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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
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.
Hey! Why'd this film get such a low rating?
I hope it's not due to the drama / arty types. I swear they walk into an Arnold Schwartzenegger film and start critiquing the dialogue or the deep cinematic reflections on life. I think they may have formed a false expectation. Action movies don't aim for that stuff, so it's a little unfair to then expect it.
Mostly stuff blows up in "The One", and I'm totally OK with that, being an action movie buff. What's weird is that you know they're using lots of wires and some of the stunts are a little overdone. But forget the fictional character's skill -- just the skill you'd need as a stuntman or stuntwoman making this movie to perform some of these stunts is truly impressive!
Let me warn you that the plot is a pretty stupid, and while billed as a science fiction film it really is not. However, it's nowhere near as bad as sub-intelligent flicks "Independence Day" and "Mission Impossible". It was more like "Mission Impossible 2". And lots and lots of stuff blows up.
Compared to Jackie Chan, Jet Li's films have more action, but it's stunt-like rather than natural, more of an "edge" (including blood and gore), less comedy, and he speak better English. I still prefer Jackie. If you're new to martial arts films, ease yourself in with accessible Jackie Chan action/comedies "Shanghai Noon" or "Twin Dragons".
Who should see this film:
-- action movie buffs and borderline action movie types
who will trade over-violence for under-plotting.
And don't drag along your SO.
-- sci-fi movie buffs who don't form expectations of real sci-fi
and like action flicks
-- I can't think of anyone else.
I'll give "The One" an 8 out of 10.
I can't understand why all the Matrix fans are claiming a special effect
their own and that no other movie can make use of it.
The Matrix copied the Chinese movies that used those pulleys to keep the actor in mid air after jumping and doing all those kicks before they land back on the ground. And using those pulleys to fly backwards thru the air after getting hit.
I think that once a technique or special effect has been created then everyone's allowed to make use of it.
This is a nice movie to watch. Jet Li's English is such an improvement on his past efforts and you can feel the affection in his voice when he talks to/ about his wife. Jackie Chan, as wonderful as he is, still hasn't mastered English to Jet Li's level.
The action was great. I'm not looking for realism in a sci-fi movie. I had no expectations. Just watched to see what I'd get - and for the 1.5 hours, I was entertained. It's a simple story, simple concept.
I wish people would go to see this movie and not try to compare it to Matrix. Matrix itself is not innocent of "borrowing" special effects already used in other movies. As for the "there can be only one" theme, look back to the old days of Astroboy. There was that robot war thing where they had to kill each other so there would be only one winner. Big deal.
I will definitely be buying the DVD. But then again, I do have most of Jet Li's movies on DVD :-)
I didn't want to write this movie off on the reviews and critics in the
western world, I mean how wrong have they been about Asian cinema that
has now become a staple diet of the Hollywood remake monster? Plus Jet
L is pretty damn cool, and he's made some interesting movies in Asia.
So with an open mind I was surprisingly averaged out by this movie.
There are good points. The story is very clever, using M-Theory as a base to bring forward the plot that there are multiple universes each with their own versions of worlds, and most likely you. Each time one of you is destroyed the rest share the energy and power amongst them. The idea that someone might try and purposely become the only version of themselves in all the Universes to find out if they become a God.
There's also Jet Li, and he's not a bad actor and pretty nimble as a martial artist, plus Jason Statham who is an all round good actor. As for the special effects, some of them are really cool, a mixing of bullet time, and slow motion with normal speed, very cool to watch in places.
The bad points? Well Statham's accent is appalling, and some of the effects aren't as comparable as others, so it's quite apparent that money was spent on some of the main shots and not on others that were probably deemed as too short on screen or they just plain ran out of budget.
A big sore point for me is the close cropped camera action that Hollywood has long favoured, something that Jackie Chan has often talked about. Filming fight scenes close up serves two purpose. It gives greater emphasis on a single punch or movement, making it look harder and more real than it really is, and it also hides what is going on around the camera lens. For example people holding a fake arm or the face of a stunt double, etc.
What Chan always said was that he tried to open out the camera and show the audience what was going on, let them see the people fighting properly rather than a close up of a face and a fist, cutting to someone falling into frame. Showing the whole picture is more effective, and it's more impressive.
So the close cropped shots were just more annoying than anything, you failed to see the impressiveness of Li's fighting skills, and you found it hard to see some of the action. Slow the cuts down and pan out the camera Hollywood Directors! The biggest problem was the story though, despite having such a strong base on which to build, they seemed to loose the sense of the plot and concentrate on the action scenes. There are some serious plot building and explanatory moments that are just totally overlooked and covered in the space of a few sentences, yet these could have formed some excellent and complex character development.
It just all held together too weakly, and not enough was made of the story. All in all, not a great movie and it's potential was badly spoiled.
Jet Li and Jet Li star in this goofy sci-fi flick about a power-hungry
sociopath Yulaw (Jet Li) who goes dimension-hopping on a killing spree
focused on his alternate universe counterparts. As Yulaw finally comes
to what I must assume is our universe to kill the last remaining
version of himself - Gabriel Law - both his and his counterpart's
strength, intelligence and agility have been increased to superhuman
levels by the deaths (quickenings?) of previous counterparts.
