Unleashed’s Extended Cut Made 1 Jet Li Fight Scene Way Better

Jet Li’s 2005 movie Unleashed included three extended martial arts fights on the DVD, with one fight, in particular, making the movie even better.

Jet Li’s 2005 movie Unleashed included some longer fight scenes in the extended version, with one adding a lot to the film. The Louis Leterrier-directed Unleashed follows the legendary martial artist Jet Li as Danny, a man held captive since childhood by Glasgow loan shark Bart (Bob Hoskins). Bart has conditioned Danny to attack his enemies like a vicious animal once the collar around his neck is removed, with Bart comparing Danny to his personal attack dog.

Unleashed’s extended version on the DVD reintegrates longer versions of three of the movie’s fight scenes to play as part of the film. The first occurs during one shakedown in a jewelry store and highlights Danny’s feral nature more. In the extended version, Danny is tased from behind by one of the guards and is momentarily disabled. As two other guards drag him away, it takes Danny mere seconds to recover, grabbing the two guards by the groin and tossing them aside. With Danny’s martial arts skills flaunted by Jet Li, combined with his training to attack aggressively, he easily overpowers his opponents and even turns the taser on the guard who used it on him as payback.

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The fight scenes of Unleashed, overseen by legendary fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping, modified Jet Li’s normally fluid and graceful Wushu to portray the child-like Danny with the dog-like aggression Bart has instilled in him. Once his collar is removed, Danny is completely unstoppable in a fight. The longer version of the jewelry store brawl adds much more emphasis to what Bart has made Danny into and how much it takes just to even briefly put him out of commission. Unleashed presents a very real contrast between the rageful beast Danny is being raised to be by Bart and the humanity he regains when he’s taken in by Sam (Morgan Freeman) and his stepdaughter Victoria (Kerry Condon). The early fight scenes of Unleashed, aside from being amazing martial arts battles in a vacuum, serve to establish that point. In the extended version of Unleashedthe longer presentation of the jewelry store fight makes it more acutely felt.



Unleashed extended fight scene pic

The sequence is not fully color corrected and lacks completed sound effects, which is also the case for the other two extended fight scenes. However, even with that caveat, this longer version of the jewelry store battle improves Unleashed as a whole with what it adds to Danny’s story. While relatively short in the theatrical cut of Unleashedthe jewelry store fight seen in the extended version makes it a much better martial arts fight sequence with the finesse and raw power of Tony Jaa’s Ong Bak movies. It also contributes another layer of depth to Danny’s arc in the movie.

While the shortened versions of three of its fight sequences didn’t harm the movie, seeing them fully realized in the film’s extended version, even without totally complete post-production work, was a real gift for Jet Li fans. Of the three of them, the jewelry store fight benefited the most from the extended version of Unleashed by being shown in its full form, cementing its role in Danny’s story of escaping his captivity for a new life, As a component of the extended version of Unleashedthe longer jewelry store also simply adds more material to cement the movie’s reputation as Jet Li’s best English-language movie.


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