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The One is a 2001 action film, directed by James Wong, director of Final Destination, and starring Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham and Carla Gugino.

Plot outline

A superhuman criminal named Yu-Law (Jet Li), once a member of the organization policing interdimensional travel (via detecting wormhole openings, which can be predicted like the weather), seeks to hunt down and kill variations of himself in alternate universes to absorb a common life force (which possibly has to do something with the string theory as it was mentioned in the movie by Evan Funsch) that connects them all. By killing his other selves, (becoming the last version of himself) and absorbing their power, he thinks he will become a god.

The only one who can stop him is the last of his alternate selves (MVC: MultiVerse Counterpart), Gabriel Law, who works in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in a near-image of our own universe (George W. Bush remained President, but had some policy differences such as a "Universal Health Care Plan") and, before the events of the movie, was unaware of the multiverse. In the attempt to kill Law, Yu-Law starts a fight where he is hiding in an airshaft. After shooting where they believed he was hiding, the Sheriff's Department attempts to move in, but Yu-Law bursts through the metal and takes out the entire team, single handedly. He then has to flee on foot when more troops move in. He is seen running down the streets from the police. In the end, Law was the only one who could keep up with him, not to mention barely jumping the tall fence. Law then sees Yu-Law who is identical to him in appearance, and Yu-Law says "The good news is, you're not crazy." Law is assisted by a member of the Multiverse Authority that Yu-Law once worked for, with the concern that if only one version of Yu-Law is left there will be catastrophic results for the entire multiverse. Yu-Law murders Gabe's wife, Massie, and frames him for the murder. The film climaxes after an epic battle between Gabe and Yu-Law, with both of them being transported back to Alpha Universe, along with MVA agent Funsch. Yu-Law is transported to a prison colony universe (where he was to be sent in the beginning of the film) after attempting 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, but Agent Funsch against orders from his superiors, instead sends him to a utopia-like universe where Los Angeles is hailed as "America's Cleanest City" (in keeping with balance) and he ends up in the same situation where he met his wife in his home universe.


As part of the promotion for the movie, there was an official website for the fictional Multiverse Authority called the "MVA Mainframe". The site, which is now defunct, 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 (MVA)

The MVA was created in the "Alpha Universe." A prominent U.S.marker 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 contractor. 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 Texasmarker 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.

MVA technology and weapons

The MVA is seen using handguns with extremely fast projectiles as well as devices for transferring between dimensions. One such handgun is the M-590, which is also the name of the rifles used in Space: Above and Beyond, another project by Glen Morgan and James Wong featuring Tucker Smallwood and James Morrison.


The One has used many tag lines from its production and its theatrical release in both cinemas and its DVD release, in which are the following:

*Stealing the power of the universes one by one
*There can only be one
*Only one will survive
*What would you do if the most dangerous man alive was you?
*In order to save the universe, he will have to fight the fiercest enemy he has ever faced... himself.

Product placement: The watch Jason Statham is wearing that warns him about the explosion in the factory is a Navigator, made by STORM. Also, Carla Gugino's necklace is from STORM.

Box office

The One grossed US $19,112,404 ($6,604 ratio per screen) in its opening weekend in North America, and the total gross was US $43,905,746, which never recouped its over $54 million budget.

The film grossed $72,689,126 worldwide.


  • In the documentary 'Jet Li is "The One"' on the special features section on the DVD, both characters Gabriel Yu-Law (played by Jet Li) and his alternate universe counterpart Gabriel Law, or "Gabe" (also played by Li) use martial arts which represent their personalities. Yu-Law uses Xingyiquan (The Shape-Will Fist), characterized 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 Yu-Law is very direct, not caring who he hurts while Gabe believes life goes in a circle, perfectly balanced.
  • Originally the film was to have starred The Rock, before Li assumed the lead role.
  • The hospital scenes were filmed at the North Hollywood Medical Centermarker. The hospital is used for filming the television show, Scrubs.



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. Jesse Dayton - "Train of Dreams"
  5. Tony Orlando and Dawn - "Knock Three Times"
  6. The Capris - "There's a Moon Out Tonight"
  7. Papa Roach - "Blood Brothers"
  8. Papa Roach - "Last Resort"
  9. Linkin Park - "Papercut"
  10. Godsmack - "Awake"


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