Unleashed: Extreme Version Louis Leterrier

Danny the Dog (Jet Li) has been kept captive most of his life, trained to kill by an evil little gangster (Bob Hoskins) who uses him to threaten debtors. Talk about classical conditioning gone bad. The film begins with top-notch action sequences choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping. Li's martial-arts have carried many movies in the past with varying degrees pf success; here, the producers try to combine his lightning-fast moves with a heart-tugging plot. Danny is rescued by a blind piano-tuner (Morgan Freeman) who takes the child-like pugilist under his wing. Some might find the balance of action and serious drama a welcome change, others may tune out during the long periods of emotional discovery. It's charming when Freeman and his step-daughter teach Danny about ice-cream headaches and table etiquette, but the crippling emotional issues Danny faces aren't particularly light-hearted, so Unleashed struggles to find the proper tone. The film was written and produced by Luc Besson, the celebrated director of The Professional. While the theme of innocence mixed with violence is also present, Unleashed isn't anywhere near as cool or stylish. Freeman is likable as usual, and Li's performance is quite good, and there are enough pleasant moments to keep audiences waiting for the 100 or so bad guys Danny fights at the end in order to achieve catharsis. The DVD contains both extreme and extended versions. Bonus materials include an inside look at the choreography of Ping, standard "behind the scenes" footage, an interview with the director and music videos by Massive Attack and the RZA. (Alliance Atlantis)