Jet Li delivers a message to the world: he's nobody's bitch
After seeing the excellent "Monsters Inc," I thought Hollywood was on a roll. For a while, the town had some redemption in my mind! But not anymore, my friend.
What I am about to say here is no joke: "The One" is THE worst movie that I have ever seen. If you asked me before I saw this movie, I would have told you that "Popeye" starring Robin Williams was the worst movie that I have ever seen. But not anymore. Jet Li's new flick sinks so low that it now holds the least-coveted position for movies in the world: The Worst Movie That Michael Lawrence Has Ever Seen. Well, I like to think it's the least-coveted status for a movie to be in, anyway.
As I mentioned before, I'm not saying this as a joke. This is REALLY the worst movie that I have ever had the unfortunate luck of watching.
This is my first Jet Li movie and, based on some of my friend's comments, Jet Li is supposed to be a good martial arts filmmaker. However, when I am watching this movie, I'm wondering---where are the martial arts? All we get is some lame Matrix rip-off technology-altered action. Heck! For all I know, Jet Li has as much Martial Arts talent as Keanu Reeves! This is not why I dislike this movie so much, however.
The plot makes no sense. Apparently, there are 124 universes out there and there is a "you" in all of them. So, if you know how to transfer back and forth between the universes, and you kill another "you," power is redistibuted between the remaining "yous" resulting in increased strength. Supposedly, if there is only one "you" left, he will become a god. Of course, there are other theories floating about this movie saying that the universe will explode, but Jet Li doesn't care! So, betting on the "god theory," Jet Li does this and it has gotten down to only two incredibly strong Jet Li's left. One is bad and the other is good (makes sense). Which one will win?
These universes are quite different from each other; one may be a dark Tim Burton-esque atmosphere while another is a Barbie playhouse wonderland. Of course our universe is somewhere in there. However, wouldn't you assume that since the pop culture of these places are different, wouldn't there be different people out there? I mean, I'm assuming that in the Barbie playhouse wonderland that there was no World War II therefore no Baby Boom Generation. What happened to the other universes during this population explosion? Must have been interesting, I'll tell you that! Am I nitpicking? Yeah, probably, but in my opinion, this movie's extreme lack of logic is extreme so this nitpicking isn't so dastardly.
Jet Li has never been accused of being a good actor and in this film he tries to act too much giving way to action. Sometimes with the sickeningly poetic lines in the dialogue, I think Li wants to be the next Kenneth Branaugh! Hey, if there was a Hamlet in 19th century Denmark and in the 21st century corporate world (referring to Ethan Hawke's version) why not a martial arts version? Anyway, Li apparently cannot spew lines with any type of believable sincerity so I'm not sure why the filmmakers chose this over martial arts action. That's Hollywood for ya! You come to a move expecting good action, you get cruddy dialogue. Makes perfect sense to me.
This movie seems like it should have some great special effects, but they aren't great at all. In this day of age, audiences have come to expect believable special-effects to which this film, surprisingly, fails to an immense degree.
A little bit of unintentional humor (the filmmakers will argue that a laugh here was indeed intentional, but not in the same context):
Toward the end of the movie, Jet Li is sent to a prison world, where some tough-looking prisoners say "Fresh meat!" Then Jet Li gets up and exclaims something--- (unfortunately I don't remember the whole thing), but in it, he says: "I'm nobody's bitch!" And the expression on his face says "cheese." That line that really didn't sound like it had any reason to be there except to allow Jet Li to use the word "bitch." Anyway, it was hilarious; I was laughing even though that was more of a lunatic laughter because the movie drove me crazy! Completely deserving of The Worst Film That Michael Lawrence Has Ever Seen status (no joke) it is just a terrible movie and not recommended at any level to anybody. I'm sure Robert Altman is relieved.
FINAL VERDICT: F
I give very few films the score of "F." I usually find at least a little redemption in everything I see (the exceptions being "Popeye," "My Boyfriend's Back," and now "The One") but this film offered nothing of the sort! There wasn't even good action or martial arts! Gimme Jackie Chan any day of the week.
Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Jason Statham, Delroy Lindo, Mark Borchardt, David 'Shark' Fralick (quite humorous, that one), Archie Kao, Kim McKamy, Brandon Molale, James Morrison (he's back from the dead? Sorry, Val Kilmer, you're outta the job!)
Don Ignacio's score: F
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