Vin Diesel, looking for continued success after hits such as The Fast and the Furious and XXX, attempts to show that he can do more than just action in A Man Apart. Granted, A Man Apart is still an action movie, but it is an action movie with tears. Yes, there is a big difference (?).
Diesel stars as Sean, a top DEA Agent who has just landed the arrest of the century, taking in one of the biggest Mexican drug lords. Victory is short lived as another man who is only known as Diablo quickly seizes control... oh, and kills Sean's wife. Sean, of course, goes on a rampage, seeking revenge and looking to stop the drug flow once and for all.
Diesel, who has shown that he can do roles other than action heroes (Boiler Room) does a pretty good job here as a man driven by rage and on the edge of being destructive. His character is believable enough, though much like in many other cop revenge movies of this sort, his disorderly conduct perhaps is a bit over the top. In one scene, he beats a man to death but then never seems to show remorse after the fact that his partner (Larenz Tate) was forced to cover for him, and that three cops were killed because of his lack of control. Nevertheless, Diesel's overall character is fairly likeable. Tate also turns in a good performance.
Many critics seemed to ravage this movie for whatever reason, but it seems more and more apparent that many critics do not understand when they are watching a perfectly decent action movie. There is nothing especially original about A Man Apart, but it is still a fairly realistic film with some good action sequences and suspense. The plot is halfway basic, but does have a few little twists and turns thrown in to make it interesting. The acting is good and is consistently entertaining from beginning to end.
A Man Apart is a good and entertaining action drama that has a little bit of everything; other than being fairly similar to other films of the genre, it has the goods to stand on its own. It won't win any awards, but is one of the better action movies to come out this year.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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