There’s something to be said about a film that doesn’t bullshit around. Jet Li knows how to kick ass, which he does in The One for a good 80 minutes non-stop. Sadly, there’s the issue of the film’s plot: something about our universe really being part of a multiverse (how droll). We have 123 versions of ourselves strewn across the galaxy; kill one of your lookalikes and you’ll grow stronger. Yulaw (the evil Li) wormholes his way to Los Angeles in order to eliminate the last remaining version of himself, Gabriel (the good Li). The problem is that Gabriel’s strength has increased proportionally to that of Yulaw’s, something Gabriel discovers rather inexplicably. While the film’s intergalactic traveling may be an unabashedly simple backdrop for Li’s graceful moves, the material’s semantics are ripe with unfulfilled possibilities. Roedecker (Delroy Lindo) and Funsch (Jason Statham)—agents for the Multiverse Bureau of Investigation—chase Yulaw from universe to universe, hoping to send the power-hungry wire-fu expert to planet Hades. Director James Wong does right by the film’s suspenseful MRI sequence though most of the film’s effects are noticeably hackneyed. More troubling is Li himself, speaking and acting more than he should be allowed to. Surely, The One will disappoint fans of Kiss of the Dragon. Then again, anyone who’s never heard of Hades may get a kick out of this self-masturbatory WWF sci-fi flick.
- James Wong
- Glen Morgan, James Wong
- Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Jason Statham, Delroy Lindo, Mark Borchardt, David "Shark" Fralick, Archie Kao, Kim McKamy
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: