A Man Apart

"Weak"

A Man Apart Review


In their attempt to make a shoot-'em-up with a soul, ready-to-be-crowned action king Vin Diesel and director F. Gary Gray ("The Negotiator") wind up with a dark and handsome movie -- quite unfortunately titled "A Man Apart" -- that's less than exciting and only superficially deep.

As a DEA bad-ass on the war path against an anonymous drug kingpin who killed his wife -- something you know is coming the minute he stares lovingly into the eyes of a beautiful actress without any name recognition (Jacqueline Obradors) -- Diesel seems to have taken the part so he could dust off some of his emotional range without straying too far from his muscle-rippling, shaved-head, five-o'clock-shadow tough Guy-with-a-capital-G screen persona.

While he does sell his brokenheartedness, with the aid of some beautiful ocean-side sunsets in front of which he despondently holds his head in his hands, Diesel and Gray know that's not what the people pay to see -- so pass the ammo, baby! Several thunderous, chaotic, hard-to-follow shoot-outs are the picture's big set pieces.

One is a raid on a ritzy underground Tijuana nightclub, during which Diesel chases down and captures an escaping Baja cartel leader (Geno Silva) -- which opens the door for an anonymous apparent rival, known only as Diablo, to take over the border-running cocaine operation. Diablo's identity is supposed to be the movie's big mystery, but since there's only one other south-of-the-border character with a speaking role, it's almost impossible not to find yourself 10 steps ahead of the movie's hero by the end of the second reel.

Yet it wouldn't make much sense for Diablo, whose rise to power was made possible by Diesel's bust, to kill Diesel's wife in an ambush on their how-can-a-cop-afford-that beachfront home -- so it's pretty clear almost immediately that some big twist is waiting in the wings.

If that twist didn't leave a slew of unanswered questions in its wake -- about such fundamental plot point as why Diablo staged a violent take-over of the cartel in the first place and who ordered the murders of the cartel leader's wife and kid -- "A Man Apart" might have made up for its other shortcomings.

For instance, Gray and first-time screenwriters Christian Gudegast and Paul T. Scheuring put in an admirable effort toward fleshing out some of the film's stock characters. Unstoppable cop Diesel and partner Larenz Tate ("Biker Boyz," "love jones") have a strong, believable bond that dates back to their days growing up on the streets -- a background that provides them with a been-there edge and plenty of connections when they start working their way up the drug chain to find Diablo.

But with all its off-the-shelf plot developments (Diesel becomes a loose cannon, is forced to turn in his badge, and goes after Diablo on his own), and passé peripheral roles (Timothy Olyphant plays a Porsche-driving Beverly Hills whitebread middle-man Diesel beats up), "A Man Apart" fails to stand apart -- despite the cast and crew's serious stab at making a serious action movie.



A Man Apart

Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th April 2003

Box Office USA: $26.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $44.4M

Budget: $36M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: Newman/Tooley Films, "DIA" Productions GmbH & Co. KG, Joseph Nittolo Entertainment, New Line Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 11%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 116

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Sean Vetter, as Demetrius Hicks, as Hollywood Jack, as Memo Lucero, as Stacy Vetter, as Ty Frost, as Mateo Santos, Jeff Kober as Pomona Joe, Marco Rodríguez as Hondo, as Gustavo Leon, as Garza, George Sharperson as Big Sexy, Malieek Straughter as Overdose, as Marta, Jim Boeke as Bad Cop

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.