A Man Apart (18)

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The ViewNewcastle Review

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Review byMatthew Turner03/04/2003

One out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Annoying, laughable, badly thought-out film that probably won’t help Mr. Vin in his bid to become Box Office Star Of The Universe…

Although you’d never believe it to listen to him, there are still film-goers who don’t know who Vin Diesel is. “Gravel-voiced star of xXx?”, you say. Blank looks. “The Fast and the Furious?” Shaking heads. “He was in Saving Private Ryan?” Nothing.

So mentioning his best films so far (Boiler Room, Pitch Black) isn’t really going to make much difference either. And, to be honest, A Man Apart isn’t likely to help him break out of his ‘New Arnie / Stallone’ box, as his acting abilities are tested and found wanting. Not that it’s entirely his fault…

Streetwise Agents and Demonic Dealers

Mr. Diesel plays Sean Vetter, part of a crack team of DEA Agents who have ‘come from the streets’, so they know where it’s “at”. In the opening scene of the film, they take down an Elusive Drug Baron (Geno Silva as Memo Lucero), which involves a balaclava-clad Vin running after a speeding car and catching it up. The Drug Baron goes daaaahn, and Vin is allowed to go home to his adoring wife. So can you guess what happens to her?

Anyway, it transpires that a new Drug Baron (named ‘Diablo’) has emerged in Memo’s absence and he’s even more vicious, going around murdering people’s wives and carving his name into the corpses of his victims. Nasty. Naturally, our Vin isn’t too happy about this, but after he “lets his emotions take over” (oh, the irony!) and spectacularly bungles a drug operation, he’s taken off the case and vows to bring Diablo down on his own. Although, for some reason, this involves forming a deeply unlikely alliance with Memo The Incarcerated Drug Baron. (The scene where they ‘bond’ defies belief).

At one point –specifically at the introduction of the Sniffer Chihuahua- it looks as if A Man Apart is meant to be funny. But it swiftly transpires that it isn’t. Or even if it is, it isn’t. The script is appalling and is made all the worse for being played deadly serious – the scene where Vin’s boss takes him off the case is unintentionally hilarious.

Can’t Do Emotion…Unless It’s Shouting.

Put simply, Vin’s acting talents just aren’t really up to the job, as he has serious trouble with ‘grief-stricken’ and ‘remorse’. Or any emotion that doesn’t involve shouting. It’s also one of those movies where they let the make-up do the talking – for example, you know he’s losing it because he’s wearing a straggly beard. (Note to Vin: bald man, straggly beard – not a good look). Later, you know he’s back to his Bad Ass Self because he has a sharp goatee. And so on.

It isn’t all Vin’s fault. As well as the terrible script (“To defeat a monster you must become a monster” etc), it’s badly shot, too – the shoot-out scenes in particular are very confusing.

In fact, the only good thing about the film is the supporting cast, which consists largely of unknowns, such as Larenz Tate (as Vetter’s partner) or George Sharperson (as ‘Big Sexy’), who do well with underwritten parts. However, they’re all blown away by Timothy Olyphant’s (Go, Scream 2, The Broken Hearts Club) turn as ‘Hollywood Jack’, who steals every scene he’s in and gets the only funny lines in the movie. Unfortunately, he just isn’t given enough to do…

Frankly, the supporting cast isn’t a sufficient reason to warrant wasting West End ticket price money on. Unless you’re The World’s Biggest Vin Diesel Fan, then A Man Apart is only going to annoy you. Steer clear and, if you really have to see it, wait till it turns up in a Video Bargain Bin somewhere for 99p. Because it will. Oh yes.

Film Trailer

A Man Apart (18)
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Content updated: 12/05/2012 10:29

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