Predictably, the pace is furious and deadly. Many people are caught up
in the violence of the ensuing battle, and , of course, since the
honest, hard-working and altogether decent Gabe Law appears to be
responsible for all of it, he becomes a wanted fugitive. Besides being
pursued by this earth's police, both men are also sought by an
inter-dimensional police force seeking to imprison Yulaw on a far-off
Gabe Law is a likable character who works as a prison guard and has a loving wife. The few minutes of character development permitted by the furious pace of this film are what makes it work. And although the plot seems a bit like a pastiche of recent sci-fi clichés, at least the combination of clichés assembled for The One is original.
Recommended for sci-fi action and martial arts fans.
Imagine that there are 123 universes, on each of those universes you have
planet, and on that planet lives a Jet Li. One of those Jet Li's (lets
him Evil Jet:) finds out that when he kills one of the others, he becomes
stronger, faster, quicker, to put in a wrong perspective, he becomes
"upgraded" - But the skills are equally shared among all the living Jet
Li's. With me so far?:)
So Evil Jet has killed 121 Jet Li's, but has to kill one more Jet (let's call him Good Jet:), and by doing so he becomes in a way God, be becomes The One.
Sounds nice? Well it is, The One challenges The Matrix in my opinion, especially the opening scene, the first thing that came into my mind was "WOW!! Awesome, I want to be able to do that". I've seen a lot of Jet Li movies throughout the time, and this is one of his best (of the US made).
If you are a fan of Martial arts, heavy whopping combat scenes, and especially fan of Kung Fu - this is a movie that you have to see. You may get a bit disappointed because it has some of the similar F/X that were used in matrix, only difference is that this is Master Jet, we are talking about. (He'll whop Neo anyway:)
As you may have figured Evil Jet is trying to kill Good Jet, so with some logical thinking, you can imagine the final combat scene :)
I hope you like is as much as I did. One of my favorite Master Jet -movies, 10/10 ..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are two Jet Lis.
One is a national hero in China where he has a dozen quite good films to his credit. In that world, even popular actors move props and the simplest gopher criticizes the players until they get it right. In that world, films are an outgrowth of a stylized stage tradition that emphasizes physical acting. In this tradition, Li is probably the chief dancer, perhaps the best there is. In this world, they use him for his physical grace and his way of expressing himself with his body.
But he has an evil twin in a parallel universe called Hollywood. In this universe, films are something wholly different, a much gaudier spectacle in which fireworks and noise are the attraction. Actors are primarily marketing elements and are expected to act through dialog. In fact most actors in this world never learn to use their bodies at all. There is some physical motion, but that is arranged by digital magic and stunt standins.
This film is a battle between the honest and evil Lis for the one body. What's interesting is watching the good Li try to bring something from the other world. He does try some esoteric, subtle shading in the fighting styles, stances and motions of the two versions of himself. The good Li uses motions from the Hong Kong era that are genuine. The evil Li uses a parody of moves that aren't real at all but copies of what western kids think martial arts looks like. What he does is a big joke, and something to admire and respect, for him to poke fun at his western audience, at least for those of us who pay attention.
In Hollywood films, there has to be all this foolery with guns. See `Once Upon a Time in China' to get a feel for the background battle between shooting/blowing-up movies and martial arts films. This sets the stage for the two universes, which he surely feels battling.
But the very existence of this movie --- left for us to find after the battle is over -- is indication enough of which Li won.
The One is a martial-arts flick with strong sci-fi concepts. But the
bottom line remains high-kicking action, and Jet Li delivers.
Li also shows his acting ability in this film. He displays that he can do more than one personality.
As Yulaw, he's a cold-blooded killer who lashes out with sudden fury and insolent superiority. As Gabe, he's a dutiful lawman and devoted husband. (Sin City's Carla Gugino plays his wife.) In the middle are Multiverse cops played by Delroy Lindo (Domino, Romeo Must Die) and Jason Statham (Crank), who lead a super supporting cast.
Director James Wong and his co-writer, Glen Morgan, are X-Files veterans who know their sci-fi. Choreographed by Cory Yuen (also of Li's Kiss of the Dragon), the best fight has Li battling himself, with each character using different techniques.
The One is one film whose far-out concept works.
This is a movie definitely worth renting, but not worth buying unless
its the Special Edition DVD or its VHS for under 10 bucks. Th fights
were sweet,although looked slightly cheesy. it looked like they tried
to achieve the matrix type effects but didn't have a good enough
budget. The Acting was OK. They stuck some good actors in with some bad
ones so that kinda screws up the whole feel for the movie. The
storyline is quite simple and somewhat intriguing. There are many
universes, you look quite similar in everyone and your all connected by
a wave of energy. every time one of you dies, the energy of that you
that died goes to the remaining yous. One man has killed all of himself
but one. Th movie basically starts here. Yulaw is about to get banished
forever but stops his universe travel and goes to the last universe
left, ours. Lately Gabe law has been getting stronger but he doesn't
Whenever they go from one universe to the next, they break up into little puzzle pieces and they didn't do a very good job for the visuals on those.
My rating a 3/5 Stars
What do you have when you combine the mind blowing effects of the matrix, with the smooth talent of Martial Arts Master Jet LI?? You have THE ONE!! This movie rocks!! Finally, this is a movie that has the budget to support jet li's mastery and skills! Jet li shines, the special effects only compliment what this man can do, to tell you the truth jet li is the only special effect you need to see, but the 75 million dollar budget on effects doesn't hurt either. Why wait for the matrix 2? It's already Here
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