The One (2001)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The One</strong> (2001)

(In theaters, November 2001) The Theorem of Convergent Movie Premises goes like this: however original and fresh any film premise is, by the time the film is over, Hollywood will find a way to make it fit in one of the few depressingly similar templates at its disposition. That’s how, for instance, Alien and The Hollow Man eventually end up with the same kill-the-monster third act, or any number of romantic comedies with seemingly disparate protagonists all end up playing pretty much the same dramatic scene. Despite an intriguing promise and the capable Jet Li, The One also ends up feeling like yet another formulaic action film with scarcely any excitement past the first few minutes. Okay, so some of the special effects are fun (the first action scene even manages to do something interesting with bullet-time effects), but pretty soon your believability sensors will start protesting at the inconsistent usage of the superpowers. Don’t be surprised if you starts picking holes in the premise even as the film is doing its best to ignore them. (My favorite is; how come don’t we have more super-powered elderly people, as their other-universes avatars die one after the other?) It’s a shame to see Jet Li once again (see Romeo Must Die, Kiss Of The Dragon, etc.) suffer at the hands of a director who doesn’t know how to film a martial art sequence. Not that the screenwriter is necessarily more competent. Once again -see Ghosts Of Mars, or better yet don’t-, I felt sorry for Jason Statham. Granted, there are nice images, from sparks-fighting to motorcycle-swatting, but the rest of the film is instantly forgettable.

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