The One (2001 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The One
The One Hong Kong film poster
Directed by James Wong
Produced by Steve Chasman
Glen Morgan
Charles Newirth
James Wong
Todd Garner
Lata Ryan
Tom Sherak
Greg Silverman
Happy Walters
Written by Glen Morgan
James Wong
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography Robert McLachlan
Edited by James Coblentz
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • November 2, 2001 (2001-11-02)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $49 million[1]
Box office $72.7 million[2]

The One is a 2001 American science fiction-martial arts film written and directed by James Wong. The film stars Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham and Carla Gugino. The film was released in the United States on November 2, 2001.


Gabriel Yulaw (Jet Li), once an officer of the "Multiverse Authority" (MVA) that polices interdimensional travel (via detecting wormholes), seeks to hunt down all variations of himself in alternate universes. By killing all 124 of his other selves (becoming the last version) and absorbing their life energies, he believes he will become an immortal godlike being called "The One". Yulaw is briefly captured by MVA agents Rodecker (Delroy Lindo) and Funsch (Jason Statham), only to escape from captivity during the trial sentencing him to life in the Stygian penal colony in the Hades universe.

The last known alternate, Gabriel (Gabe) Law, works in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. For two years he has been experiencing increases in strength, speed and mental ability, but neither he nor his wife, T.K. Law (Carla Gugino), can understand why. While transporting a prisoner for the Sheriff's Department, Gabe "feels" Yulaw's presence just before he attempts to kill Gabe. Yulaw escapes, but is followed by Gabe, who inhumanly leaps a very high wall. Landing on the other side, Gabe is shot and wounded by Yulaw. As Yulaw approaches Gabe to finish him off, they are interrupted by Rodecker and Funsch.

Gabe realizes Yulaw is identical to him in every way. Not knowing about interdimensional travel, Yulaw's appearance is shocking. After checking into the hospital, Gabe feels Yulaw's presence again. There is another fight, which Rodecker and Funsch again foil. Yulaw deters them from shooting him because if he is killed, then Gabe would then be left as the only "One". Dressed alike and identical in every way, Gabe and Yulaw's battle confuses Gabe's police colleagues. Both Gabe and Yulaw manage to escape the hospital.

Rodecker is faced with a dilemma: they have to capture Yulaw, but they cannot kill him or allow Gabe to be killed because the other one will become "The One". Funsch insists that Yulaw, as the instigator, must be dealt with in a more aggressive manner. Rodecker makes a fateful decision to "go way off procedure" and split the team. Rodecker pursues and fights Yulaw and is killed when Yulaw breaks his neck. Funsch catches up with Gabe and tells him about the multiverse and why he has become stronger. Yulaw finds Gabe's residence where TK, believing it is Gabe, attempts to protect him, but she senses he is not her husband. Gabe arrives, only to have Yulaw force him to watch while he kills her. Funsch finds Gabe and they team up to find Yulaw at the next wormhole.

Yulaw, Gabe and Funsch arrive at the industrial plant, where the final battle between Gabe and Yulaw takes place. When Gabe eventually wins, all three are caught in a wormhole and taken back to the MVA headquarters in the Alpha Universe. Yulaw is transported immediately to the prison colony universe after a last attempt to switch places with Gabe. The MVA then prepares to send Gabe back to his own universe where he will be arrested and put in prison for the murders Yulaw committed, but Agent Funsch instead sends him to a universe similar to Gabe's past via another wormhole, after recalling an earlier conversation Gabe told him about the events which led up to him meeting his wife.

Meanwhile, Yulaw, now in the Stygian penal colony, declares he will still become the One; standing at the top of a Ziggurat in the Hades universe, Yulaw battles hundreds of fighters as the credits roll.



Originally the film was to have starred The Rock, before Li assumed the lead role.[3]

The hospital scenes were filmed at the North Hollywood Medical Center.[citation needed]

The documentary Jet Li is 'The One' on the special features section on the DVD explains that both Gabriel Yulaw and "Gabe" Law use martial arts that represent their personalities. Yulaw uses Xingyiquan (The Shape-Will Fist), characterized by aggressive linear movements, while Gabe uses Baguazhang (The Eight Trigram Palms) which uses subtle, circular movements. These martial arts are confirmed by their own personalities as Yulaw is very direct, not caring whom he hurts, while Gabe believes life goes in a circle, perfectly balanced.

Background information[edit]

As part of the promotion for the movie, there was an official website for the fictional Multiverse Authority called the "MVA Mainframe". Although the site is now defunct, it provided detailed background material on the storyline and some of the characters, including some that were not in the film. Below is the information from the site.

History of the Multiverse Authority[edit]

The Multiverse Authority (MVA) was created in the "Alpha Universe". A prominent U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Parallel Universe Technology Committee named Marcos Rodríguez championed the original Quantum Tunneling Research Project and was instrumental in raising the necessary funds. However, shortly after the first successful Quantum Tunnel jump, Rodríguez was indicted on charges of campaign finance fraud and accepting kickbacks from government contractors. Before he could be brought to trial, Rodríguez was able to access the prototype Quantum Tunneling Device and jump into the "Beta Universe". Due to the infancy of the technology, by the time he could be tracked, Rodríguez had already arranged the death of his Beta Universe "parallel universe version", also a U.S. Senator, and had assumed his position.

A former Texas Border Patrol agent named Kyle Browning was hired to head security for the Quantum Tunneling Project and accompanied researchers on many of the first jumps. When one of the researchers made an unauthorized jump to escape from a tax fraud scandal, Kyle Browning successfully retrieved her.

The MVA was formed to address the problems of the new technology and the criminals who were abusing it. Kyle Browning was made Head Field Agent and set in place many of the practices and procedures still used in the tracking and apprehension of criminals in other universes. He also coined the term "parallel universe retrieval", meaning not just the capture of criminals, but the act of escorting them back to the Alpha Universe for trial.

Some time after its creation, the MVA appealed to all major technology producing Alpha Universe countries to contribute personnel and resources to the growing organization.

The MVA's basic mission is to prevent Quantum Tunneling from becoming a tool of crime and to apprehend all those who use it to escape justice and/or alter the affairs of parallel universes.

Field agents of the MVA are divided into two interrelated groups. One group specializes in simple retrievals of Alpha Universe criminals who have used Quantum Tunneling to escape to another universe. The other group tracks criminals who commit "inter-universal crimes" such as smuggling or the termination of one's parallel universe versions.


The One grossed $19,112,404 (an average of $6,604 per screen) in its opening weekend in North America, opening at #2, and eventually grossed $43,905,746. In other territories, the film grossed $28,783,380, making for a worldwide total of $72,689,126.[2]

The film received mostly negative reviews. Based on 85 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes as of April 2015, the film has an overall approval rating from critics of 14%, with an average score of 3.9/10.[4]


The score by Trevor Rabin was released, but the soundtrack was not.

  1. Drowning Pool – "Bodies"
  2. Drowning Pool – "Sinner"
  3. Disturbed – "Down with the Sickness"
  4. Godsmack – "Awake"
  5. Jesse Dayton – "Train of Dreams"
  6. Papa Roach – "Blood Brothers"
  7. Papa Roach – "Last Resort"
  8. Linkin Park – "Papercut"


  1. ^ "The One (2001) – Box office / business". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "The One (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ Fuchs, Cynthia (2001). "The One review". PopMatters. Archived from the original on February 27, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The One (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 

External links[edit]