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Characters: The One
This a character sheet for the Jet Li sci-fi action film The One.

Yulaw (Jet Li)

"You call it murder. How could I murder myself, a hundred and twenty three times? I just took those wasted energies and put them into one container... me. It made me faster, smarter, stronger. What if that is our fate? To unite with our other selves. To be unified forever. To be one. I will be The One."

Gabriel Yu-Law was once a member of the Multiversal Police the MVA. On a routine mission he was forced to defend himself against an alternate version of himself. He soon discovered killing duplicates of himself in parallel universes made the surviving versions stronger. Yulaw then began traveling across dozens of parallel universes killing 123 versions of himself in the process. Only a single alternate version stands between him and his goal to become The One.

Tropes:

  • Alternate Self: The Evil Twin to Gabe Law.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Basically lost all compassion on his way to trying to become a Physical God.
  • A God Am I: What Yulaw believes he will become if he succeeds.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
  • Badass: He's literally one of the most badass individuals to ever exist.
    Yulaw: "I am Yulaw! I am nobody's bitch! You are mine. I don't need to know you. You only need to know me. I will be The One!"
  • Big Bad: Irredeemably so.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: He doesn't view killing other versions of himself as murder but rather taking "wasted energies" and placing them in a single stronger form. He even suggests that what he's doing may be the ultimate destiny of all humanity. This could actually explain his lack of compassion when dispatching those who get in his way. After all, according to him, he's actually doing them a favor.
  • Dodge the Bullet
  • Evil Counterpart: To Gabe.
  • Evil Former Friend: He was once a friend of Roedecker.
  • Fallen Hero: He was once an agent of the MVA before going on his killing spree. Roedecker laments the man he's become, strongly implying he was once a good man not unlike Gabe Law.
  • Genius Bruiser: Yulaw becomes mentally as well as physically stronger with each version of himself he kills.
  • I Shall Taunt You: See Badass Boast above.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills
  • Made of Iron
  • Multiversal Conqueror
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Yulaw is able to sense alternate versions of himself. In fact he's got enough of a hold on it to track his duplicates wherever they go.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Traveling through wormholes to alternate universes is a painful experience and notably the only time Yulaw is vulnerable to capture is after having just arrived through one.
  • There Can Be Only One: "I will be The One!"
  • Victory Pose: Strikes a very smug version of this whenever he takes out one of his duplicates. Also implied to be him feeling/absorbing his energy boost during the Quickening.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: His abilities and what he's done to achieve them have left him a very warped individual. He enjoys his more villainous actions a little too much.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Whenever he kills an Alternate Self, he can feel their energy making him more powerful.


Gabe Law (Jet Li)

"It was me. He wasn't trying to hit Ronnie. He was trying to hit me. Before I saw him, I felt him. I felt me."

Gabriel "Gabe" Law is a Happily Married police officer who for reasons unknown to himself or his spouse has been getting stronger as he gets older. Suddenly Gabe has a run in with a man who not only looks exactly like him but is also trying to kill him. Things go from bad to worse however given Gabe is blamed for Yulaw's crimes and his wife's life is now in danger.

Tropes:

  • A Fate Worse Than Death: He is willing to accept the rest of his life in jail being seen as a wife and cop killing nutjob. Fully aware he could escape anytime.
  • Alternate Self: He's basically what Yulaw was before he started killing to become The One.
  • Badass: He's Yulaw's equal in all attributes. He eventually defeats him one on one.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After his TK's death he no longer cares if he lives or dies, only that Yulaw is dead first. In fact even when he decides to bring Yulaw to justice instead, he doesn't even care about being sent back to be wrongfully convicted for all of Yulaw's crimes.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Good Counterpart: To Yulaw.
  • Happily Married: To TK.
  • Heartbroken Badass: After his wife's death.
  • Love at First Sight: His discription of the first time he met TK.
  • Made of Iron
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: He senses Yulaw before he's even seen him. It gives him enough warning to evade his gunfire during their first encounter.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Much like everyone else he's debilitated by traveling through wormholes.
  • Tranquil Fury: After attempting to meet Yulaw head on fails, Gabe adopts a more controlled focused approach that plays to his own strengths rather than Yulaw's more aggressive direct approach.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Subverted. Yulaw kills TK in front of him in order to specifically provoke this response and have Gabe come straight at him directly. In doing so he actually plays right into Yulaw's hands and is noticeably losing until he adopts a different strategy.


Lawless (Jet Li)

"You want that thumb?"

The convict, known only as Lawless, is under heavy guard and being transported from prison due to the fact someone's trying to kill him off. Though he's clearly made many enemies both in and out of prison, little does anyone know that it's Yulaw who poses the biggest threat.

