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You're a dog! You're my dog!
We've come to think of you as family, and that's what families do--they stick together.
Danny the Dog (also known as Unleashed in some markets) is a 2005 action movie written by Luc Besson (of The Fifth Element fame) and directed by Louis Leterrier, starring Jet Li, Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman.
Danny is a trained assassin, working as an enforcer for his "Uncle Bart", a low-level gangster in Glasgow. He's kept like a dog, in a grate under the floor and wearing a metal collar, conditioned to fight and kill on Bart's orders. When he survives a hit that leaves the gang dead, he stumbles into a blind piano tuner, Sam, and his adopted daughter Victoria, who take him in and teach him to live like a human. But Bart isn't dead, and he wants Danny back.
Tropes used include:
- Attack Animal: Of the brainwashed Super Soldier variety.
- Ax Crazy: Lefty, most notable in the final scenes when he's allowed to go after Danny, (but is told by Bart not to kill him.) He gleefully disregards Bart's orders and opens fire with a sadistic grin on his face the whole time. When he corners Danny in one of the unoccupied apartments, he beats on the door with his pistols, howling all the while.
- Badass Adorable: Danny, as he reclaims his humanity.
- Blood Sport: An underground fetish club/pit-fighting circuit run by Wyeth.
- California Doubling: Glasgow doubled for London.
- Close-Call Haircut: In the fight with the machete wielding bald guy.
- Curb Stomp Battle: During Danny's first fight at the pit-fighting circuit, he goes up against the reigning champ who shows off his toughness by smashing a brick over his head before the fight. When the fight starts, Danny dodges the champ's first punch, punches the guy a few times in the throat, and walks away as the champ falls down dead from a crushed windpipe.
- Dawson Casting: Danny is implied to be in his mid-to-late twenties. Jet Li was 42 when filming began, though the fact he looks much younger (and the fact that his character has lived a hard life) makes his budding romance with the teenaged Victoria less squicky.
- Defusing the Tykebomb: Sam and Victoria towards Danny.
- The Determinator: Bart, surprisingly.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Jet Li actually lived in a kennel while filming.
- Dysfunctional Family: Played straight when Danny is with Bart, completely and heartwarmingly subverted when Sam adopts him.
- The Fagin: Bart is the singular most disgusting example of this trope.
- Forced Prize Fight
- Hidden Depths: Bart - the man is a Complete Monster through and through, but you never seem to know when he's being truthful or simply trying to manipulate Danny. Whatever his motive, he has much more going on beneath the surface.
- If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: Sam says this to Danny near the end.
- Light Is Not Good: A recurring theme throughout the movie - Bart dresses in expensive white suits and gets around in a white vehicle, and the bald, machete-wielding thug at the end of the film is clad in a white robe.
- Made of Iron: Bart. Who knew Bob Hoskins was so durable? Probably comes from dealing with Roger Rabbit.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Played with... after a successful day shopping Danny's talents, Bart offers to get Danny a prostitute.
Bart: I could get you a woman! You've never had a woman before, have you?
- Danny, however, would prefer a piano.
- Market-Based Title: Danny the Dog in France and Hong Kong, but Unleashed in the US, UK and Australia.
- No One Could Survive That: Bart's car is riddled with machine-gun fire; Danny only survives because he was shielded by Bart's body. Bart, of course, survives.
- No Social Skills: Danny was raised as an attack dog.
- Shut UP, Hannibal: "That man could talk some serious shit."
- They Still Belong to Us Lecture
- True Companions: Sam, Victoria and Danny aren't related by blood, but they make a family.
- Unstoppable Rage: Danny, with his collar off.
- Violent Glaswegian: Bart, full stop. He doesn't look the type, but he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty when he needs to.
- Villains Out Shopping: There are several scenes where Bart and his cohorts are simply chatting in the car, talking about what they would like to do with their lives and their (literal) dreams.
- X Meets Y: Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist with Kung Fu.
- You Killed My Father: Danny's mother was murdered by Bart.