The One

November 2nd, 2001


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Still of Jet Li in The OneStill of Jet Li in The OneStill of Jet Li in The OneStill of Jet Li in The OneJames Wong in The OneJet Li, Jason Statham and James Wong in The One

A sheriff's deputy fights an alternate universe version of himself who grows stronger with each alternate self he kills.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 5.7/10 (37,068 voted)

Critic's Score: 25/100

Director: James Wong

Stars: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo

There is not one universe, but there are many, which is a multiverse. Supposing you are just one person, there are many other versions of you in the other universes, there are ways to travel, but only a police agency,MVA, can travel only for police procedures. Gabriel Yulaw is a former MVA agent, who killed another version of himself in self-defense. It made the other versions of him stronger. When Yulaw found out about this, he became power-hungry killing the 122 other versions for two years. After killing Lawless and getting captured by his former partner Roedecker and a new MVA agent Funsch, Yulaw managed to escape the prison and is trying to kill his last target, Gabe Law who is a police officer. He is also at Yulaw's strength. Roedecker and Funsch now have to arrest Yulaw before he can kill Gabe. There is a possibility that the universe could die or make Yulaw invincible. After encountering Yulaw for the first time...

Writers: Glen Morgan, James Wong

Jet Li - Gabe Law / Gabriel Yulaw / Lawless
Carla Gugino - T.K. Law / Massie Walsh
Delroy Lindo - MVA Agent Harry Roedecker / Gas Station Attendant
Jason Statham - MVA Agent Evan Funsch
James Morrison - LAPD Officer Bobby Aldrich / 'A' World Inmate #1
Dylan Bruno - Yates
Richard Steinmetz - D'Antoni
Steve Rankin - MVA Supervisor
Tucker Smallwood - Prison Warden
Harriet Sansom Harris - Nurse Besson
David Keats - MRI Technician
Dean Norris - Sgt. Siegel
Ron Zimmerman - Rotten Ronnie
Darin Morgan - Hugo
Mark Borchardt - Cesar

Taglines: In order to save the universe, he will have to fight the fiercest enemy he has ever faced...himself.

Release Date: 2 November 2001

Filming Locations: Edison Generating Station, Redondo Beach, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $49,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $19,112,404 (USA) (4 November 2001) (2894 Screens)

Gross: $43,905,746 (USA) (16 December 2001)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Germany: (cut version)

Did You Know?

As someone mentioned earlier, Yulaw uses xingyi quan. There is a scene in the movie where is he practicing his xingyi when he's shackled and jailed. This is a reference to the famous Xingyi master Kuo Yun Shen who did the same thing when he was jailed.

Revealing mistakes: When Gabe is going over the high wall at the police station to catch Yulaw, the barbed wire on top of the wall he struggles through is obviously made of rubber/foam.

[first lines]
Narrator: There is not one universe. There are many: A multiverse. We have the technology to travel between universes, but travel is highly restricted and policed. There is not one you. There are many. Each of us exists in present time, in parallel universes. There was balance in the system, but now a force exists who seeks to destroy the balance so he can become The One.

User Review

A fun movie

Rating: 7/10

After watching most of the recent action movies, I left the theatre with a headache brought on by incredibly tight/shaky shots and edits so fast that any hope of seeing anything is lost. This movie takes a step back from that. It isn't entirely devoid of those annoyances, but is much better than most. In fact, at times, you can even see a whole string of punches and blocks without a cut or a shake! Of course there is the inevitable wire work, that combined with the necessary special effects to allow Jet Li to fight himself. But for once there is an excuse other than "because we can".

The story is pretty simple. A murdering criminal is killing all the copies of himself in all the other "universes". Each time one dies the life force/resonant string thing, gets divided amoungst the survivors. Of course this leaves a ton of questions that aren't addressed at all in the movie, but I can live with that since those are more topics for debate after having fun at the movie. That is one of the strengths of the movie, the progressively more intense action. As the movie progress, rather than trying to deal with any question the viewer might have, the pace and intensity of the movie goes up. The final action sequence is probably ten minutes long all told, which, to me, is a sign of a true action movie, as opposed to movies with action.

Overall I give it a 8/10 for fans of the genre. If you aren't particularly interested in sci-fi/martial arts, especially if you have a problem with wire work and blue-screens, then you might want to skip it.