How do you get really powerful? Wheaties aren't enough. As confusingly
explained in James Wong's THE ONE, what you need to do in order to gain
superhuman powers is kill all of the other "yous."
Let me explain. You know in the morning when you look in the mirror and
think to yourself, "You handsome devil," what you're not realizing is that
there are a hundred versions of you out there in parallel universes. Don't
worry, none of them are liable to show up on your doorstep and steal your
wife. You have multiverse agents to thank for that. They work behind the
scenes, eliminating any "illegal quantum tunneling."
Baffled already? This is less a problem than you think since THE ONE is a
noisy popcorn flick starring Jet Li and Jet Li that expects you check your
brain at the door. As Yulaw, Li is an unstoppable evil guy who has already
murdered 123 versions of himself -- with 123 hilarious hairdos -- in 123
universes. Once he kills the last one, an L.A. cop named Gabriel (Li),
Yulaw believes that he will become all-powerful. Already Yulaw can outrun
cars and leap small buildings in a single bound. Another theory has it that
killing his last parallel self will destroy the universe. I think just one
universe goes up in smoke, but I can't be sure since keeping up with the
science behind this impenetrable sci-fi story is tricky.
As one to die for, Carla Gugino plays Gabriel's wife. Like most of the rest
of the supporting cast, including Jason Statham and Delroy Lindo, she is
wasted. The whole film is about Jet Li taking on Jet Li with big loud guns
and lots of fancy flying martial arts moves. He's also a bullet dodger.
Although it isn't intentionally funny, teleporting turns out to be
humorously painful. Rather than Star Trek's positively tranquil, "Beam me
up, Scottie" routine, THE ONE features a teleporting shredder. At one end
you're turned in compost, and at the other end you're reassembled. It's a
big "Ouch!" moment. The film's very short running time minimizes the
audience's pain. A little of this movie goes a long way.
THE ONE runs 1:20. It is rated PG-13 for "intense action violence and some
language" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes