The interesting premise behind Jet Li’s character in Triggered raises questions about his age. IN Triggered (also known as Danny the dog in some countries), Jet Li’s Danny is a martial arts prodigy held captive by bloodthirsty Glasgow loan shark Bart and trained to attack Bart’s enemies like a wild dog on command. When Danny is separated from Bart and taken in by Morgan Freeman’s character and his stepdaughter, he finally experiences kindness and must fight for his freedom when Bart returns.


Triggered is often hailed as Jet Li’s best English-language film, combining a powerful story of a young man reclaiming his freedom and humanity with some of the most intense and powerful martial arts fights of Li’s career. Li’s performance as Danny is also very moving, but the film also leaves some questions about Danny’s past unanswered, such as exactly what his age is. However, there are clues in the film and some behind-the-scenes material about Danny’s age.

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Jet Li’s Danny is in his mid-late 20s in Unleashed

Jet Li in Unleashed image

In featurette included on Triggered DVD and Blu-ray The Collar Come Off: Behind The Scenes Of UnleashedJet Li says that mentally Danny is “about 10 years old,” and this matches well with flashbacks to Danny’s childhood. In Danny’s eventually resurrected childhood memories, young Danny appears to be around 10 when Bart arrives, kills his mother, and kidnaps Danny (contrary to Bart’s lie that he adopted Danny after the death of his mother, who Bart falsely claims was a prostitute.) Bart is also visibly younger in these flashbacks, and these help paint a picture of how long he has held Danny captive.

With Danny and Bart’s age differences between flashbacks and present day story about Triggered, it seems like a good estimate that at least 15 years have passed since Bart first kidnapped Danny. Based on that and Danny’s hard age of 10 at the time, this would make Danny somewhere in his mid to late 20s when Triggered begins. All in all the best guess for Danny’s age i Triggered is probably somewhere in between 25 and 28 years.

How Danny’s age in Unleashed compares to Jet Li’s true age

Jet Li and Morgan Freeman at a piano in Unleashed

While Danny appears to be in his mid or late 20s Triggered, Jet Li himself was a good bit older than his character. Jet Li was 42 then Triggered was released in 2005 and was around 40 at the time of filming based on production reports. Although this is a fairly significant age difference between Danny and Jet Li himself, Li looked like someone within Danny’s age range in Triggered, give or take a few years. Li’s performance as Danny in Triggered is what really makes him convincing in the role, thus making the age difference irrelevant.

IN Triggered, Danny is a young man who has been treated like an animal for most of his life, someone who has only known violence and never had a chance to truly grow up. Jet Li masterfully embodies Danny’s unbridled evil as Bart removes his collar, along with Danny’s growing tenderness as he is taken in by Sam and Victoria and shown love for the first time in his life. Triggered combines heartwarming drama and incredible action better than any other English-language film Jet Li has anchored. Because of that, Jet Li is completely believable as a man who is much younger physically and mentally than he actually is. Triggered.

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