The One

Directed by James Wong
Starring: Jet Li, Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Jason Statham, Delroy Lindo.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense action violence and some language.

Review by Evelyn Gildrie-Voyles <>
November 6, 2001

I saw The One in the worst possible movie going conditions: Saturday night at 7:30. There were two rows of giggling, chattering teen girls in front of me, a man talking on his cell phone next to me, kids running up and down the aisle, and in the climactic last fight, the projector slipped and the picture was cut off at the top. Despite all these distractions I had a rollicking good time. The film kicks major tuchus.

The plot is just an excuse for Jet Li to fight Jet Li. There is not one universe but a multiverse consisting of separate universes where the same people live out there lives slightly differently. There is not one you but thousands of you's and if you kill yourself in a different universe the energy divides among the remaining you's. Get it -- if you don't, it doesn't really matter. All that is important is that Yulaw (Jet Li in his bad ass persona and speaking deeper and slower than he usually does) is bad and has killed 123 versions of himself. Gabe (Jet Li in his sweet guy persona) is a police officer in a universe much like ours and teams up with Funsch (Jason Statham speaking with a ridiculous attempt at an American accent), a multiverse cop, to stop Yulaw. They can't kill Yulaw because then Gabe would be the only him in the multiverse which would upset the balance, and we can't have that.

Very little time is spent on exposition or relationships in this movie. All the time is spent KICKING. It is time well spent. The digitally enhanced action scenes are awesome. Jet Li gets to do two distinct martial arts styles. As Yulaw he uses linear, powerful attacks. As Gabe he uses the beautifully fluid style that he used in Twin Warriors (my absolute favorite Jet Li film -- rent it now). I also loved the soundtrack -- loud fast heavy rock from Drowning Pool, Disturbed, and others. When the first fight scene began and "Bodies" by Drowning Pool started playing as Yulaw kicked people in mid-air sending their bodies crashing to the ground, I knew that I would love the movie.

Like The Fast and the Furious, this film is not for everyone. It is a straight-up genre film. But it is fantastic fun for fans of computer enhanced kung fu films. If you like your music and action fast, loud and non-realistically violent (this isn't a bloody film and most of the stunts would not be possible without computers), then wade through the teens and relish the fun. I'm going back to see it during the week, hopefully with a better audience and a competent projectionist.

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The One (2001)

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