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Overall Rating

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 Erik Childress

"From Who? Stallone? Think again."
1 stars

Heís a cop on the edge. This time itís personal. Vin Diesel ISÖ Pick a tagline or invent your own because it would be the only thing new coming out of this film. New Line must be wondering how they picked the Queen of Spades of Dieselís career. Between "Knockaround Guys" and this, not only are they having trouble getting them released but their combined totals are unlikely to match the opening weekends of "The Fast and the Furious" or "XXX". The avenging cop is something that can work within the confines of a bigger canvas, but it amazes me that screenwriters can still get paid for a template that wore out its welcome in the 80s and early 90s with the likes of Seagal and Stallone. Thereís an egg timer set on Dieselís welcome. Or did it already expire?

Diesel plays DEA agent Sean Vetter who is revelling in the biggest bust of his career with drug kingpin Meno Lucero (Geno Silva). He is happy, throwing parties. His department is happy. His lovely wife (Jacqueline Obradors) adores him. Which means sheís not going to live past the next scene. Calling the people who ambush Seanís house assassins is like calling Ron Jeremy a gynecologist. They sneak up and then spray (bullets) everywhere and in true Stallone fashion, Sean is hit in the gut but doesnít feel a thing until the action sequence is over.

Sean isnít happy anymore. To make matters worse, in true evil dictator fashion someone is picking up where Meno left off. The mysterious El Diablo is making a name for himself. Was he responsible for the death of Seanís wife? After a breakthrough to Meno in prison Sean is told that ďto catch a monster, you must become a monster.Ē Memo to Meno: Thanks for the advice and spelling out the theme of the movie for us. It doesnít help when the actor required to become that monster emits less range than Lou Ferrigno in green makeup. In the beginning, Diesel talks low and gravelly, speaks few words and has a smile on his face. After his wife is killed, Diesel talks low and gravelly, speaks few words, but without the smile. My dog has more facial expressions than that and puts out less crap than Diesel does.

In fairness to Vin, the script heís saddled with doesnít really require more than happy and less-happy character arcs. Only Timothy Olyphant as a cocky drug pusher and Larenz Tate as Seanís (obligatory, cautious, but loyal) partner breathe any kind of life into it. Which is welcome, because you would have to put a mirror under Dieselís nose to see if HE were breathing. The action sequences by director F. Gary Gray are so poorly constructed that during one major shootout, I couldnít tell who was on whoís side. Are they undercover cops or bad guys? Should we applaud or scoff? Screenwriters Paul Scheuring and Christian Gudegast (son of Young and the Restless star Eric Braeden) have murked up the final act so much that in the end I had no idea who El Diablo was supposed to be. If it turns out to be who I thought it was in what the editors tried to comprehend with what feels like a reshot ending, then the plot makes less sense than Basic. They might as well have just made it Kehoe again from the 48 Hrs. sequel.

Is it some kind of cruel rite of passage to take the new action star on the block and saddle him with a personal, on-the-edge revenge picture? Letís see if his career can survive that and then weíll give him his stripes. Iím sure at some point Diesel was convinced that this script was ďcharacter drivenĒ that ďset it apartĒ from the usual crop of revenge actioners. But anyone who can be convinced of that has no business headlining movies in the first place. Stalloneís last two movies went straight-to-video. If Diesel starts making comedies with singers, working with first-time directors a lot and runs out of sequels, then whatís left to set him apart?

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originally posted: 04/04/03 05:09:32
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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
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
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  04-Apr-2003 (R)
  DVD: 14-Sep-2004



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