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Unleashed (film)

U.S. theatrical poster for Unleashed
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Produced by Luc Besson
Jet Li
Written by Luc Besson
Starring Jet Li
Morgan Freeman
Bob Hoskins
Kerry Condon
Music by Massive Attack
Howard Drossin
Cinematography Pierre Morel
Editing by Nicolas Trembasiewicz
Distributed by Rogue Pictures
Alliance Films
Release date(s) May 11, 2005 (France)
May 12, 2005 (Hong Kong)
May 13, 2005 (U.S.)
August 19, 2005 (UK)
Running time 103 min.
102 min. (U.S. version)
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget US$ 45 million[1]
Gross revenue US$ 50,871,113[1]

Unleashed (also known as Danny the Dog), is a 2005 action/thriller film, directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Luc Besson. It is set in Glasgow.



Unleashed follows Danny, a Chinese man who was raised by a British gangster named Bart, who trained him like an attack dog. Bart sends Danny after people who do not pay back their loans. He is trained so the moment his collar comes off he turns into a vicious fighter. Danny still has the mentality of a child, and is forced to live in squalor, completely cut off from the real world.

Bart brings Danny to confront a jeweller who has not paid back his loan. The jeweller beats Bart and his men before they can take Danny's collar off. Eventually Bart gets the collar off and Danny mercilessly beats the client and all of his guards. Bart berates Danny for failing to come to his defense earlier, even though he had his collar on.

Bart brings Danny to confront another gang of debtors where he sets up a device that will blink a red light, signaling Danny to come into the room. While waiting Danny starts playing with a piano and is greeted by a blind piano tuner, Sam. Danny is taken aback by Sam's warm and friendly nature but realizes he forgot about his duty and rushes to help Bart. Furious, Bart takes him back home and throws him into the cellar.

After seeing Danny at the jewellery store, the owner of an underground cage fighting tournament wants him to enter. Bart brings Danny to the fight, where Danny effortlessly kills his opponent. The owner invites Bart to come back the next month, but to make the fight more entertaining. On the ride back the car is suddenly hit by a truck of hit men sent by the jeweller. Wounded, Danny crawls out of the wreckage and, with no where else to go, drags himself to the piano warehouse. Danny wakes up to find himself in the care of Sam and Victoria. He lives and grows with them while they teach him about the real world. After awhile, Sam tells Danny they are planning to return to New York and he should come with them. Before Danny can leave, however, Bart returns and captures Danny to use as a slave again.

Before the next tournament Danny questions Bart about his own mother but all Bart says is that he was abandoned. After spending time with Sam and Victoria, Danny does not want to hurt people anymore. Forced to fight, Danny simply dodges and blocks his opponent’s attacks until finally Bart ends it. He beats Danny for his disobedience, and has him thrown in the cellar, where Danny finds a picture of a woman he believes is his mother. On the way to the next match, Danny causes a car accident to escape again. He reunites with Sam and goes to the Musical library to find more information about Danny's mother. Sam tunes the library's pianos in exchange for the information. Victoria finds the music Danny's mother played and she plays it for Danny, helping him remember what actually happened to his mother: Bart had murdered her, and took the young Danny to raise.

Bart hires thugs and an assassin to bring Danny back, dead or alive. Danny tells Sam and Victoria to hide in the closet while he fights and wins. Enraged, Bart then goes up into the apartment to confront Danny himself. Bart tells Danny that he can never have a normal life, but sees that his hold over Danny is broken. He tries to provoke Danny to kill him, but before Danny has a chance to decide, Sam knocks Bart out with a flower pot.

Some time later, Danny is with Sam at a piano recital, where Victoria is getting ready to perform. Realizing Victoria is playing what his mother played years ago, Danny sheds a happy tear.




Critical reception

The film received mostly positive reviews from critics; Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times states that "The film is ingenious in its construction. It has all the martial arts action any Jet Li fan could possibly desire." It also scored a rating of 66% on Rotten Tomatoes and remains as one of Li's most successful Hollywood movies.[2]

Box office

In North America, this movie was released by Rogue Pictures (which was the division of Focus Features). In its opening weekend in North America, the film grossed $10,900,901 which placed it third. It showed on 1,957 theaters for an average $5,570 per screen. The film grossed $24.5 million in the North America and $26.3 million foreign for a total of 50.8 million.[1] This box office result surpassed Rogue Pictures's expectations of $18 million gross at the United States box office.[3]


Danny the Dog
Soundtrack by Massive Attack
Released October 11, 2004
Recorded ?
Genre Trip-Hop
Length 52:39
Label Virgin Records
Producer Neil Davidge
Robert Del Naja
Professional reviews
Massive Attack chronology
100th Window
Danny the Dog

The soundtrack was created by Massive Attack. It was released under the name Danny the Dog, in 2004 from EMI. In 2005, Virgin Records re-released the soundtrack under the title Unleashed, with two bonus tracks. Neither version features the song "Aftersun", featuring vocals by Dot Allison, that appears in the end credits of the film.

Track listing

  1. "Opening Title" – 1:10
  2. "Atta Boy" – 1:29
  3. "P Is for Piano" – 1:57
  4. "Simple Rules" – 1:20
  5. "Polaroid Girl" – 2:59
  6. "Sam" – 3:08
  7. "One Thought at a Time" – 4:23
  8. "Confused Images" – 1:59
  9. "Red Light Means Go" – 2:04
  10. "Collar Stays On" – 1:51
  11. "You've Never Had a Dream" – 2:46
  12. "Right Way to Hold a Spoon" – 3:19
  13. "Everybody's Got a Family" – 1:29
  14. "Two Rocks and a Cup of Water" – 2:32
  15. "Sweet Is Good" – 1:33
  16. "Montage" – 1:54
  17. "Everything About You Is New" – 2:25
  18. "The Dog Obeys" – 2:19
  19. "Danny the Dog" – 5:53
  20. "I Am Home" – 4:14
  21. "The Academy" – 1:45

Bonus tracks

In 2005 Virgin released a new version of the album with two bonus tracks.

  1. "Baby Boy" – 3:28 (Thea)
  2. "Unleash Me" – 2:36 (The RZA Feat. Prodigal Son & Christbearer of Northstar)


External links


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