Sunday, May 15, 2005

Release the hounds...

Saw the movie Unleashed yesterday. It was a decent little flick. The plot was pretty straightforward, with no real surprises. But that didn't really matter, because that wasn't the point of the movie. Instead, the point of the movie was two-fold - to be a bit of a psychological character piece, and to provide some good ol' fashioned ass-wuppings. And the movie delivered on both accounts.

The flick opens at a strong pace, with the first scene being Jet Lit unleashing his brand of BAM-ZAP-WHAM. We also quickly see that Bob Hoskins is giving us a very fun performance as the not-so-much-of-a-do-gooder Bart. His performance is quite entertaining. In fact, my biggest complaint with the flick is that there is too big a chunk where Bobby-boy is nowhere to be seen. During that time, however, we get to know Morgan Freeman's character as well as his character's daughter (actress' name escapes me, and you can IMDB it just as easily as me). Both provide good performances as well, just not as fun to watch as Hoskins.

The surprise acting performance comes from Jet Li. I knew his fight scenes would be solid, but I really didn't expect much on the acting side. In fact, this movie could have been a real disaster if Li failed to pull this role off, but kudos to him. He was able to emote very well, showing us both the attack dog and puppy dog aspects of his character, as well as his character's eventual, to coin Bart's terminology, enlightenment. Plus, Luc Besson's script also did a nice job (which made sense for the character) of keeping Li's dialogue to a minimum. It's not an Oscar-worthy performance from Jet Li, but it does what it needs to do.

The other aspect of the movie, the fight scenes, were lots of kicks, punches, headbutts, spins, flips, ducks and whirls, as was expected. What surpassed my expectations, however, is that the fight scenes did not suffer from the current trend of action scene directing - cutting shots so quickly that you can't actually tell what's happening in the fight. While there were still a lot of quick cuts, and even though the editing was kept at a somewhat fast pace during the fights, you could still actually tell exactly what was happening during the fights. This allows the viewer to actually enjoy the unfolding fight.

Finally, aces up to Massive Attack and The RZA for the movie's score - that opening credit actually raised my expectations for the flick, and they delivered.

Long story short - entertaining little film.


At 10:31 AM, Blogger Bug said...

I am leaving a comment.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger EmoRiot said...


At 2:25 PM, Blogger Bug said...

I don't know ... I felt compelled to leave a message, and yet not compelled enough to put any thought into it.

curious, really.


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