Directed by F. Gary Gray
Written by Christian Gudegast, Paul T. Scheuring
· Vin Diesel
· Larenz Tate
· Timothy Olyphant
· Geno Silva
· Jacqueline Obradors
Mmmmmm... Vin Diesel. I say that exactly the way Homer Simpson says: "Mmmmm... Donuts." Yes, Vin Diesel is yummy and that's precisely the reason I was dying to see this film.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who is so inclined towards Mr. Diesel, as the pre-screening I went to was filled with women of all ages giggling like school girls and clamoring to get the free Vin posters being handed out. There was even a pair of sisters there who must have been over seventy years old, one of whom got up in front of the entire audience and danced in order to win the last poster of Vin. She then clasped the poster to her chest and made a swooning motion.
I hear ya lady, I hear ya...
A Man Apart
would've been hard pressed to disappoint me, considering no matter what it might have lacked it still had what I came to see: two hours of Vin Diesel. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find it didn't lack much.
The plot isn't especially original; it's your standard cop's wife gets murdered, cop gets revenge. The writing isn't spectacular, either, and the pacing is a bit on the slow side. But none of these things significantly detracted from the movie for me because they were outweighed by the film's strong points.
The main thing the movie has going for it is strong performances by the cast, especially Diesel and Larenz Tate, who plays his partner. The emotional relationship between Diesel and Tate is what makes A Man Apart
stand out; they aren't afraid to touch each other, to need each other, to cry with one another. In the scene where Diesel fully realizes his wife is dead, he gives an outstanding performance, which is only further enhanced by Tate's own skill. Diesel is also one of the few actors who can 'act' without saying a word. His body language, his facial expressions, his eyes; all of these convey his grief, horror and rage throughout the film.
I consider A Man Apart
pretty close to an ideal film in terms of entertainment value. It's got all the ingredients that are important to me: a wonderful performance by one of my favorite actors, a fairly tight and realistic story, just the right amount of comic relief and the kind of action scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat.
Much of the comic relief comes from Timothy Olyphant, who plays a drug dealer called "Hollywood Jack." He plays the role with just the right amount of craziness, and delivers some of the most memorable scenes in the movie. But despite the way the movie's trailer highlights the comic aspects of the film, it's really not overdone. This isn't trying to be funny; it's really trying to be a drama dressed in action film clothes. And for the most part, A Man Apart
pulls it off.
If you are a fan of Vin Diesel, don't waste any time getting on down to the theater. It'll be worth your money and then some. If you are a fan of action/drama mixes, I'd also recommend checking out the film, but perhaps waiting for the rental. I personally can't wait to buy the DVD.
In short, I was drawn in to the characters world; when they laughed, I laughed, when they cried, I cried, and when they were scared, so was I. That's all I really ask for from any film, and A Man Apart
delivered. When you add to that the delicious Mr. Diesel...
I'll be back for seconds.