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A Man Apart

cast: Vin Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant, and Jacqueline Obradors

director: F. Gary Gray

110 minutes (18) 2003 EV VHS retail
Also available to buy on DVD

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Debbie Moon
Sean Vetter (Vin Diesel) is a hot-tempered street kid who made good and joined the DEA. But when he takes part in an operation down Mexico way, and arrests drugs baron Mateo (Juan Fernandez), revenge is sudden and bloody. Soon his wife is dead, and an out of control Sean is careering around LA in search of the killers. A new player, El Diablo, has begun a deadly struggle for control of the cross-border drugs trade, and Sean's only chance of stopping him is to exploit his street connections, and to team up with the imprisoned Mateo. But who's really using whom?
   A Man Apart is a Frankenstein's monster of a movie, assembled from the still-twitching body parts of moribund action films. Dead wife, cautious best buddy, cop who loses his temper when the bad guys hide behind the letter of the law; shooting, comedy, unnecessary voiceover, and a fairly predictable twist. Yup, all present and correct. There's even that old favourite, the 'hand in your badge, you�re off the case' scene...
   At times, all that stops the movie from lapsing back into the grave is the undeniable charisma of Mr Diesel, here showing his hipness by wearing more hair on his chin than on his head. That said, it is a pretty enjoyable piece of hokum. There may be nothing here to make the movie stick in the mind, but there's enough mayhem and double-crossing, and the actors make just enough out of the predictable relationships, to keep you watching.
   I can't claim this is a great film, but if you're looking for something fast moving and undemanding, this might be right up your street. Alternatively, if anyone ever invents a drinking game where you take a swig every time a clich� appears on screen, this movie will have you under the table in no time...

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