Vin Diesel made this tired old cop flick well before he skyrocketed into Massive Hollywood Profitability. New Line opted to hold onto the flick until Vin's popularity was at its peak. Then they got tired of waiting and dumped it out this weekend.Death Wish? Cobra? Hard to Kill? Are we to assume that the screenwriters of A Man Apart never saw any of these action flicks? Or indeed...any at all? Sure, digging in the same old well can sometimes yield some enjoyable moisture but the ridculously overused 'cop with a vendetta' schpiel is older than proverbial dirt. Let's just evolve already.
Vin has a pretty wife. She's offed when an unhappy drug kingpin gets arrested. Vin soul-searches; he muses; he pines and whines and gets all surly.
Then he flips on his Nancy Drew sandals and gets to investigatin'.
Two mediocre action scenes spring up to help alleviate the tedium. All they do is remind us how generic and tiresome the non-action bits are.
Judging by my calendar, Diesel hasn't offered an impressive performance since way back in Boiler Room. I'm not ready to nail the final tack into his coffin yet, but it's disheartening to see a compelling newcomer get devoured by the Hollywood Machine and get spat out as some faceless muscle jock.
None of the supporting actors (Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant, the short-lived Jacqueline Obradors) have the chops to elevate such a tired vehicle into something worthy of special attention. Then again, I doubt that a cast boasting Olivier, Pacino and Streep could work this shelf-dusty blueprint into something resembling a worthwhile expenditure of 100 minutes.The sort of flick you'll see on HBO one night at 10:15 and flip back to, waiting for the action scenes. Under those circumstances, A Man Apart might be an intermittently good time. As something to spend a whole night and 20 bucks on...er, not even close.