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A Man Apart (2003)
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Review Date: March 31, 2003
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Christian Gudegast, Paul Scheuring
Producers: Robert Degus, Vincent Newman
Actors:
Vin Diesel as Sean
Laurenz Tate as Demetrius
Timothy Olyphant as Jack
Plot:
A drug enforcement agent busts one of the biggest dealers in Mexico and soon finds himself at the wrong end of a "hit" which tragically takes the life of his wife instead. Pissed at the world and ready to kick ass, the man gets out of the hospital, returns to his job and...well, pisses on the world and kicks ass! Lots of pissing and kicking of said ass ensues.
Critique:
I like to put my cards on the table in all of my reviews, so suffice it to say that I've been a big fan of Vin Diesel ever since he charmed the pants off me in BOILER ROOM, and later knocked me upside the head with his darker turn in PITCH BLACK. Since then, Vin has become a mega-star, along with all the stuff that comes along with that sort of success including the potshots, the rumors about his sexuality, tales of his arrogance, etc... I don't really care about crap like that, because all that matters to me is what I see on the big screen and in A MAN APART, I'm happy to report that Diesel is back in his "acting mode" with a convincing portrayal of a man bent on revenge. Yes, the story or the idea of a "rogue" cop pounding the pavement in search of payback isn't unique by any stretch of the imagination, but the Dieselnator (leave me alone, man...it's all I got!) comes through in flying colors here, and renders this made-for-TV-movie (or your average episode of "Miami Vice") into something with a little more juice. Unfortunately, Diesel alone isn't enough to recommend this flick in theaters, especially with almost no other interesting characters around him and no surprising twists or turns anywhere in sight. The plotline is also about as generic as they come and includes everything from drug cartels with bad attitudes, strip joints, "wild card" drug dealers, confrontations with superiors, street shootouts, and even a couple of "tender" moments early on.

The main differences between this flick and others of its sort would be its stronger emphasis on the lead character and its lack of "all-out" action. In fact, other than one crazy-ass shootout about halfway through the movie, most of the time is spent with the lead character coming in and out of his anger/revenge mode. Diesel does a great job of portraying this man crumbling before our very eyes, and it's his strong showing that kept me interested most of the way. One specific scene featuring the star in a strip joint is a particular keeper, especially the "respect yourself" line he offers a lap-dancer. Classic. Other than that, the film includes some decent directing (although nothing spectacular), spots of bad dialogue here and there and a soundtrack that isn't particularly memorable. Timothy Olyphant, on the other hand, comes to play and along with his scene-stealing performances in both GO and DREAMCATCHER, I'm hoping that this guy finally "breaks out" because he sure deserves it! Other than that, I can't say that much about this movie grabbed me by the nuts and that's really too bad because Diesel's performance tied to a great script might have created something special here. As it stands now, it's an okay movie to watch with your better half or your homeboys who are sick of the straight-to-video Van Dammes and the Seagal/rap star features. Either way, I would wait to catch it on video, if anything. It's also to note that this movie has been "in the can" for quite a while now, so much like the studio did with KNOCKAROUND GUYS, A MAN APART (formerly DIABLO) is being released now in order to capitalize on the heat that Mr. Diesel is still emitting.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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12:34PM on 01/23/2006
I've seen like 2 or 3 Steven Seagal movies like this one. The "I'm a cop, a loved one was shot, now I'm going to kick some ass to avenge her" movie has been done a thousand times with a thousand different titles to it.

Not that it's a bad idea for a movie, just done too much. Vin Diesel tries his hand at it and does a pretty good job. He plays a pretty good pissed off cop. This movie has its share of funny moments so it's not a depressing movie throughout.

One thing I'll give this movie;
I've seen like 2 or 3 Steven Seagal movies like this one. The "I'm a cop, a loved one was shot, now I'm going to kick some ass to avenge her" movie has been done a thousand times with a thousand different titles to it.

Not that it's a bad idea for a movie, just done too much. Vin Diesel tries his hand at it and does a pretty good job. He plays a pretty good pissed off cop. This movie has its share of funny moments so it's not a depressing movie throughout.

One thing I'll give this movie; the ending wasn't what I thought it would be - the mystery isn't how I thought it would turn out to be. That's all I'm going to say about it.

Anyway, there's nothing original about this movie. I'm not exactly a Vin Diesel fan (I haven't seen Pitch Black or Boiler Room, but I thought he was alright in Fast & the Furious and XXX), but he holds his own in this thing. I enjoyed the action (Diesel beating the shit out of a coupla guys was pretty cool), the laughs, and being caught off guard at the end. Other than that, I'll probably watch this movie again when it pops up on TBS in a coupla of years.
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