Main cast: Jet Li (Gabriel Law/Gabriel Yulaw), Jason Statham (MVA Agent Evan Funsch), Delroy Lindo (MVA Agent Harry Rodecker), Carla Gugino (TK Law), James Morrison (Officer Bobby Aldrich), Dylan Bruno (Officer Yates), and Richard Steinmetz (Officer D’Antoni)
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, this one is solid entertainment.
In this story, we have multiple universes, or “multiverses”. This means there is another version of our existence, in another Earth in another universe. For instance, when the story begins, Jet Li’s character, the evil Gabriel Yulaw, 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 transforms into 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 Gabriel Law, and he is a law enforcer with LAPD. He too has become stronger as a result of Yulaw’s killings (don’t ask, long convoluted scientific explanation). When Yulaw 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 Yulaw being bad and Gabe good – and the secondary characters are forgettable. But seriously, is anyone watching this movie for drama? Apart from a cartoonish, ridiculous scene where Yulaw bitch slaps 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.
Never mind that Jet Li 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 under 90 minutes of cheesy sci-fi action flick that has “cult movie” stamped all over it.