Of the work that Jet Li has done outside of China the best stuff has surprisingly come not from the US but from France in his work for Luc Besson’s Europa Corp. So when word started circulating that Li was doing a Besson financed film costarring Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins I perked up and started to pay attention. Then, in what must count as one of the stupidest marketing moves ever, the film producers posted an extended clip of the film online that consisted of nothing more than Jet eating ice cream with an irritating teenaged girl. I hate that clip. I really, really hate it. I do not, however, hate this. The full trailer for the film – titled Danny the Dog – has turned up online and apart from the irritating teenage girl it looks mighty impressive on all counts.
Jet stars as the titular Danny – a man raised in captivity and trained as an illegal pit fighter by Bob Hoskins. Hoskins is an absolutely powerhouse actor who we don’t see nearly enough on this side of the ocean – the last time I remember him was the stellar Felicia’s Journey, actually – and he looks to be both incredible and incredibly vicious in this. How a tubby little aging Englishman can exude so much menace I don’t know, but Hoskins does. Danny somehow escapes from his captors and is discovered by a blind man, played by Morgan Freeman, who takes him in and slowly wins his trust. The performances look to be quite strong from all the principal characters with Jet finally taking on a role that demands a little bit of range, the cinematography is striking and the fight choreography is from Yuen Woo Ping so you know it’s going to be good. No word on release dates yet. Thanks to KFC for the link.