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Unleashed (2005) Review

Craig has been a writer on HubPages since 2013. He is currently studying for Marketing at Nottingham Trent University—in the land of Robin.

Unleashed (2005) - Starring Jet Li

Unleashed (2005) - Starring Jet Li

Unleashed - Review

Jet Li shows no limitations in the action-fuelled movie Unleashed. Once again, Jet Li has proven that action can have good storytelling without excessive CGI explosions at every take.

Louis Leterrier is a master behind the camera, and his previous movie (before Unleashed) was The Transporter, and there is definitely a similar tone behind this and the making of Unleashed, from the action sequences to the protection element of Li keeping his new family safe (similar to The Transporter's protection of the young girl).

Jet Li gives the performance of a lifetime as the leashed dog who is utilised by the underworld mob boss for roughing up anyone that simply doesn't pay. Li is a tormented man with the absence of real people connections, and shut off from the outer world he is used to a devastating effect at bringing harm to anyone who threatens his boss (the only family he knows).

Once Jet Li's leash is pulled off, just like a guard dog, he pounces into action and gives a beating to all those around him without any sense of humanity or forgiveness. That is of course until one day doing a job in an antiques warehouse Li forms an unlikely friendship with a piano repairman, played by Morgan Freeman.

Running away from his old life Jet Li finds a family and a home with Morgan Freeman and his stepdaughter; a loving, caring bond that helps him to better understand his real family outside of the brutish ways of the mob. Before long his old life catches back up to him and Jet Li must decide what life he truly wants while diving deeper into the life he had before the mob as a young boy living with his single mother.

Why I Love Unleashed!

It is truly a spectacle to observe Jet Li in Unleashed, as he goes from a troubled stray dog prisoner to a family man almost overnight. The mob uses Jet Li because of his amazing martial arts skills, as well as his unwitting ability to kill men as if there was no tomorrow.

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Jet Li is innocent as his character in Unleashed, however when the collar comes off he is a psychopathic none-empathetic killer, but this is merely the only life he has ever known, and when Li comes into contact with nice normal good people he is a whole different person.

Li discovers a good real existence life when he meets Morgan Freeman, and discovers his mothers passion for the piano through Freeman's stepdaughter who is a practicing musician and student.

However, it is the epic action sequences that truly makes this a must-see action movie, as the gritty, violent martial arts used within this movie through the physical embodiment of Jet Li are unmatched. One minute Jet Li shows compassion for real world people, and in the next moment he is taring men apart limb from limb.

The final act for Unleashed is all about the violence and action, as Li seeks to protect his new family from the brutish mob, and when it kicks off it sure does kick off as Li begins giving the beat down on countless bad guys, and even proves he is a dodger of bullets at times. But it is the fight between Li and the karate master that really leaves an impression on how good the movie truly is, as it involves close quarters fighting between fist and fist, and even though it is clear who is going to win it does feel like a close shave during the bloody bits of the one to one.

Unleashed is an edge-of-your-seat action movie, with blood dripping sweat during every action sequence, and mind boggling martial arts that defy belief. The movie is fast-paced without a single slow-burn moment, making the movie almost impossible not to feel invested. The good people are heartwarming individuals, and the bad people are the worst of the worst. There is definitely a delicate balance between the good and the bad in Unleashed, and underneath the hard exterior Jet Li is one of the good people that has merely been corrupted by vicious mob hands, and imprisoned until the next dirty job that requires violence at the hands of the broken.

Acting performances all-around are award worthy, from Jet Li's hard-broken act, to Morgan Freeman's kind and pleasant presence, and Bob Hoskins rough handling the movie is a straight breeze to good movie success. The level of talent within Unleashed alone makes the movie a worthy watch late one evening, but Jet Li truly is the one who led this movie to a place of joy without contempt.

Unleashed is all about the delicate balance between good and bad worlds, and the underbelly of Britain is not something we see all too often, with the criminal underworld remaining far from our waking thoughts. Unleashed shows how the best among us can take swift strides through life without an ill thought for anybody, and the worst among us who take pleasure in seeing bad things happen to good people. Jet Li is a talent that we don't see quite that often in Hollywood, being a key reason why Unleashed is such a treasure of a movie overall.

Rating: 4/5

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