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Overall Rating
2.31

Awesome: 10.42%
Worth A Look: 6.25%
Average: 12.5%
Pretty Bad45.83%
Total Crap: 25%

5 reviews, 18 user ratings


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Man Apart, A
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by Joe Cooper

"Early Vin Diesel on the rampage in A Man Apart."
3 stars

Everyone has a past, and A Man Apart is Vin Diesel’s. Before he was shot up the spout into Hollywood’s stratosphere on the back of such projects as The Fast and the Furious and XXX, the bald and muscular one made this lone-cop-versus-the-drug-world film with wonderboy director F. Gary Gray. While not in the class of his later work, A Man Apart does showcase an interesting dark side to Diesel along with plenty of thrills and spills.

Preview screenings: a theatre stuffed to the gills full of fidgeting gits with popcorn-greasy fists full of free tickets ‘won’ by listening far too long and hard to the so-called hippest, hottest, most happening radio stations in the history of sound itself. Throw in the fact that many of these gratis moviegoers are hormonally fuelled teenies convinced that vocalising every inane thought at 130 decibels is too cool for school, and the whole business falls slightly short of being an ideal environment in which to take in the latest Hollywood eye-dazzler.

By rolling up for A Man Apart I was also missing one of the most important football games on the Australian sporting calendar (State of Origin). But hey! It’s the price for film critic glory, and one I’m willing to pay again and again to keep the good stuff coming for my legions of adoring readers (including the bloke that kindly emailed me to state his preference for the Open Hearts review in the Times, rather than mine).

Now on with the show!

We join street-tough D.E.A. cop Sean Vetter (Diesel) as he completes a seven year quest to track down and nab the drug kingpin responsible for shipping enough cocaine across the US-Mexican border each month to shout every man, woman, and child on the planet a line of nose candy.

Flushed with the joy of seeing the sinister Memo Lucero (Geno Silva) sporting orange coveralls in a federal prison, Sean returns home to his beautiful wife, Stacey (Jacqueline Obradors), and promptly throws a party for all his mates. Things look fabulous, and if it was my life I’d stop the tape there, because you just know that tragedy’s about to strike.

Sean and Stacey wake in the middle of the night to find their house swarming with hooded assassins. Despite leaping up to stand and deliver with his trusty bedside semi-auto, Sean’s unable to prevent the love of his life from taking a fatal gunshot wound. As she dies in his arms, grief to pull the sun from the sky is only eclipsed by a growing need for vengeance.

With no regard for due process or his own safety, Sean sets out to track down those responsible for the crime. A copious amount of gunplay, knifeplay, fistplay, and kneeplay follows as the rogue cop carves a path of destruction through the dangerous world of the drug cartels.

Complete with gravely voice, biceps like footballs, and the trademark cold stare, Diesel, the former nightclub bouncer, is in full swing as the 4,815th rogue cop since Dirty Harry. Other than the occasional rumbling narrative and the awkward grieving scenes, it’s virtually macho one-liners and highly theatrical violence all the way. Vince McMahon and fourteen year old boys will be very impressed.

The film’s supporting cast is a touch wooden and very much lacking in originality. Geno Silva’s drug baron character is yet another Pablo Escobar clone, and Jacqueline Obradors (Six Days Seven Nights) is the ever-patient, always-forgiving, gorgeous wife-of-a-cop that’s fast becoming a cinematic cliché. The only new light is a spirited performance by Timothy Olyphant (Gone in Sixty Seconds) as a mouthy drug-peddling dandy called Hollywood Jack.

For the look and feel of A Man Apart, director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) has opted for a cross between Michael Douglas’s Traffic (2000) and Schwarzenegger’s 1986 vengeance romp, Raw Deal. The film flickers between pensive, panoramic aerial shots of seedy south-of-the-border shantytowns, to frenzies of spent-cartridge-jingling action. It’s a jarring technique, but one that does keep the film’s plot running hard and fast. While this F. Gary Gray production may lack some sophistication, it certainly can’t be accused of being boring.

A Man Apart is a formula shoot ‘em up with all the attitude-laced violence that Vin Diesel fans expect. Boom-crash-kapow lovers in general should also get a good kick out of A Man Apart.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7450&reviewer=335
originally posted: 06/14/03 14:35:55
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User Comments

7/24/10 bagwell5 This movie is unfairly picked on. Some brutal action.Olyphant makes a good villian. 4 stars
6/06/08 PAUL SHORTT A LACKLUSTER BUT MORE BRUTAL RETREADING OF 'LETHAL WEAPON' AND OTHER SUCH FILMS 1 stars
8/26/05 ES Vin's (God what a name) second best movie 4 stars
2/21/05 Morm Urm, stop bitchin. Awesome movie. 5 stars
10/28/04 Whisker Biscuit it's a good old fashioned ass whoopin' movie what did you expect when hairy met sally? 5 stars
9/26/04 Archanist_101 I dont mean to be rude but... This is more like "A Man FUCKING Apart FROM HIS BRAIN"! 1 stars
9/14/03 SiliconHero I don't remember a whole lot from this movie. Maybe it's better that way. Try again, Deez. 2 stars
9/09/03 Ashley Cole It was fantastic 5 stars
7/21/03 Brent sigh, watch when drunk so you don't care it's bad. 2 stars
6/12/03 Jerry Oh c'mon, guys. This movie was better than the dreadful "basic". 5 stars
5/20/03 your worse goddamn nightmare ok, select any mediocre cop-action type flick, and you get the same tired bullshit critique 2 stars
4/18/03 654 THIS WAS JUST POOR 1 stars
4/17/03 Uncle Salty Newsflash, Vin Diesel can't act! Paired w/ writers that can't write, this is what you get! 1 stars
4/16/03 MEAT it was raw 4 stars
4/12/03 dill hole boring 1 stars
4/08/03 Jack More Mindless Violence, Murder And Mayhem From An Axction Star Wannabe 1 stars
4/06/03 Krys it was tight! 5 stars
4/05/03 E-Rock Vin's best role? The Iron Giant. He didn't have to act. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  04-Apr-2003 (R)
  DVD: 14-Sep-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Jun-2003




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