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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 53:46)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English, French, Arabic, English - Hearing Impaired, Hindi
  • 5 Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • 5 Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • Filmographies
  • Dolby Digital trailer

The One

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 84 mins . M15+ . PAL


Set in the multiverse of the future, The One is the story of Yulaw (aka Lawless), travelling between a multitude of universes on his quest to kill the equivalent of himself. With me so far? The theory is that each time one persona is killed, the energy from that persona is distributed equally to the remainder. The intention of Yulaw is to become the last persona left, The One. So far he has killed them all except one, Gabe Law, and the ensuing story is of the battle between good and evil - Gabe and Yulaw. Both now have super human strength, one is pursued by the lawmen of his own universe and both are pursued by the police of the dimension they currently occupy. Thankfully these crack shot policemen only seem to be able to hit car windscreens, windows and brick walls with their advanced firepower. Thus the only obstruction to their endeavours is each other. The action is non stop.

"I am Yulaw. I am nobody's bitch. You will be mine."

The One takes the concept of The Matrix to a new level, or at least it attempts to. Starring Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4, Romeo Must Die), this futuristic action/martial arts film fails to deliver where it counts, in storyline and acting quality. Originally cast in the lead was The Rock (Scorpion King, The Mummy Returns), who thankfully stepped aside, paving the way for Jet Li. Special effects, fight scenes that resemble the Playstation game Mortal Combat and gunfights abound but disappointingly the story and acting let down what could have been a very good film. Perhaps Jet Li can be given some grace considering he couldnít speak English until he appeared in Lethal Weapon 4, but his acting is some of the worst I have seen, he makes Arnie look like Olivier. The only actor worth a mention here is Jason Statham (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), although restricted by the script he does portray his character well. The scriptwriters have a lot to answer for here for this cliche-riddled screenplay. Frankly the majority of the budget appears to have been used on the effects and production of this feature and very little used for cast and plot. I am sure Jet Li fans and those of Hong Kong films will disagree, but this film is aimed at the general public and therefore doesnít cut it. It's a real shame as it could have done so much more. There are so many questions left unanswered. The main one being, what is the ultimate gain of becoming The One? A definite case of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Plot?


The transfer is pretty much flawless. Presented in 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced, it is a visual delight. Colours are sharp and used well to demonstrate differing universes. Blacks are deep and shading is excellent. There is some occasional grain and one or two instances of aliasing, but nothing really worth worrying about. There are no artefacts to speak of or low level noise. A lot of time and effort appears to have been put into every frame to make it a virtual feast for the eyes. The layer change occurs at 53:46 and is unobtrusive.


The audio is outstanding and one of the many great features of this DVD. Presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Digital 5.1, the surrounds are used extremely well, from the well-placed and grungy soundtrack to the sound effects of bullet shells flying (and there are a lot of those). The English audio sync seems a little dubbed at times, however the French soundtrack is very good. Although I donít speak French, the audio sync seemed as good if not better than the English. The subwoofer gets a solid workout. This is a good soundtrack to demonstrate to friends the capability of DVD.


When I first put this DVD in and saw the two pages of extras, I thought, "WOW, look at all the features!". Yes there are a lot, but the featurettes could quite easily have been put together to form one, maybe The One? Even by doing this, there would still be an abundance of extras and an Easter Egg to boot.

There are a host of subtitles available, including, yet again, Hindi and for some strange reason there are French subtitles available for the Special Features.

Director & Crew Commentary
Director James Wong along with the production designer, cinematographer and editor provide the commentary and at times it is quite amusing and insightful. Presented in Dolby Digital stereo, it puts a whole new angle on the film.

Jet Li is The One
This mini behind the scenes look at Jet Li is quite informative. Including interviews with Jet Li and other cast and crew members, talking about the star of the film and other interesting facts. Presented again in DD stereo and full frame except for actual vision from the film, which remains in 2.35:1. Running time is 13:40.

Multiverse Create The One
This documentary is about how some of the fight scenes and special effects were created. It outlines the painstaking efforts that were used and is very informative. One item of note is where they used suspended tennis balls as targets for Jet Li to hit. These would be replaced later with computer graphics to show Jet Li fighting police. At the first test screening the graphics hadnít been added and the audience loved the fight scene with the tennis balls, thinking it was some new technique. Running time on this feature is 18:48.

About Face
Basically this feature shows how make up and computer graphics were used to make it appear as though Jet Li was fighting himself. The technology used and time taken is quite impressive to create the end result. Running time of this feature is a paltry 5:56.

The Many Faces of Jet Li This is a visual presentation of the many characters used in the sequence showing the previous victims of Lawless. Some obvious humour is used for these characters, however you only see a few in the actual feature, a nice bonus. The names of the characters are; Kia Law, Nood Lee Law, Yu Fuk Law, La-La Law, Rio Law, Crouching Law, Ni Di-Law, Rico-Law, Seth Law, Sven Law, Sebastian Law, Khaki Law, Q-Tee Law and Dax Law. The characters of note are Sven the Swedish Law and Yu Fuk the dreadlocked Law. With a running time of 2:21, it is brief and is backed only by music, but it's a nice little bit of fun for an actor that doesnít take himself too seriously.

Theatrical trailers
For a nice change, all the theatrical trailers are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 1.85:1. Trailers available are The One, The 6th Day, A Knightís Tale, Hollow Man and The Thirteenth Floor.

This feature shows a selected filmography of director James Wong and cast members Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Jason Statham and Delroy Lindo.

Animatic comparison
Using two screens, this feature shows the pre-shoot animation used against the final scene for the motorbike cops scene. Most of this feature is seen in one of the previous featurettes, but it is still nice to have on its own and demonstrates the process well. Running time is a brief 1:15.

Easter Egg
The bonus feature is an interview with Jet Li running for 2:28. Split into two sections, "Jet Li on his first time in America" and "Jet Li on getting into movies". Audio is again in DD Stereo and French subtitles are available.

For information on how to access this Easter Egg, please go to the Easter Egg page.


Trying a little too hard to be the modern day The Matrix, perhaps the best way to assess this film is to look at both its good and bad points. The good points are the special effects, the picture quality, the sound quality and the host of extra features. The bad points are the poor plot, the wooden acting, the ridiculous script and the endless cliches.

If you are looking for a film that looks and sounds great then this is well worth the money, as long as you donít mind a ridiculous storyline and the worst acting I have seen since watching a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. A lot of people may find this film entertaining and the fight scenes and special effects are outstanding, however I tend to need more than that to class a film as being of quality. Taking into account that the additional featurettes could have been made into just one, the features still remain impressive.

A cross between The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Groundhog Day and any number of Hong Kong films, this is just not The One for me.

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      And I quote...
    "If this is The One, please tell me there will be no sequel."
    - Adrian Turvey
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