Sony // 2001 // 87 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Jonathan Nelson (Retired) // August 21st, 2003
"After this, there will be only one."
There is not one universe, but several. 123 alternate universes exist alongside our own, meaning events could (and have) turned out 124 different ways, each one unique in and of itself. The "you" in this universe is connected to the "you" in the next like pearls on a string, and the essence that makes you you is evenly divided up amongst them all. But what would happen if all the other "yous" were gone, and only you remained? Yulaw (Jet Li, Lethal Weapon 4, Kiss of the Dragon), a former agent that patrolled the multiverse, is trying to find out firsthand by killing his other selves. His former partner, Harry Roedecker (Delroy Lindo, The Core, Romeo Must Die) and fellow agent Evan Funsch (Jason Statham, The Italian Job, Snatch) must track him down and stop Yu Law before he kills again and becomes, the One.
For a more comprehensive review, I encourage you to peruse the original DVD release. As for my thoughts on the movie, some interesting concepts are started, but never fully explored in the quick 87 minutes of the film. The time is spent rather on Matrix-like effects than on backstory and plot development. One thing that did bother me only because it's so stupid, is that somebody forgot how to count. If there are only 124 universes, and if Jet Li's evil character Yulaw has already killed 123 of his other selves, then where did the final Li character, Gabe Law, come from? That would make 125 of them. A minor quibble, certainly, and compared to some of the other glaring plot problems, downright insignificant, but it annoyed me nonetheless. My biggest gripe was the obvious digital stand-in that was used for the climatic final fight scene between Yulaw and Gabe Law. I could forgive the rest of the movie but this cheap effect ruined the whole basis of it. They didn't need to make 100+ Jet Lis (Jet Lii?) like they did Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded, so it is a shame more delicate care wasn't taken for this sequence.
The film aspect ratio is the same from the original release and from a presentation standpoint looks spotless and crisp. The original release boasted an impressive video transfer, and this edition is equally as good. The colors are rich and vibrant without any noticeable flaws. There is a noticeable improvement with the sound, however. The original Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that was on the first release, as well as this one, was not as engaging as it could have been, but this new DTS version really puts your speakers though a workout. The aggressive punch that was missing the first time around is now as powerful as Li's superman abilities, and much more engaging than the original mix.
As this is a Superbit release, there are no extra features to be found, other than subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and French. The original release contained some good additional features, such as a commentary track by director James Wong and some short featurettes explaining the thoughts behind the multiverse and creating the dual Jet Lis (which failed miserably, in my opinion) who fight each other. Surprising as it is, I would have to recommend this Superbit release over the original special edition, simply for the movie presentation. The aural experience of the new DTS track far outshines the original's extra content. If you can live without the commentary track and featurettes, your money will be better spent with this Superbit release, but if you don't have the equipment to hear the DTS track, don't waste your money.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* DVD Verdict's Review of the Original Release