Monday, February 4, 2013

You want that thumb?

The One (2001)
Yet another I've not seen before an on paper it's hard to see why this didn't go direct to DVD, but perhaps I just missed out on the fun the first time around.  Seems unlikely, but might as well give it a go...

There's a lot to like in this one, but it's pretty plodding and I had an awful lot of trouble suspending my disbelief.  That's a crucial skill in a lot of these and Arnold's movies and on the whole, I'm quite accomplished at putting my brain on hold.  Sometimes that works out well and I've been able to enjoy an otherwise crappy movie if it's at least internally consistent.  Not so much in this case.  Time/multiverse travel is always a tricky subject to pull off and I'll give full credit for the effort.  Unfortunately they tried to explain too much of it and wound up exposing more flaws in the premise along the way.  Would have much preferred it if they just said "this is how things work, now shut up while we tell you a story" and then just let Jet Li kick people's asses.

I normally like Jet quite a bit, but he didn't pull this one off very well.  By trying to go all Matrix-ish on it and giving him superhuman speed and strength, it took away much of what Jet does best.  He's crazy-awesome to watch without effects, but he appeared to have a fair bit of trouble acting and performing on wires and against a green screen.  So instead of going "OMG! Did he just do that???" like I normally do, you wind up thinking everything is another effect, whether it was performed live or not.  Definitely didn't help that they had the good & bad Jets dress identical for half the movie.  I understand they were going for the mystery angle, but it only confused things without much payoff.  Would have been much better to just have straight up good/evil lines drawn and move forward.  I did at least enjoy the predictable Jet-on-Jet action at the end.  Nice job doubling him and if not for the fact that you know he's not doing that, it was pulled off rather well.

Statham is again not his normal ass-kicking self yet.  Decent if uninspired role, but he wasn't really given enough of an opportunity to chew scenery and didn't have nearly as much charisma and presence as his earlier films.  Pretty good humor throughout and he and Jet play pretty well off each other.  I'm glad he normally sticks to his native accent as he really didn't pull off an American one well at all. 

Badassery Quotient - 4
That's just for Statham mind you, Jet was of course doing nothing but for most of the movie.  Statham does get some good gun play in and quite a bit of menacing stares and crappy accent gravelly voice quips.  But man am I getting tired waiting for him to kick someone in the face already. 

Rewatchability - No thanks
Not an offense to my dignity to have watched this one, but certainly not memorable other than as an example of how not to make use of an incredible martial arts star.  Between the plot holes, crap sci-fi angle, and overall meh-ness of the action, can't very well recommend anyone give this a try.

Up next is a promising one: Mean Machine. Hadn't ever heard of this one, but it's apparently the UK/soccer equivalent of The Longest Yard and it has Vinnie in it again, so pretty interested to give that a try.

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