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The One (2002)
Director: James Wong

review by Trent Walters

You already know why you want to see The One. It isn't for Jet Li's award-winning acting but his anticipated martial arts action sequences. No, you can't differentiate his glee-club performance from the loss of his wife aside from a closing of eyes and a hanging head. At least the monotone is consistent. But how about them flying roundhouse kicks and punches amid a rain of cogwheel sparks and factory explosions?
   From the director who botched the idea of Final Destination comes a movie that actually lives up to its promise. In a different universe and in self-defense, Yulaw (Li 1.0) kills one of his alternate selves and discovers that the energy between them flows into him. He gets the big idea to kill all other selves in all universes (the major flaw to this is its limited number: 124) to become the ultimate 'One' of selves: whether the result is godhood or self-destruction. Yulaw's speed, agility and intelligence (though there's little demonstration of the lattermost) increase, running up to speeds of 50 mph - another flaw is that other human beings can chase after him as well as the cop cars can. Multiverse cops swarm and pursue but cannot capture and hold on to him. The last version of U-law that he tries to kill is an L.A. cop named Gabe from our 'hometown' universe, apparently. He, too, has inexplicably gained powers as Yulaw slaughters other selves. So the stage is set for a martial arts extravaganza in the ultimate fight: me versus myself and I.
   The complaint most heard is that viewers cannot differentiate one Li from another. No shit, Sherlock. They're all the same guy. That's supposed to be part of the appeal - and one that perhaps could have been better played upon. Still, the movie is buttery popcorn fun - fattening but what the hell - while not much of an intellectual stimulant, it isn't a brain-sapper, either. It's a movie you'll want to rent once and forget about after the mood strikes and is sated. You guys and cooler, hip, chic gals know the mood referred to. If you don't, why bother renting it?
The One
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Jet Li also stars in:
Black Mask and
Kiss Of The Dragon

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