Topic: Film & TV
Sunday wasn't a bad day to hang out with my friends, Maura and Clif, as the agenda called for seeing the latest Jet Li action flick, Unleashed. It felt more like fall than spring on Sunday, which was perfect for us as we donned our best black and headed out for some grub.
We started off by hitting the Broad Ripple favorite, Naked Tchopsticks, for some fish and rice. As usual, NT was tasty, but the wait-staff might want to take a closer look at which dish is which as our orders managed to get mixed up and I ate a decent portion of my pal Clif's sashimi before my real dish arrived. We didn't care who got what; we just wanted our fish. In the end, the folks at NT set things right by providing Clif with an extra serving just to fill in the holes that I had left.
I certainly enjoy a fun action movie. I'm not so much and explosions and car chase kind of guy, but I like fast paced, well thought out and logical action. And if you're looking for even a smidgeon of plot, a Jet Li movie will give you what you're looking for. At least if you're watching his Hong Kong films.
Li stars as Danny, a man who has been kept in servitude to a loan shark and wannabe crime boss named Bart (played by Bob Hoskins), as a walking ass-kicking machine. The conditioning and dominance over Danny is so great that Bart has Danny fitted with a collar. When the collar comes off, Danny is "unleashed" and rains torrents of fists. kicks, and whatever else on whomever it is who won't pay up to Bart.
This relationship and conditioning has evidently been going on since Danny was a child. At first, Danny's mental capacity seems little beyond a 5 year-old, as he sits in his cage, unaware of the blood that drips from his open cuts and the images in a children's book captivate him
As the story progresses, Danny breaks free from his role as aggressor on a leash when he is taken in by Sam (Morgan Freeman) and his step-daughter Victoria (Kerry Condon). Shown true kindness and love, Danny attempts to put his old life behind him and begin a search for himself and an understanding of his past. We all know that it's just not that easy to get out of organized crime, especially when you're a one-man goon squad, and Danny's past comes to haunt him in the films climax.
Without giving too much away, Unleashed is an interesting film. With beautiful transitions, dynamic lighting, and the choreography of Woo-ping Yuen (The Matrix, Kill Bill, and about 40 other Hong Kong movies), Unleashed is fun to look at. Having plenty of time for character development – no matter how two-dimensional some of it might seem, the film presents much more depth than many others in the genre.
Li does a decent job of portraying a man whose thought process is simple but past is clouded in mystery. Heck, I'll even believe that Condon is an 18 year-old student, or that you can have a fast paced fist fight in a 4x8 bathroom stall. Despite the sometimes slow pace and unanswered questions that the film leaves, it's an action drama with some heart and plenty of acrobatic stunts that make it worth a few dollars.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
- About Us
- Board and Video Games
- Day Trips
- Events & Festivals
- Film & TV
- Geek Bling
- Hoosier Oddities
- Indianapolis In the News
- Indianapolis Living
- Kids' Stuff
- Local Attractions
- Local Celebrities
- Museums and Visual Arts
- Night Life