If you go beyond Amazon's reviews, you'll find the majority of the public and the "critics" giving Unleashed above par to high rankings. I read a bulk of critic reviews and was amazed to find all of them actually enjoying aspects, if not the entire movie. Well, the movie does speak for itself.
Danny (Jet) is raised similar to an abused dog by Bart (Hoskins) somewhere in Scotland. Danny basically lives in a cage with a few possessions: punching bag, blanket, A-B-C book, and a stuffed animal. He knows no social skills, only to obey Bart. His world changes when he comes in contact with a piano which triggers some memory. Eventually, the piano links Danny to Morgan Freeman's character. This is where the movie shifts gears and we get to witness Jet Li's best performance in an English dialogue movie. Without giving too much away, you literally watch Danny's new life unfold as he discovers humanity; tasting ice-cream, going to the supermarket, wearing pajamas, etc. There is actually sweet humor due to the innocence played by Jet.
There is so much complaints about how children are being desensitized to violence; However, Unleashed just may resensitize one. I'm not recommending parents to allow their children to watch this, because it isn't even close to being suitable for them. What I mean is this movie shows us how violence is definitely not the answer and I actually found myself rooting for Danny(Jet)to no longer fight. You want him to just take all what he has learned in the months he has spent w/ his new family (there also is a 18 yr. old daughter in the mix) and apply it to the situations. Well, he does try, but ... it is a Jet Li movie and therefore it will have Jet Li action.
The fights are pretty brutal and harsh. There is no sweet wushu fluidness that Jet has so often displayed in the past. He basically goes ape nuts while applying some martial arts. This movie displays the 2nd most punishment fighting scenes I've witnessed; still a far cry from what you can view in "Ong Bak."
Having said all that, we all know Morgan Freeman can act, Bob Hoskins (who is normally connected to Roger Rabbit and Super Mario Brothers) does a fantastic job as a cruel slime, but surprising is Jet Li. He may have few lines, which fits his character's mentality, but he sure does make it up with body posture and well trained eyes. If you ever felt sorry for a broken down dog being abused and neglected then you'll truly be able to identify with Jet Li's portrayal. If he wasn't considered an action star...he would win an oscar.
P.S. There were a few sniffles in the audience at the end. I heard the European version, "Danny the Dog," has a little different ending...w/ tears.