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As one of the former Multiverse Investigators, Gabriel Yulaw (Jet Li) knows full well that each of us has a parallel alter ego, or clone; what he also knows is that as he kills each of his own alter egos in one of the dozens of parallel universes, he accumulates and absorbs the power and strength of those he kills. After 123 universes and 123 deaths, he is finally captured by his old colleague, Roedecker (Delroy Lindo) and his assistant Funsch (Jason Statham). On the verge of being sent to a distant penal colony, with the aid of his glamour-puss wife [the baddie version of Gabes wife] (Carla Gugino) Yulaw makes a desperate final attempt to kill the last of his alter egos, the other Gabe (Jet Li) and thus become The One an all powerful entity in the universe.

Review by Louise Keller:
Although The One was released on DVD in July 2002 with a punchy package of special features, this new release of Jet Lis dual role with its great premise and whirlwind of dazzling martial arts action, is now available with the added image and sound quality of Superbit. Movies available in Superbit are encoded at as much as double the normal bit rate, using space on the disc usually allocated to special features or multiple audio streams.

An ideal title to highlight crisp digital sound and a sparkling crisp image, The One enthralls in a blast of non-stop action Jet Li style. And what style he has! The notion of good versus evil and the struggle for power and ultimate control is certainly not new, but the interesting issue of coming face to face with another version of ourselves through parallel universes, is beguiling indeed. The transportation through the multiverses is a little like tripping through Being John Malkovich's portal but with Star-Trek finesse, while multiverse agents police the streets, in a Men in Black kind of way.

But The One is not at all derivative: it is an original both in concept and execution. Set in the present day, it feels as futuristic as Starship Troopers, yet the central character is grounded by his goodness and love for his wife and family. Truly a feast for the senses, the visuals are extravagant and the soundtrack is as exciting as it is relentless. The acrobatics and martial arts stunts are simply awesome, and I guarantee your jaw will drop and mouth remain open with eyes agog in the fantastic sequence when Li comes face to face with himself. This climactic, keenly choreographed fight sequence (which we are told took four weeks to shoot), is martial arts at its most sophisticated. Adept editing, extraordinary use of stunt doubles and an interesting use of two distinct styles of fighting, make this one of the most exciting confrontations imaginable.

The ideas never run dry and there is probably too much detail to absorb on first viewing. The gymnastics with handcuffs appealed to my imagination, while the sequence in the warehouse is as visual as a New Year's Eve fireworks display. The entire cast is excellent, and Li's appeal in his dual roles - is undeniable. Its thrilling escapism plus with the added bonus of high quality sight and sound.

Published December 11, 2003

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CAST: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham

DIRECTOR: James Wong

SCRIPT: Glen Morgan, James Wong

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

PRESENTATION: Superbit; Audio set up English, English 5.1 digital; Subtitles English, English captions, Dutch/Nederlands, Hindi


DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: December 3, 2003 (Superbit)

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