Jet Li’s Fearless and Unleashed – DVD Double Feature Review

 

Jet Li Double Feature
4 stars

For those looking for some martial arts action and some great Chinese fighting, look no further than Jet Li in a new packaging of two of his better films on a double-sided DVD that combines a one-two punch with Fearless and Unleashed. The new double package is part of Alliance Home Video’s maximum movie experience as a “DVD Double Feature.” Although the Blu-Ray is pictured, we reviewed the DVD version.

Fearless is loosely based on the life of Huo Yuanjia, a famous Chinese martial artist who challenged foreign fighters in highly publicized events, restoring pride and nationalism to China at a time when Western imperialism and Japanese manipulation were eroding the country during the last few years before the birth of the Republic of China. The 2006 movie is an epic journey and the last wushu martial arts film Li made –fitting as Yuanjia made the fighting style a major sport.
Presented in its “Director’s Cut” format, this is the ideal version of the film that contains about 35 minutes of more footage than the original theatrical release. It features an additional subplot and one extra fight sequence.
Unleashed, presented in its Unrated form, is a dark action/drama that sees Li star as Danny, an imprisoned fighter who is “unleashed” from a dog-like collar to fight as his masters commands.  The extra 30 minutes of footage in the “Unrated” version is full of extreme violence and martial arts action.
Rounded out with an exciting Hollywood cast made up of Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman and Kerry Condon, Unleashed is one of Li’s more powerful early US films. It seems fitting that its backed with Fearless as the films were released in a similar fashion. Although Li still needs to work on becoming a big Hollywood action star, this double pack shows one of his greatest Chinese films backed by a strong Hollywood tale.
While double features often come affordably priced, the sacrifices can sometimes come in loss of quality and especially original packaging. The Jet Li package, although created on a double-sided single DVD, doesn’t lose a ton in quality compared to other DVDs and has the added bonus of featuring extended cuts of each film – adding more than one hour to the entire package. That’s more Jet Li than a standard disc for sure.