Unleashed (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD)
Luc Besson wrote and directed the stylish thrillers La Femme Nikita and The Professional; though he didn't direct Unleashed, the script has his trademark fusion of outrageous sentimentality and over-the-top violence. Hong Kong action superstar Jet Li (Romeo Must Die, Hero) stars as Danny, a man raised to be a brutal attack dog by a nasty gangster named Bart (Bob Hoskins, Mona Lisa)--when Bart removes Danny's collar, Danny pulverizes everyone in the room. But a chance encounter with a blind piano tuner (Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby) reveals to Danny the possibility of a less brutal life, and when a retaliation attack gives him the chance to escape, he does--but Bart won't let him go that easily. The fighting in Unleashed is effectively jolting; Li and fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix) have purposefully stripped away the smoothness of most movie combat (especially with a genuine martial artist like Li) with raw, unnerving results, especially when juxtaposed with the sweet and earnest scenes of Li regaining his humanity with Freeman and his step-daughter (Kerry Condon). This freewheeling cocktail of bloody noses and ice-cream cones isn't for everyone, but fans of both Besson and Li will leave satisfied. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the DVD edition.