Apr 092003
 
Authors: Eric Todd Patton

The newest action star Vin Diesel explores his deeper emotions in the new film “A Man Apart.” He plays a heartbroken man who must gain retribution for the death of his wife.

Well, there should not be much to set up for the readers with this movie. It has been publicized enough that you should know the basic idea. But just in case, I will give you a brief setup.

Diesel plays a man who is a member of an elite drug fighting extension of the L.A.P.D. After taking down one of the dominant cartels in Mexico he is targeted. A man that is known as “Diablo” sends in goons to take Diesel down but in the midst of gunfire they are killed after they shoot his wife.

Now they have unleashed the crazy, vengeful fury known as Diesel’s acting. He acts with so much emotion that he loses the meaning of the words he is supposed to be spouting off with his deep and characteristic voice. But we will get to that later. There are, first, problems with the script.

The set up is clich/d and more formulaic than a script right out of an undergraduate screenwriting class. They want you to know, really know, that this is an elite drug fighting team. They mention over and over and over how they are the unknown members of the L.A.P.D. They are going outside their country to take down the largest cartel in Tijuana, facing a barrage of gunfire from automatic weapons.

But, of course, they are elite, so the bullets fly past them as they make their arrest. Then we see how perfect Diesel’s life is. And just in case the audience is as slow as a three year old, they beat his perfect life into your head. He lives on a beach with a swarm of friends, a gorgeous wife, “bling bling” all around and a love that seems like it won’t die – so drug dealers need to kill it.

Okay, so now we know he is the best crime fighter in L.A. and lives in an absolutely perfect life, so we have to take it all from him so he can go after the bad guys as a rebel. Typical. He starts at the bottom of the drug trafficking ring to work his way up to find “Diablo.” Do you want me to tell you who “Diablo” is? No, I won’t tell you now. You will be able to figure that out within a few minutes.

How can Diesel be the most elite of his elite force and not figure out who this man is that ordered his wife to be killed? Did he get where he is on accident? It was so predictable, in fact, that I did not know what I was sitting in the theater for. Oh, right, I get paid to. Sometimes it does not seem worth it, like in this case.

The acting was what should be expected from Diesel. He does not ever seem to know which words to emphasize, which makes me think he does not know what his character is trying to say. Then there is Larenz Tate. He actually made Diesel look like an Academy Award winner. It was just poor casting. It was poor writing. The only appeal of this entire film is the action, which was entertaining. It just is not worth the money people pay to see it.

Starring: Vin Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant.

Directed By: F. Gary Gray.

What You Need To Know: more clich/d and formulaic than a script out of an undergraduate screenwriting class.

FINAL GRADE: D

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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