Thursday, September 11, 2008

The One (2001)

Well, there comes a point in every martial arts-centered actor's life when he must fight himself. Whether it's because they don't want to pay another actor or there's just no one good enough to fight for it to seem plausible, or if it's even just an egomaniacal plan to get as much screen time as possible, we may never know. But for Jet Li, that day has arrived. The film is actually pretty good. While I in fact own two separate movies in which Van Damme fights himself (twins and clones), this futuristic sci-fi tops them all primarily because it's just that: an action/sci-fi. It's got that Sliders feel, with the whole journeying between similar dimensions in the same universe ("I found the gateway!"), and there are also "Multiverse" cops, the intellectual philosophy that surrounds killing your alter-dimension self and absorbing their power, the dream and sappiness of finding a sole-mate in every universe, and a bunch more traditional stuff (guns and explosions!). There's even a hell/jail dimension with no return. Ahhh!!!! Jason Statham, Carla Cugino (Spy Kids/who the fuck is that?) and Delroy Lindo (A Life Less Ordinary) play the other characters, but Jet Li, in his multitude of cheesy hairstyles, is really the star of this film (in more ways than one). A classic scene (if this movie can yet be called 'classic') is when Jet Li, playing two versions of himself, practices his fighting skills (to get ready for the impending battle); the "good" Li uses baguazhang kung-fu, a flowy, defensive art, while the "bad" Li uses a martial arts style called Xingyiquan, which, based on my limited knowledge, appears to be extremely violent and aggressive (whoa dude....I don't know if I can handle all this deep symbolism....). Oh, and Trevor Rabin (The Rock, Con-Air) did the soundtrack, so you get a lot of really really angry tunes. Even creepier, imdb trivia asserts that the same-homo (sapien) fight scenes were actually green-screened! And not the whole thing; just the stuntman's face was green, and they put Jet Li's face on later! Insane! And weird! And totally lazy (I bet Jet Li just didn't want to have to learn the other side of the fight...lazy bum)! But for all of this, there is one thing that tops them all! I have just discovered that there used to be a fictional webpage just to explain the back-story of this movie (Man, people actually cared? Aren't the seem wormhole devices enough? This is why sci-fi never goes over: it has to be plausible and realistic!) from which wikipedia managed to steal all of the pertinent, completely fictional information, which I will post after my gavel rains down and judgment has been delivered. Well....I guess I may just as well get on with it:

I deem it: "A martial arts spectacular that can, literally, take you beyond this dimension."

And with that:

"History of the Multiverse Authority (MVA)

The 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."

Super weird.

1 comment:

Ram Peters said...

This is the Jet Li movie i told you about that also has Bob Hoskins in it:
For some reason imdb calls it "Danny the Dog," but when I watch it on TNT it's called "Unleashed."