Well, the title of the movie has officially been changed to Unleashed, and admittedly while that might go over as a hit in marketing, it sounds like a lame straight to TV/video movie. "Danny the Dog" was starting to grow on me. Also, release date is 2005, here's to hoping it'll be Jet Li's first good American movie. All the right ingredients for this movie, however the end result will depend on the circumstances as well. Morgan Freeman's last couple of movies (The Big Bounce, Dreamcatcher, etc.) have been less than stellar to say the least. And Terry is pretty accurate when it comes to Luc Besson.


    Amen to that brother, I'm really hoping this is the Jet Li movie we've been waiting for. I remember when The One came out, a reviewer put it best: "Originally he was going to be America's Chinese Mel Gibson, however it seems he's going to be the Chinese Jean Claude Van-Damme."

    BTW, here's the newest international trailer [​IMG] It looks great, but let's all keep our fingers crossed. Otherwise, there's always Oon-Bak coming out in a few weeks.
     
  7. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I haven't cared for the majority of Li's U.S. productions but they haven't been as bad as Van Damme's stuff, not even "The One" (though maybe I was distracted by Carla Gugino).

    "Unleashed" might be decent; it already seems like the supporting actress is less annoying than Fonda was in KoD, which was my chief complaint with that film.
     
  8. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Anyone else see this? I thought this was the best English speaking film Li has done, both in terms of action and non-action scenes.
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Just got back. The reviews were positive enough to warrant seeing it opening weekend.

    I agree with Kirk that this is the best so far. The plot has the typical Luc Besson sentimentality, but it seemed a bit more reigned in than usual. The fights were awesome, thanks to choreographer Yuen Wo Ping and (finally) the common sense to just let Li do his thing and not dress it all up with excessive editing and camera gimmicks (though I admit KotD didn't display much of this).

    I was somewhat surprised when Li's character spoke. Not sure why I assumed he couldn't speak or understand English - maybe taking the "dog" thing too far.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I found this film a little uneven. For script purposes, I guess you just have to accept the exceptional generosity of the Morgan Freeman character, Sam, and his step-daughter, Victoria. Re-introducing Danny into being a human being was kinda sweet and syrupy, but some of it was cute, and Jet Li was able to get that lost innocence across in his reaction to a new world of possibilities after been raised a "dog" who did his "owner's" (Bob Hoskins) bidding whenever the leash was taken off Danny.

    I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B- (but worth catching in a matinee).
     
  11. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    Well, before that you also have to accept the pure Hell of Danny's life. It's not a movie of grey areas [​IMG] It's a pretty contrived story but I thought it worked really well on a mythic melodrama level. Easily the best English-language movie that Jet Li has made. I'll get the dvd [​IMG]
     
  12. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    My first Jet Li film. I liked the quieter moments of the film as Danny discovered the world outside of his cage. The fight scenes went on a little too long and became redundant for me. Morgan Freeman's role was quite insubstantial, but enjoyed watching Bob Hoskins chew the scenery. 2 stars out of 4.
     
  13. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    Just saw it, amazing!! The fight scenes were crazy and twisted. There is a lot of heart to this story as well, nothing oscar worthy here but really, great action film. One thing that really stood out for me was the sound effects. Not sure if anyone else noticed but they had some twisted noises going on. Must see for any fight fan.
     
  14. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Yeah, compare the English language films and the Chinese ones, and you'll see how much more effort the foley artists and sound design team put in the films of the West. The biggest pain watching the old Li films are the sound effects, which are usually stock effects. Thankfully the recent wave of high production value genre films, such as CTHD or Hero, that is no longer the case.
     
  15. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Saw this tonight & really enjoyed it. Cinema was a lot more busy than I expected, and the audience really seemed to get "into" the film too.

    Good story, good fighting, and all round good fun for what it is. Jet Li is very believable and actually acts.

    And very nice to see Glasgow again. I didn't know it was set/filmed there, it was a real suprise to see Danny & his uncle in the Argyll Arcade!
     
  16. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    Saw Unleashed last night at a second-run theater, and really liked it. It's a bit of an odd movie, not terribly original but very well done and all the performances are very good.

    For those who don't know, Jet Li plays Danny, a man raised by Bart, a crime boss played by Bob Hoskins. Bart has trained Danny to be compliant and obediant, and to wear a collar. Once the collar comes off, Danny becomes a violent whirlwind, pummeling Bart's enemies and "customers" (Bart appears to be a loanshark and probably runs a protection racket as well) into submission.

    Danny manages to escape from Bart, and stays with Morgan Freeman and his character's adopted daughter. Danny begins to "awaken" from his life of singular service, and the movie goes on to show what happens after that.

    Without getting into spoiler territory, I'd recommend the movie. As I wrote above, there's nothing terribly original about it, but the performances and production really sell the story. Jet Li does his Rain Main take here - having been treated as property for so long terribly stunted his emotional development. Morgan Freeman, playing a blind piano tuner, delivers another effortless, graceful performance in mentor mode. Hoskins is a scenery-chewing, frightening criminal, though he has a couple of moments that are softer.

    Bottom line is that I cared about Danny and what happened to him - the movie managed to make me NOT want to see Jet Li fight again (at least, during this film).

    The fight scenes are a mix of brutal, direct ass-kicking and choreographed violence. In first third of the film, the movie generally does a good job establishing that Danny is unbeatable and unmatched in his skills, but doesn't belabor the point with tons of fighting scenes. Later on, there are two fights that struck me "too much" - both for the choreographed feel and for length.

    The film has a washed-out, pale look to it, which fits. Morgan Freeman's character's home is the sole place of warmth and colors.

    If you can catch a matinee or a screening at a second-run theater, it's definitely worth your time. Otherwise, grab it when the DVD is released.
     
  17. Ian_H

    Ian_H Supporting Actor

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    So does anyone know if this movie was shown overseas in a longer possibly 'uncut' version? There was some good fights and i wonder if things were edited to get the 'R' rateing here in the states. There is a nice region 3 set coming out soon that is pretty cheap. If there was some more violence left in than that is the version I want to own.


    --Ian
     
  18. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I think it is different, but I don't know if you should expect different fights but rather character development. DvdTalk Discussion

    I thought the movie was fantastic and I'd love to see if the extra scenes add to it or not before I'd commit to buying it.
     
  19. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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  20. Ian_H

    Ian_H Supporting Actor

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    I didn't even notice there was an unrated version coming out!


    --Ian
     

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