Jet Li's latest sci-fi action film is packed with automatic rifles and lethal punches. Fans eager to watch the martial arts master in motion may be disappointed to find The One features far more gunfire than hand-to-hand combat.
Li plays Yulaw, an interplanetary agent turned evil. Searching for ultimate god-like power, he moves through wormholes to track down and murder his counterparts in parallel universes. The life energy of his prey is then divided among the remaining alternate survivors. Apprehended and put on trial, Yulaw escapes from custody to hunt down his final man.
The last victim, Gabe (also played by Li), is a sheriff's deputy uneasy with his recent, unexplained increases in strength, speed, and mental prowess. While transferring an inmate, he and fellow officers are ambushed. Gabe is startled during the skirmish when he comes face to face with Yulaw, his perfect duplicate. Although seemingly unaware of the criminal's intent, or even his existence, it doesn't take long for Gabe to realize their encounter won't be friendly.
Close on the heels of the outlaw are two armed interstellar policing agents. Funsch (Jason Statham), a high-strung sharpshooter, teams up with Yulaw's former investigative partner, Roedecker (Delroy Lindo). Unsure of what Yulaw's success would mean to the existence of the multi-verse, the pair are bent on stopping him before anyone finds out.
While the martial arts genre has claimed some big screen successes in the recent past, this futuristic film gives second row billing to the combative art form and resorts to high powered artillery for most of its deadly exchanges. In addition to the 123 people murdered by the power hungry con, there is a mass of dead and injured strewn along his vicious sweep through the universes. Blood, while minimal, is graphic when depicted.
With only snippets of storyline interspersed among the action sequences, The One leaves little room for any character development or plot. Even the use of slow motion camera work doesn't soften the film's heavy dose of brutal violence. Families may want to keep their guard up on This One.