NOTE: The triumphant return to spoiling by Satchmo...
The film starts with Bob Hoskins as Bart (Bob Hoskins), a mob guy in charge of collections. He has 2 thugs that drive around with him, but his main muscle is Danny (Jet Li), who wears a collar, and doesn't speak. Whenever Bart takes off the collar, Danny will attack whoever Bart says. We see this happen a few times. We also see one man try to keep Bart from removing the collar, and he is beaten while Danny just stands there passive. However, Bart is quite the scrapper, and is able to remove the collar, and Danny beats up the attackers. The fight takes place in a jewelry store, and a tall, creepy-looking man looks intreigued. That night, Bart gets a hooker, but she is disgusted when she sees Danny down in his cage, and she runs out. We see Danny reading a book of ABC's, not really comprehending it. P, in the book, is for Piano, and that comes into play later.
The next day, Bart is collecting money inside an antique warehouse. He leaves a beacon for Danny to watch, if it flashes, Danny is to rush in. However, Danny is distracted by all the old pianos. While he is looking at them, Sam (Morgan Freeman) comes in, frightening Danny. Sam is only there to tune the pianos, and he's blind. He tries to talk to Danny, and its the first time we hear him speak. He really enjoys helping Sam tune the piano, and hearing one for the first time. Sam asks Danny's name, but he won't say. Around then, Sam says he's been hearing a click for some time, and Danny realizes the beacon is going off. He enters the room to see Bart and his men have already ended the fight, but it was a hell of a scrap. Bart is not pleased.
That night, the creepy man from the jewelry store comes to Bart about entering Danny in an underground fight to the death for money. Bart enters them, and Danny kills the first man in 2 seconds (three lighning punches to the neck) and they leave. The creepy guy is very pleased with Danny, but requests a 'more entertaining' fight next time. In the car on the way back home, Bart is gushing about this new deal. He's making much more money than he did collecting, and much faster and easier. he's so pleased he says he'll give Danny anything he wants, even a woman. however, all Danny says he wants is a Piano. While bart is laughing about the request, their car is rammed by a truck, which sends it skidding down the road. Two men get out with machine guns and shoot the car up, and we see the man who tried to restrain Bart in the jewelry store in a nearby car, showing he has exacted his revenge. It seems everyone in the car is dead, except Danny. he gets out, and stumbles off.
We cut back to the antique warehouse, where Sam has returned to tune more pianos. He hears a noise and knows its Danny. We see that Danny was wounded in the crash, and he collapses on the floor. Here we cut to a very quick dream of a murder, and Danny shoots awake, in a bed, dressed in pajamas. He looks around, piecing it together, until he hears someone coming, and hides under the bed. Sam enters with food, and feels for him on the bed. When he doesnt find him, he guesses he's in the safest place in the world, under the bed. he leaves him some food, and says that he and his step-daughter Victoria aren't the type to ask questions, that when someone is ready, they'll give their answers. That night, Sam is playing piano, and Danny comes out to see. Around then, Victoria (Kerry Condon) comes home, and Danny rushes back into his room. Victoria and Sam discuss him, confirming that he likes music. Victoria goes into his room (He's back under the bed) and gives him a small keyboard. She tells them they're making dinner, and he's welcome to eat with them. He comes out, and tells them his name is Danny.
In the next scenes, we see Danny living with sam and Victoria. He's learning how to shop for groceries, and eat ice cream. One day while shopping with Sam, a fight occurs in the store. Everyone is scared except Danny, who is selecting vegetables as if nothing is going on. Finally Sam decides to ask why he wasn't upset, and Danny says 'They weren't fighting ME.' And that's it. Victoria and Danny start playing piano together (The family is in the UK so that Victoria can attend expert training for piano) and Sam starts taking Danny to tune pianos with him. He tells Danny how when Victoria finishes school, they're going back to New York, and they want Danny to come with them, and he's overjoyed. he finally has a family. Sam gives him half the money they made for tuning the piano, and Danny goes shopping. After buying a hat, Danny runs into one of Bart's thugs, who says Bart lived, and has been worried sick about his little dog. He says if Danny doesn't come back, bart will hunt down his new family and kill them, so Danny goes.
Bart welcomes Danny back, but doesnt like his new, more vocal nature. Danny asks Bart about his mother, and Bart says he never met her, that he found Danny alone in the street, and raised him when no one else wanted him. He then puts a new collar on Danny and throws him back in his cage. That night, Danny opens the cage door (it was unlocked, but he was never aware enough to try it) and looks through pictures and finds one of his mother. He accosts Bart and says he lied to him. Bart admits he lied, but that Danny's mother was a whore, and he didnt want to tell him that. He says he took Danny in out of the kindness of his heart. The next day they go back to the underground arena, but Danny says he doesn't want to hurt people anymore. Bart pleads with him to do the match, offering him a piano if he does. But danny refuses to budge, so Bart throws him in the arena anyway. The opponent is a big gent, and begins beating Danny, who will block the hits, but not fight back. The creepy fight arranger is upset, and Bart tries to cover, saying the man DID want a longer fight. Bart throws Danny an axe, but the other fighter grabs it when danny wont. Soon, the arranger decides to let 3 other fighters jump in, and they start pounding on Danny. Bart yells to him that if he won't fight, he'll die. Danny starts to fight back, and beats the other fighters into submission, but won't kill anyone. Finally Bart grabs a gun and shoots the other fighter. As they drive away he's discussing family with Danny, and he realizes where he needs to be, so he grabs the wheel of the car and drives it into a row of cars, sending it flying upside down. Danny escapes and runs back to Sam's. He is crying, saying his mother was a whore, and shows a picture of her. She's playing a piano at a school that Sam knows (from victoria's description). Sam and Danny go to the school to try and learn more. The schoolmarm remembers the woman in the picture, and says she mysteriously dissapeared, but that she was a genuis at the piano. She gives Danny a picture, which he shows Victoria. She can see what song the woman in the picture is playing, and plays it for Danny. It triggers a flashback in which he witnesses Bart killing his mother. In the flashback, Danny was hiding in a closet when it happened, and burst out to attack Bart. That was when he saw the fighting potential, and thus, while young, turned Danny into a dog.
Danny is nervous, and knows Bart will come looking for him. He tries to get Sam and victoria packed up, but it's too late, Bart has tracked him to Sam's apartment. Danny hides Sam and Victoria in a small closet (much like his mother hid him). He goes out and a giant fight ensues with Bart's thugs all throughout the apartment complex (including a long great fight in a tiny bathroom area), ending with him facing down Bart, who has a gun. They're in Sam's apartment, and Sam and victoria can see the entire thing. Bart reminds Danny that they're family, and even through all of this hassle, he just wants his dog back, the boy who he loves. Danny returns to the complacent pose he had at the beginning of the film, and walks over to him, only to attack him. he eventually has Bart on the floor and starts beating him to death. Sam runs out of the closet to restrain him, but Danny is listening only to Bart. Finally, Sam hits bart with a flower pot, knocking him out. 'That man could talk some serious shit,' he says.
The film ends at Victoria's senior recital, where she plays a song for Danny. We see a quick shot of Danny as a boy, playing at his mother's feet while she plays piano.
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