The One to Leave on the Shelf
Phil Davetas
10/1/2002 10:34:42 PM

Imagine some dude, traveling from one parallel universe to another, who is killing himself off in each universe so that the energy can be distributed into each surviving entity of himself; making him stronger, faster and smarter [chortle]. I guess that makes him the fastest come shot in the West. If he continues to kill himself off in every known universe, then he supposedly becomes a god. (Another reason not to trust Jesus Christ.) What cracks me up is that Jason Statham announces all this to Jet Li with such a straight face.

I love action films. I love sci-fi flicks. I even love some bad sci-fi and action flicks. Maybe itís that Iíve seen too many movies, but when I see a movie that has no thought or respect for its star, the craft of filmmaking or most importantly the audienceís intelligence, I can no longer connect to the movie as entertainment. I feel detached and abandoned; like a comatose walk through the blinking images on screen. Sure, thereís a budget to consider. Walmart-modified plastic laser pistols with flashing lights and warning beeps coming from an unspecified speaker might help improve this movie, giving the viewer something to do while watching the flick. Actually, I was scarfing down a foot-long pastrami sandwich with mustard and mayonnaise, extra black pepper and washing it all down with an ice-cold lemonade. I even bought a meatball sandwich with extra feta cheese to get me through the dorky CGI fight sequence. In fact, this movie gives you so much free time I was downloading tunes on the Kazaa, finding myself equally annoyed by the likes of the one-shit-wonder-band Papa Roach, and other silly KROQ music, but thatís a whole different subject.

The worst thing about The One is its director, James Wong. Clearly, he didnít know what the hell he was doing. Either he didnít pay attention to detail, or he didnít give a shit about what responsibility is required as a storyteller. Perhaps heís never seen the movies that heís trying to exploit. If youíre going to exploit a flick, for instance, you might decide to exploit a good one like The Matrix-- you donít want to remake a bad exploitation flick such as (Time Cop). ďSir, Iím gonna have to ask you to hold it right there,Ē as the patrol cop aims his gun at Jet Li. ďI said, ĎFreeze,í asshole!Ē I hate lines like these. Of course, the filmmakers realized they were making a bad flick [at least I hope], but it doesnít have to be this bad does it? Somehow director James Wong slipped through the Corman cracks and wound on the doorstep of evil Hollywood to continue its domination of spoon-feeding our CGI fix. If you stop watching these movies, theyíll stop making them. Director James Wong, millions of young directors out there are willing and able to take your job. So get your shit together. Start by not writing your scripts.

Jet Li has a great filmography, but since Hollywood teamed up with him itís all been down hill--artistically speaking that is. His amazing martial arts skill has been watered down with so much CGI [I call cyber fu] that my mind officially begins to vegify. I mean, the only reason they make Jet Li flicks is because of his kung fu not for his Oscar-caliber thespianism. In a parallel universe they used to make good Jet Li movies. It was called Hong Kong.

Special Features:

Director and Crew Commentary, Animatic Comparison, Making-of Featurettes, Theatrical Trailers, Filmographies, ya know, the usual.

The One (1 out of Four)
PG-13, 2001, 87 min., Columbia Tristar Home Video.

Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Carla Gugino, Jason Statham, Music by Trevor Rabin, Written by Glen Morgan & James Wong, Produced by Glen Morgan and Steven Chasman and Directed by James Wong.


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