the one carla gugino

Chosen One of the Day: The 'Down with the Sickness' needle drop in The One

Contributed by
Aug 23, 2018

There’s an art to a good needle drop. Whatever the particular song you’re using, it needs to work with the action—either by accentuating what we’re seeing on-screen (the jubilance of “Twist and Shout” paired with the parade scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) or serving as a contrast to it (pop anthems “Stuck in the Middle With You” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” set to a torture scene and a zombie massacre, respectively, in Reservoir Dogs and Shaun of the Dead). The song choice needs to be appropriate (teenage Kayla of Eighth Grade surfing social media feeds, set to Enya’s “Orinoco Flow”) without being too obvious (all of Suicide Squad).

That said, sometimes a too-obvious needle drop, given the benefits of time and nostalgia, will circle right back around from good to unbearably cheesy to good because it’s unbearably cheesy. One of the best examples of said phenomenon can be found in 2001's The One, starring Jet Li as a man attempting to murder every alternate-universe version of himself so he can absorb their power.

Penny drops at :08. Wait for it….

nnnnnnWAH-GA-GA-GA!

No, Jet Li, I wasn't ready! 

What makes this needle drop so blissfully perfect? Is it the fact that the opening vocals of Disturbed's nu metal A N T H E M "Down With the Sickness" are synced with Carla Gugino... exploding a mouse.... by way of an antenna stuck up its bum? Is it the short break afterward, so Jet Li can kick some ass devoid of aural distractions and viewers can process the fact that, yes, Carla Gugino did just explode a mouse by way of an antenna stuck up its bum, and yes, that was "Down With the Sickness," actually, thank you for noticing?

Is it just the early aughts of it all?

I vote for all of the above.

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