What movie was that...?

11 January 2010


directed by Louis Leterrier

Jet Li’s finest and most horrific martial arts film is as darkly amazing as the simply gorgeous film Hero was poetic. Li plays Danny, an orphaned boy kept and trained like a dog by criminal monster Bart (a wretchedly frightening Bob Hoskins), to be sicced upon the unsavory. Like a Pavlovian WMD, Danny only attacks when his collar is removed, but an accident sends him into the care of a blind piano tuner (a deliciously warm Morgan Freeman) and his daughter. Woo-Ping Yuen’s fight choreography is the finest example of the dazzling and the profane struggling to coalesce in a world governed by violence, and Leterrier’s lens finds the dark core of each battle. Jet Li’s face is a map of unbridled fury and terrified innocence lost, a little boy incapable of controlling his abilities. The opening fight sequence alone is enough to either pin you to your seat for the rest of the film, or give you nightmares. Maybe both.

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