“How Can I Murder Myself 123 Times?” Unsolicited Multiversin’ on Jet Li’s The One
– if we’re to believe this futuristic entry from 17 years ago, hundreds of mirror universes exist around our own, and there are in fact ways to move between them; get this, though—if you can find and kill your mirror self in one of these extra realms, you gain physical and mental power; Jet Li’s charming villain Gabriel Yulaw is the Bo Jackson of eliminating his doppelgängers, much to the chagrin of multiverse cops played by Jason Statham and Delroy Lindo; soon Yulaw finds himself in our dimension, on the hunt for nice guy Gabe Law (also Jet Li), husband to a veterinarian (Carla Gugino) and basically some schmoe you could have a beer with
– The One wants to be Terminator 2 meets Men in Black meets The Matrix meets “The Patty Duke Show”; the resulting broth is a dissatisfying cartoon, even in the martial arts sequences that ostensibly hold this film together; so many computer fx are ladled over Li’s fights you never get a good sense of gravity, which the viewer needs to empathize with / root for either character
– it probably wouldn’t have hurt for every actor to take another run through additional dialogue recording; sometimes what they say is crystal clear, and other times it’s pure mud
– the most dated aspect of this early Aughts blunder is the blanket nu metal soundtrack; alas, it was never commercially released, so you’ll just have to turn on FM radio if you want to hear the dissonant grind of Drowning Pool, Disturbed, Linkin Park, and Papa Roach
– Jet Li’s final piece of dialogue in The One is remarkably stupid, so much so you won’t believe it isn’t more widely quoted in irony
– if nothing else, there are flashes here that suggest Li would have made a far better Batman than Christian Bale
– alas, the above screencap is all we get of Dreadlock Universe Jet Li
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