Film: The One

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Film:

The One

Director: James Wong
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Distributor: Sony Pictures

The One sets a martial arts milestone by pitting action star Jet Li against his greatest enemy: himself. This sci-fi thriller establishes a “multiverse” consisting of countless parallel universes, each populated by variants of every individual. Li plays a renegade from the Multiverse Agency, illegally traveling through “quantum tunnels” to eliminate all versions of himself until only two remain, each sharing the cumulative strength of their “parallel universe versions.” This mumbo-jumbo inspires a variety of dazzling special effects, and director…

Reviews

Amazon.com

The One sets a martial arts milestone by pitting action star Jet Li against his greatest enemy: himself. This sci-fi thriller establishes a “multiverse” consisting of countless parallel universes, each populated by variants of every individual. Li plays a renegade from the Multiverse Agency, illegally traveling through “quantum tunnels” to eliminate all versions of himself until only two remain, each sharing the cumulative strength of their “parallel universe versions.” This mumbo-jumbo inspires a variety of dazzling special effects, and director James Wong (with cowriter and fellow X-Files alumnus Glen Morgan) injects clever humor into the Matrix-derivative premise. Carla Gugino is wasted as the “good” Li’s obligatory love interest, but The One will appeal to action fans with its fast-paced pursuit between the evil Li and two agents (Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham) assigned to stop his trans-universal killing spree. It’s a one-gimmick movie, best enjoyed with your brain in neutral. —Jeff Shannon

Barnes and Noble

If you can’t get enough of martial-arts superstar Jet Li, this imaginative, supercharged, futuristic thriller should be just what you need. The One takes a new look at an old science-fiction premise—that hundreds of parallel universes coexist simultaneously in different dimensions. One of these is home to a villainous Li, who discovers that every time he kills his double on an alternate Earth, he absorbs the equivalent’s life force and grows stronger. Nearly unstoppable, he gets unexpected and spirited resistance from one of his last remaining counterparts, an idealistic sheriff’s deputy accused of crimes committed by his evil duplicate. Director James Wong (Final Destination) employs state-of-the-art special effects to convince viewers that Li is fighting himself in several intricately staged confrontations and surrounds his histrionically challenged star with top-flight performers. These include Delroy Lindo, who is first-rate as the relentless, unflappable pursuer of the evil Li; and Carla Gugino, very affecting as the good Li’s love interest, whose faith in her sweetheart is severely shaken by seemingly incontrovertible evidence that he’s gone berserk. Implausibilities aside (and there are many), The One remains a sturdily produced star vehicle that supplies all the dynamic action and visceral thrills Li’s fans expect. Wong and co-scriptwriter Glen Morgan provide a feature-length commentary for the DVD, which also includes a making-of featurette, trailers, cast filmographies, and before-and-after comparisons of the computer-generated effects used in the fight scenes. Ed Hulse

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