I went out this morning and bought a new wireless ADSL router, so I’m back on the internet from home. I guess this means I should do some work 🙂
I went to the cinema last night and watched the new Jet Li film Unleashed. Now I think Jet Li is possibly the most complete martial artist that ever lived, but let’s face it, most martial arts films are really poor. The new breed of artistic high-budget films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and House of the Flying Daggers are great, but they’re more spectacle than martial arts. Unleashed is different. It’s perfect!
It was written by Robert Mark Kamen and Luc Besson. It’s very different to anything else I’ve seen and works really well. Bart (Bob Hoskins) is a debt collection and general gangland type. He systematically brutalizes Danny (Jet Li) from a young age until he is capable of nothing more than responding to instructions like a dog, even wearing a collar. Bart uses Danny as the ultimate weapon against debtors who don’t pay, because when the collar is taken off his passive nature is replaced by complete rage. But is there more to Danny than violence?
Morgan Freeman is always great, but Bob Hoskins has returned to form in a big way. It’s like a flashback to the days of “The Long Good Friday”. Jet Li is totally believable as his character Danny. The other characters do their jobs well also! It’s set in Scotland so there are some very “regular” British characters in the film. I like this, but I don’t know how it will translate for the rest of the world who seem to assume that everyone over here talks like Hugh Grant 🙂
The action sequences:
These were directed by Yuen Woo Ping, so I shouldn’t need to say anything, but I will.
The fight scenes are gritty, dirty, brutal and show Jet Li at his best. The combination of power, technique and uncontrollable rage is truly a sight to behold. I came away thinking, if Jet Li and God had a fight, God would lose! In my opinion, that’s what a martial arts film is all about.
I love this film! I will definitely go to see it at the cinema again and I will buy it on DVD as soon as I can.