‘Unleashed’ gets mean in Glasglow
Hollywood has finally created a film that satisfies lust-loving liberals and the family-value crusaders.The new action drama, “Unleashed,” not only provides Hong Kong martial arts master Jet Li with a worthy format to crush, kill and destroy, but it gives Red and Blue state dwellers the best of their disjointed worlds.The Howard Stern crowd will love the film’s gratuitous sex, extreme hyper-space violence and raw, animal lust. Fox Channel fanatics, meanwhile, will embrace the film’s sentimental lesson about the importance of family.”Unleashed” is a uniter, not a divider. What’s more, the film gives rise to the best action-hero since Bruce Lee.Naturally, the new king of the roundhouse kick hails from America’s only true rival, China.With “Unleashed,” Hong Kong ass-kicker Jet Li bites, gouges and smashes his way to the top of the action genre. His skills make Vin Diesel look like a neutered orangutan high on banana juice and smack.What’s more, “Unleashed” lets Li a do more than break bones. The dude not only wastes dozens of evildoers in high-flying fashion, but also delivers a solid acting performance.Set in the extremely mean streets of Glasgow, the saga centers on the twisted relationship between Danny (Li) and his cruel boss, Uncle Bart, played to the height of vileness by Bob Hoskins.Bart is a British loan shark, who lives for money, whores and beat downs. Hoskins, the British version of Joe Pesci, takes bill collecting to a new high. He cruises around the back streets of Glasgow with a band of goofy English scum and a meek looking guy in a dog collar.But Danny is only timid on the outside. He’s actually a trained junkyard dog, raised to turn into a Tasmanian Devil of death at a moment’s notice.”You’re my dog, Danny!” Bart bellows throughout the film.And when Bart screams, “Get em,” Danny behaves like a starving pit bull on the scent of a bleeding hamster.While the martial arts action and gun play are highly entertaining, the film is much more than endless violence and naked babes. There’s a secondary yarn about the need for trust, love and family that allows Li to change from a action cartoon into an actor.Li’s performance is a mix between the innocence of “Rain Man” and the blood-lust of a police dog after Tommy Chong’s dufflebag.Danny’s sad little world changes for the better after a freak series of events finds the fierce junkyard dog adopted by a blind piano tuner played by Morgan Freeman.In short order, the savage beast is soothed by the calm and caring way of the piano man’s music. Before you know it, Danny evolves from a drooling killer into a lap dog, who would rather shop for fresh fruit than fight to the death.Danny’s benevolent world turns again when Bart returns to force his lost pet back into the savage world of human cockfighting.Sure the body count is high, but as many a leader has shown the world, it takes a massacre to raze a peaceful village. VT– Until next time, Mr. Hernandez has left the theater to collect debts.
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