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The One (2001)
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Review Date: October 29, 2001
Director: James Wong
Writer: James Wong & Glen Morgan
Producers: Glen Morgan & Steven Chasman
Actors:
Jet Li as Gabriel/Yulaw
Delroy Lindo as Roedecker
Jason Statham as Funsch
Plot:
There are many universes. Each universe is parallel to the other and we all have different versions of ourselves in each spot. But when a really bad dude decides to transport himself through all of the universes and kill off his "other selves", it's not long before he realizes that his powers grow as each of his alter-universe personas dies. Needless to say, he believes that he will turn into God when he completes his mission, and with only one of his doppelgangers left to kill, it's up to the multi-universe police to make sure that he doesn't accomplish his goal. Phew...simple enough for you?
Critique:
This movie's not going to change anybody's life or revolutionalize sci-fi or kung-fu flicks, but it packs a whallop, lasts little more than 85 minutes and doesn't pretend to be about anything else but kicking a lot of ass! If you're looking for a really loud movie, and I mean LOUD, with plenty of action, a very basic storyline (although as per most time travel/dual personality flicks, some confusion comes with the territory) and Jet Li fighting Jet Li, well, you've come to the right place. I pretty much enjoyed this movie the whole way through but felt a little empty as I left the theater. The film actually starts off with a pretty funky sci-fi premise, but it's not utilized to its full potential. It's also pretty obvious that Li's own lack of acting abilities didn't allow for more exposition and left little more in the film than its original idea, plenty of gunfire and lotsa fisticuffs. I will say that this is one of the first movies since THE MATRIX to truly take advantage of the technologies used so effectively in that film, in order to realistically actualize their own story. This is a sci-fi movie and many of the crazy over-the-top stunts make sense within this world, because the rules are very different. As opposed to something like ROMEO MUST DIE, in which much of the wire-work just felt out of place. This film even develops some of that technology and incorporates what I like to refer to as the power-kicks!

The power-kicks or power-punches, if you will, are generated by Jet Li's character basically drilling all of his power into someone else or an object, and the end result is very cool. You can literally feel the strength of his moves, and some of the more outrageous stunts, like when he grabs a motorcycle in each hand, raises them off the ground and squashes a police officer between them, is just fun to see. They're also completely believable in this environment and appreciated. My favorite fight was probably the first sequence in the film, in which Li kicks some people up in the air in slow-motion, then kicks them again while he's floating in the air. Very cool. The Jet Li vs Jet Li battle scene was also quite slick, but even as a major heavy music fan, I must say that the soundtrack was really over-emphasized during that sequence, to the point that you start to believe that you're in a music video or something. Walking out of the theatre was like leaving a heavy metal concert: but without the lingering smell. The lame fire-sparks during their fight scene also looked pretty stupid, but thankfully, that part didn't last long. In the end, this movie just didn't give me enough story or background on its characters to really get into it as in similar films like THE MATRIX or THE TERMINATOR, but definitely provided for plenty of asses being kicked and Li showing us his stuff. And if that's pretty much all you're expecting from this very short ditty, then you definitely won't be disappointed. Incidentally, The Rock was originally cast in Jet Li's role. Huh? Read more here...
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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