The Making Of and Interview With The Director


Genre: Drama/Action
Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins, Kerry Condon
Louis Leterrier
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence)
Year Made: 2005

Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: English Dolby Digital 5.1,
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Home Entertainment






Bart has trained Danny, from when he was 4 years old, to attack. Today Danny is his secret weapon, attacking anyone as soon as he's ordered to and without giving him slightest chance of survival. Danny has no other choice than to accept this beastly existence, until he meets Sam, a blind man who makes his living as a piano tuner. Sam and his stepdaughter, Victoria, introduce Danny to humanity that he has never known before. His entire perception of life as he knows was thus, shaken to the core. Now, up against Bart and his gang who would rather see him dead than liberated, Danny will try to become himself finally and to penetrate into the secrets of his past. To escape his condition, Danny will have to break away while still protecting those who now constitute his family. This will be his last fight, by far the most dangerous…


With the tagline “The Long-Awaited Jet Li Action Masterpiece” flashing across the disc cover, one may be expecting another Jet Li ever-agile kungfu display. While many Jet Li’s fans may be attracted to grab a copy of the disc from the store, the tagline, however, have done this film injustice by steering it away from those crowds that may fully appreciate its essence – audience who prefer story with good characters development and heart-felt moments.

A timely change for Asian Kungfu master, Jet Li? Maybe. For an action star marching pass the 40 mark of his life, we could not have expected him to continue those muscles trying kicks and punches he so famous with. As such, when Jet Li approaches Luc Besson after their successful collaboration in “Kiss of the Dragon”, he specifically asked for a script that allows him to grow, as an actor. The legendary French filmmaker and scriptwriter immediately offer him the role of Danny the dog.

Jet Li’s inspiration of wanting to act may be admirable, Director Louis Leterrier, however, is not taking any chance with our kungfu master. Hence, he called upon the reliable Morgan Freeman as one of the supporting cast.

The very unique and also respectable quality of Morgan Freeman, as an actor, is that he doesn’t overshadow his lead despite of his flawless acting. He is particularly effective, alongside Jet Li, helping him ignites every emotional scene. And the final results were neat. Though there are still many rooms for improvement for Jet Li, at least, he doesn’t seem awkward in the role.

Of course to complete the commercial values of any Jet Li’s movies, some violent may still be necessary. For all the action sequences in this movie, the filmmaker engaged the services of Master Yuen Wo-Ping of the Matrix and Kill Bill fame. But do not expect those excessively used computer rendered stunts and faked-looking kungfu style executed with the help of wire-works. Since Danny learn his fighting on the streets, Master Yuen develops a completely different street fighting style, combining boxing and Chinese martial arts. The presentation is refreshing and more “bone-breaking”. Watch out for the death match in an emptied swimming pool where Jet Li take on four dangerously armed opponents and also the finale close-distance sparring between Jet and an unnamed skinhead villain. Though these are not Jet Li’s best fighting scene to-date but they are still impressive enough to hold your attention.

Many Asian critics have penned down this movie as a humiliation to our Asian Hero, Jet Li. However, I am impressed with Luc Besson’s vision in the script. He has tailored a role suitable for Jet Li to stretch his acting, and also to convey an underlying message that there’s an animal instinct existing in everyone. Danny gradual loyalty with family values and respecting life in spite of his earlier “doggie” existence, as compared to men’s consistence bloodthirsty nature of diminishing and belittling each other is worth pondering.


The disc features merely “The making of & Interview with the Director”, and also the theatrical trailer of the movie. It is disappointing to see the making of feature mostly snapshots taken during filming. I am surprise that there is no interview with the keys characters like Jet Li, Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins. Nevertheless, it is interesting to find out that Bob Hoskins actually did Jet Li’s haircut for the movie!


Although the disc comes with the English Dolby Digital 5.1, I did not find the audio department particularly satisfying on my office’s Sony DAV SR-2 theatre system. The explosive sound of punches and kicks expected from any fighting scenes doesn’t seem to have a heart pounding effects here. The volume of the character’s speech is however at a comfortable volume throughout.


The movie uses sepia and antique colours, typical of most French products. This movie is not any visual treat, but you could expect no irritating jumps or “mosaics” during playback of the disc.



The above is the Editorial Review by our Administrator, Leosen Teo
































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