The One This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   As a moderately above-average fan of Jet Li, seeing an Asian-American finallydeveloping an acting role in Hollywood with more substance than martial artsskills is refreshing. Li's latest film, "The One" is a 90-minutebeat-'em-up action flick on the surface, but the originality of the filmcertainly distinguishes it.

There is also a new twist to an old conceptfrom science fiction. Imagine that the word universe is incorrect in a world, orrather worlds, that have parallel universes. This concept ingeniously sets up theidea of a "multiverse."

In each parallel universe, we have aparallel identity that is only different in superficial qualities and ouradaptation to those environments. For example, Al Gore is the President in oneuniverse and Bush in the other.

In theory, if one of your parallel selvesdies, its strength is spread to your remaining selves. This is where the specificplot develops with Li's remaining identities, Gabriel and Yulaw Li. The two Lisare now equal in strength and speed. If one is killed, the survivor canessentially become "the one," or almost a god (in theory, of course).After I finally understood what was going on, I was hooked.

Gabriel is therighteous protagonist and Yulaw is his parallel self, corrupted by greed andpower. Gabe is a Buddhist and true martial artist while Yulaw has denounced allhis beliefs. This is the classic evil-twin storyline that develops into more thanjust another sci-fi flick.

Carla Gugino delivers a convincing performanceas Li's wife, but hers is a minor role. Jason Statham and Delroy Lindo playofficers from the police force.

The director, James Wong, knew what he wasdoing by making these supporting characters less emphasized. The main conflict isa hard-core fight between the good and evil in Li and humankind ingeneral.

The special effects and soundtrack far exceeded my expectations.The effects are at least equal to "The Matrix," if not better. I nevertire of watching the characters' universe hopping!

Though a movie with anemphasis on traditional martial arts, the soundtrack offers modern, hard-coreAmerican rock and roll that suits the action. Some of the songs featured are byPapa Roach and Disturbed.

Don't let this movie be one you pass overbecause of its lack of star power. It's worth seeing, and not just for action orscience-fiction fans.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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