A Film Review By Ryan Lott
|Rating:R for graphic violence, language, drug content, and sexuality
Starring: Vin Diesel, Lorenz Tate, George Sharperson, and Timothy Olaphant
Directed By:F. Gary Gray
A Man Apart was a film that I was excited to check out at least for the last week. I was so eager to see it, and I was eager to see Vin Diesel’s first attempt at serious acting. Before I watched the film I viewed Pitch Black to get used to that ever famous…Hey I’m Vin Diesel look. You know the ones…where he looks directly into the camera…and gives that “I’m one bad mamma Jamma look.” So…I decided that, as I was watching A Man Apart, I would create thee “Hey I’m Vin Diesel look” tally chart. Much to my surprise, there were only three of these looks throughout the entire film (I was expecting 300 or so)!
The film begins with a current cartel leader that is hosting a party at a strip club in Tijuana, Mexico. This pimpin overlord…whose name escapes me…fondles this bodacious babe whose bust is visible (I know…calm down children). Vin Diesel then enters the screen as a DEA agent preparing to “take this cartel general down.” His mission was a success, but Sean Vetter’s (Vin Diesel) wife was killed after the arrest. His life ultimately went down the tubes after that. In a pretty emotional scene involving his best friend named Demetrius Hicks (Lorenz Tate) Vetter first realizes his wife has passed on. To be honest, I was absolutely blown away by the power behind this scene, especially coming from Vin Diesel. I was extremely into the movie at this point, and I saw such potential for what could be an amazing film. Like a giant Christmas present that contained a pair of socks, I was let down. The movie began to drag at this point. Vetter investigates who invaded his home in order to identify the murderer of his wife. He discovers a new cartel, one led by a leader named “Diablo.” If I reveal anymore, then there would be no point to you even seeing this film.
I don’t understand how the first half of the film was so amazing, and the second half could be so terrible? I thought that the director did a fabulous job with the development (and past) of each of the characters, but as far as plot goes, the film ultimately began to trail off into the abyss of “when will it be over?” To be honest, I thought that the film tried to be too emotional, too powerful, and too complicated. It tried to twist my mind into a Vanilla Sky type ending, when in the end, I got more excitement from Vin Diesel stabbing this cartel lackie five times in the back. The film tried to build itself into a masterpiece, and to quote my friend Mark: “A Man Apart fell apart.”
Yes, the film did an incredible job with Sean Vetter’s (Vin Diesel) character! I was blown away by the scenes involving the passing of his wife. To be honest…director F. Gary Gray accomplished an amazing feat by being able to establish empathy between the audience and Vin Diesel’s character, but that was it. The rest of the movie, from that point, was flushed down the preverbial toilet. I started to become bored with the drug portion of the film, and thus my interest in Vin Diesel’s character was lost by cheesy drug slang and the typical omnipotent police investigator (in Vin Diesel). It almost became painful. Maya Angelou once wrote a poem entitled “I know why the Caged Birds Sing.” Well I know why this caged bird sings, because there was a good movie trying so hard to get out, but the film settles for mediocrity in the mix of stupid complications.
Ultimately…this film is worth six dollars for the emotional scenes that actor Vin Diesel delivers. But, sadly, this movie comes up short in my opinion. Here’s to you and happy movie going!