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…
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
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
DVD RATING: B-
The above is the Editorial Review by our Administrator, Leosen Teo