The One

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The One

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Good ideas that are poorly executed ought to be given a second chance. If that were the case, the ideas behind The One would revert back to public domain in a hurry. The second offering from the former X-Files writer/producer team of James Wong and Glen Morgan, following the promising but unsatisfying Final Destination, The One takes a clever concept, then refuses to exploit it any more than necessary to create a routine action vehicle for Jet Li. According to the film's opening, there are many parallel universes, connected by the occasional wormhole. Few recognize this, and those who do generally respect it. Not so one incarnation of Li, who, after discovering that he can grow more powerful by eliminating his parallel selves, devotes himself to the destruction of all other Jet Lis. This quest eventually brings him to our own Los Angeles, where he pursues his last remaining parallel self, a good-natured cop whose death could turn the evil Li into a god, collapse the multiverse, and generally prompt disasters. At any rate, the results are unlikely to be welcomed by anyone except the evil Li, so the space-cop team of Delroy Lindo and Jason Statham pops up periodically to assist the good Li in his fight against his bad self. Morgan and Wong display a paucity of wit in their few glimpses of parallel universes: In one, Gore is president. In another, Li has blonde hair. There's a similar lack of imagination behind the action scenes, which are dominated by pedestrian shootouts and the occasional rip-off of The Matrix's time-bending action sequences, by now the most overworked effect since the early-'90s morphing plague that followed Terminator 2. Why hire one of the best martial artists around if all he's required to do is wave a gun and fight special effects? Why bother with parallel universes at all, if the end result is little more than an evil-twin movie? In another, better universe, The One is released directly to video, with Dolph Lundgren as its star.

Filed Under: Film

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