A Man Apart

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A Man Apart
Review (5.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Before the screening of A Man Apart, one of the studio representatives was trying to convince a room full of esteemed critics that this movie was similar to Soderbergh's Traffic. The only similarity I could see is that both movies are about drug dealers and cops. That is it, that is all. Oh, and they both have brownish-colored movie posters. Traffic was an interesting, intelligent, original movie. Jackass The Movie is more original than A Man Apart. Now with that being said, A Man Apart was not a terrible movie. But it was very average. Too average.

It follows the age-old formula - cop busts drug dealer, drug dealer goes to prison, drug dealer orders death of cop, cop lives, wife dies, cop hands in badge, ex-cop kills drug dealers. And I really don't think I am giving away any major plot development by telling you his wife dies. Every single theatrical trailer and TV spot has already told us this. I knew this two months ago. The movie really is a no-brainer. I mean it did leave me scratching my head at a few points. Were Sean Vetter (Vin Diesel) and his partner Demetrius Hicks (Larenz Tate) two former gang-bangers who are now working for the DEA? Do gang-bangers actually become DEA agents, or is that just a Hollywood myth? Were these two DEA agents actually working closely with a big fat drug dealer named Sexy to arrest other drug dealers? Why the hell would they be working and close friends with a drug dealer? How did a 300 lb. drug dealer get the name Sexy? Did Sexy actually go along with Vin and Larenz on drug busts? Is this normal police procedure? I was also slightly confused about who all the drug dealers were that were popping up throughout the movie and how they were connected to each other, but I guess the fact that they were drug dealers and Vin Diesel was going to kick their asses was the main point.

As for Vin's performance, I would have to say it was pretty decent. Probably his best performance to date. He was not all tough-guy. He was very believable as a loving husband and then a distraught, angry cop and the few dramatic scenes the movie had were quite good. He does have an great angry movie voice and I would like to see him play more dramatic roles in the future with a stronger script than he was offered in A Man Apart. The movie did not focus on the muscles too much, which is a relief for all heterosexual men planning on seeing this one. The only performance that overshadowed that of Vin Diesel was Timothy Olyphant, who played a crazed drug dealer named Hollywood Jack and was easily the most despicable character in the movie.

I will end by saying that A Man Apart really is not much more than a Steven Seagal/Jean Claude Van Damme type of movie, but with a better performance by a more charismatic Vin Diesel. Although this movie has not yet taken Vin to the top of the mountain, I do see him at least on the way up. Let's just hope he stays away from the XXX's of the world. At least he has started the climb up the mountain. Seagal and Van Damme were pushed off long ago.

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