Not all Vin Diesel movies are created equal. Great as a cartoon character type
of action hero, as he was in XXX, or as a bad boy, as in THE FAST AND THE
FURIOUS, Diesel isn't the right choice for a role than demands something of an
emotional range, as does A MAN APART. But to be fair to Diesel, with a script
this clunky, any actor would have failed.
Most of the problems, however, are caused by director F. Gary Gray. His action
sequences are long, confusing blurs usually shot in shades of black and blacker,
so that the images are frequently indecipherable, leaving you guessing as to who
is firing at whom and why. Gray's THE NEGOTIATOR was a model of clarity, but
this time he has trouble coming up with coherent and convincing scenes.
Diesel plays Sean Vetter, a never-by-the-book DEA agent specializing in
cartel-busting and in revenge. If you try to keep score of the number of
illogical actions he performs, you'll quickly lose track -- not that you'll
care, since the movie spurts along, stopping and starting like an old washing
machine with a flaky plug. Try not to fall asleep during the movie's many
About the only useful thing Sean ever says is, "It's not over." This is a clue
to stay in your seat as the movie tries on ending after ending before finally
finding one that it likes. I suggest you end it before it begins. Go rent XXX
instead of seeing A MAN APART. You'll have much more fun.
A MAN APART runs 1:50. The film is in English (which frequently needs
subtitles) and in Spanish with English subtitles. It is rated R for "strong
graphic violence, language, drug content and sexuality" and would be acceptable
for older teenagers.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes