November 2, 2001
Jet Li's next attempt at becoming an action-hero superstar is this role, originally ticketed for The Rock. The film concept is equal parts The Matrix and Double Team. In a realm of countless alternate universes, each time a person dies in one universe, the power of his/her essence is redistributed among the other versions of him/herself. An alternate-world incarnation of Gabriel Yu Law discovers this power and sets out to kill every other existence of himself to become the sole survivor, a being with power rivaling omnipotence known as The One. The "good guy" version of this man is a family man and police officer who is informed by multi-verse agents that if he doesn't stop his alternate double, no one can. The catch is that since the demise of his double would make him The One, he will have to kill himself as well to prevent the universes from all falling out of balance.
What's great about this film? Did you read the paragraph above? This is one of the most killer concepts to come down the pike in ages. Not surprisingly, it's written and directed by the duo behind Final Destination and many of the best episodes of X-Files, James Wong and Jim Morgan. Even better, it affords Jet Li the opportunity to play both hero and villain in a film through the magic of digital imaging. A stunt double wore a white mask during filming and then Li's face was added in using CGI at a later date. Any movie that gives us twice as much Jet Li is by definition a good one. Carla Gugino of Spin City and Snake Eyes fame co-stars as his wife in at least one universe, while the always wonderful Delroy Lindo and Jason Statham (Turkish from Snatch) play the multi-verse agents who guide the good version of Law against the villain.
We'll have a better idea of expectations for this film after we have an idea of Li's ability to carry a film in Kiss of the Dragon, but on paper, The One, a perfect meld of sci-fi and action, sounds like it could be a blockbuster. (David Mumpower/BOP)
July 10, 2001
Kiss of the Dragon's weekend performance was solid but not spectacular. It did include a teaser for The One on most prints and the action sequences are clearly inspired by Matrix to the point that they look like an homage. (David Mumpower/BOP)
Comparison films for The One
|Rush Hour 2
|Romeo Must Die
|Kiss of the Dragon
|Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon