The One (2001)
Main cast: Jet Li (Gabriel/Yu Law), Carla Gugino (TK), Jason Statham (Funsch), and Delroy Lindo (Roedecker)
Director: James Wong

The One is a cheesy sci-fi action that proudly wears its B grade status on its sleeves. Jet Li is in top form, and his English isn't as atrocious as before. As a result, The One is prime entertainment. Writers-cum-directors Glen Morgan and James Wong may be the new maestros of the cult classics yet.

In this story, existence exists in multiple universes, or "multiverses". This means there is another version of our existence on Earth in another Earth in another universe. For instance, when the story begins, Jet Li's character, the evil Gabriel, murders another version of him in another universe where Al Gore is President of the United States. Gabriel is killing off all versions of him in alternate universes because with each decimation of his alternate selves, he becomes more powerful. When he becomes the only one, he becomes a god.

Sounds silly? You bet it is. The last - the 124th version - lives on Earth, this I know because George W Bush is the President of the United States and the technology level is sucky. This Jet Li fellow's name is Yu Law, and he is a law enforcer with LAPD. He too has become stronger as a result of Gabriel's killings (don't ask, long convoluted scientific explanation). When Gabriel steps in to threaten the lives of he and his wife TK, things get ugly and explosive. Add in two multiverse cops Funsch and Roedecker and things get absolutely crazy.

The One has no characterization - except for Gabriel being bad and Yu Law good - and the secondary characters are forgettable. But seriously, is anyone watching this movie for drama? Apart from a cartoonish, ridiculous scene where Gabriel bitchslaps several cops with two motorcycles (just don't ask), the fighting scenes here are a perfect blend of Hong Kong-style outrageous kinetics and down-to-earth wushu violence. When Gabriel and Yu Law deck it out in the final confrontation, wow.

Never mind that he looks like a midget on screen next to everybody, never mind that this story has dialogues that outcorn a cornfield. The One is a slightly over an-hour-and-half cheesy sci-fi actioner that has Gratuitous Kung Fu Cult Movie Night stamped all over it. Pure fun!

Rating: 85

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