Tropes:

  • Alternate Self: This version of Law appears to be a career criminal.
  • Badass: An entire prison of inmates want's to even the score for all the people they knew that he's taken down. One convict screams murder at him for taking out his whole gang. It's implied his added strength and speed have given him an edge in crime. Though presumabley like Gabe he's unaware of just how far his abilities stretch.
  • Badass Boast: When one of the police transferring him goes to touch him, he simply asks if he'd like to keep his thumb. Prompting the officer to wisely rethink that course of action.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: To Gabe. Yulaw on the other hand is a worse criminal than him.
  • Dead Man Walking: Not only is he's due to be executed for his crimes making him a more literal version of this trope but he's also surrounded by convincts wanting to kill him before the state gets a chance.
  • Death Row: Where he's being moved to.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Some promotional materials and trailers played up Lawless as a main character, suggesting his involvment in the battle for becoming the one. He is killed off very aburptly in the film's opening.
  • Killed Off for Real: Yulaw kills him with a single shot.
  • Moe Greene Special: How he dies. Courtesy of a surprise bullet from Yulaw.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Sense Yulaw's presence nearby. It doesn't save him though.
  • Prison: Where he's being currently held for crimes unknown. Though it's safe to assume his wrap sheet is pretty large and likely includes murder.
  • Self Restraint: Strongly implied he could quite easily escape given his abilities, especially once it's just a pair of handcuffs restraining him. Subverted in that he likely doesn't know he's holding himself back.
  • Super Strength: We get display of this early on when he kicks a jail door and dents it.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Whilst Lawless is being moved from his cell, he's under armed guard due to the Police knowing his life is under threat. They assume it is one of the dozens of criminals he managed to cross. Whilst they are very much gunning for him, little do they know the biggest threat to his life isn't even from this universe.

T.K. Law (Carla Gugino)

"Or maybe it's part of what's been happening to you. People get older Gabe, they don't get stronger. They don't get faster all of a sudden."

Gabe Law's loving wife. She's the only one Gabe can bring himself to confide in regarding having nearly been killed by himself. TK's also been concerned about his increasing strength and speed over the past couple of years.

Tropes:


Roedecker (Delroy Lindo)

"Funsch. You stick to procedure. It all works out."

MVA Agent Harry Roedecker. As part of a multiversal police force, whose purpose is to prevent crimes across dimensions, Roedecker and his partner are tasked with taking in Yulaw and stopping him from achieving his goal.

Tropes:

  • Alternate Self: There's a version of him who works in a gas station in Gabe's universe.
  • The Atoner: Subtle but his conversation with Yulaw reveals he once helped him when he began killing his duplicates across the multiverse. This would also explain his reluctance to break MVA protocol given he likely did so to help Yulaw in the past. However regardless of how long he aided Yulaw and the extent of that help, he regrets ever allowing him to kill a second victim.
    Roedecker: "I wish I'd never let there be a second."
  • Badass Normal: Roedecker, a mere mortal, manages to go toe-to-toe with Yulaw for a just over a minute.
    • Badass Longcoat: It's somewhat symbolic when Yulaw tears it in half after literally kicking Roedecker out of it.
  • By-the-Book Cop: He has to constanstly remind Funsch that they have to stick to procedure and do things according to MVA guidelines. There's good reason for this too given firstly the universe they are in do not know about the multiverse and thus there are a lot of civilians in danger. Secondly it's implied Roedecker abandoned protocol to help Yulaw in the past and we all know how badly that went. However this trait is subverted when things escalate and Roedecker decides that going off procedure is a necessary risk.
  • Car Fu: Uses this to catch Yulaw off guard whilst he's distracted by Funsch.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He uses pretty much every trick he can think of from fire extinguishers to car doors when fighting Yulaw.
  • Evil Former Friend: Yulaw and Roedecker were once fellow agents and friends.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Roedecker attempts to appeal to the man Yulaw once was and accept he has to stop. Though its a futile gesture and he's seemingly resigned to that fact.
    Yulaw: "Why'd you come, Harry? You miss me?"
    Harry: "I miss who you were."
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Taking You with Me: Attempts this with Yulaw, but he's too fast and stops him pressing the bombs trigger.


Funsch (Jason Statham)

"Just give me the go ahead and he'll never make it to the hole."

MVA Agent Evan Funsch. Roedecker's partner brought in to help him capture Yulaw. Constantly frustrated by the MVA's strict guidelines and procedure.

Tropes:

  • Badass Normal
  • Cowboy Cop: In stark contrast to his partner Roedecker.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: In a conversation between Roedecker and himself it's strongly implied Funsch grew up in a very rough place. He very likely came from a war-torn universe.
    Roedecker: "I know where you're from. I know what you've been through. But this place is different. Not everyone here is a combatant."
    • According to the now-defunct official website, he's actually from the Beta Universe, recruited by MVA from LAPD. Based on Roedecker's words, we can assume that LA in the Beta Universe is really bad.
  • Fake American: This film was early in Statham's career, so this was the first time the Englishman had been called upon to be an American. His accent is better in future films.
  • Genre Savvy: Knows his partner has failed to stop Yulaw and doesn't kill Gabe despite getting the signal to do so.
  • Precision Bullshit Strike: Delivers a great one at the end of the film:
    Funsch: That order is bullshit!
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Sends Gabe to another universe with a chance for happiness rather to a lifetime of jail in his own in thanks for his help.
  • Trigger Happy
  • Weapon of Choice: Has himself a custom made weapon that he's not been allowed to use due to it's lethality. It's a Red Herring considering it isn't decisive at all in the finale.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Quite rightly calls his boss out on wanting to send Gabe back to his own world despite helping subdue and capture Yulaw. Considering he could have easily killed him and his reward is now a lifetime of being seen as a murderer, he's perhaps too kind in his strong objections.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: His attitude towards Yulaw. Of course once there's only two versions of Law left killing him brings about the same scenario the MVA are trying to prevent. Roedecker also points out they're are not here to be his assassin but to bring him to justice for his crimes.


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