A Man Apart


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A Man Apart
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Welcome to Mooseport
The Whole Ten Yards
Without a Paddle
Wrong Turn
X-Men 2
XXX: State of the Union
Sci Fi



" It's like Traffic without any of the actors in it, more confusing and poorly edited gunplay, and a severe case of VD (that's Vin Diesel's initials)."

A Man Apart
The Masked Reviewer

For those of you who don't know, Vin Diesel stars in this film.  The Masked Reviewer has observed that a lot of reviewers feel the need to make some sort of lame attempt at humor by making fun of the poor guy's name.  "High Octane Adventure by Diesel", or something like that.  The Masked Reviewer will refrain and make his own lame attempts at humor.

This isn't the light and fluffy kind of film we've grown to expect from Vin.  And, this review will focus mainly on Vin because, frankly, he's the only person the average viewer is likely to recognize.  A Man Apart doesn't have the playful exuberance of a snowboarding super-spy like XXX (which was a big disappointment for viewers who were expecting either a really dirty porno or a movie about Roman numerals), nor does it have the care-free joy of a happy-go-lucky thief like The Fast and the Furious (in which Diesel was, I believe, the furious).  A Man Apart is also missing the high body count of the ever uplifting Saving Private Ryan

The film's bad guys are drug dealers, and Vin goes for some payback.  He gets to act in this one.  There are scenes of anger, anguish, sadness, happiness, and love.  But mostly anger and anguish.  The Masked Reviewer believes that Mr. Diesel is probably working his way through an actor's workbook and is stuck in the A's.  This shouldn't be seen as a criticism, however, because...well...he seems like a big guy.  And, for an action star, he's not bad.  For an action star. 

Don't be fooled though, there are plenty of things that arepositive about this film.  For example:

- Vin's character, Sean Vetter, has a cat.  You don't see many action superstar characters with a cat.  He's not afraid to go beyond conventional stereotypes.

- At one point, Vin's character, Sean Vetter, suffers a wound that causes him to limp.  It's raining, and he's limping.  But, when Vin Diesel limps, Vin Diesel limps!  He falls in a puddle, even.  You feel his pain.  Come to think of it, he falls down a few times.  That kind of commitment is good entertainment.

Down to the nitty-gritty...there are some problems with this film.  First of all, it gets much too confusing for this kind of movie.  This can be blamed equally on the cameramen, the editor, and the director.  It's sometimes hard to follow a movie when there are too many rapid cuts.  Sometimes jerky camera movements make things confusing.  And sometimes a director throws in a strange angle that takes too long to figure out what's happening (the upside-down extreme close up of the nostril, for example).  Well, they've managed to combine all three of these bad elements.  In many scenes it's just too hard to tell what's happening.  You get a sense that there's chaos, but you often can't tell what happened or who's a good guy and who's a bad guy.  It also deprives the audience the chance to enjoy some good gunfights. 

It's also a bit of a noodle-scratcher as to what was going on.  The Masked Reviewer is pretty sure there was some big plot twist, but it didn't make a lot of sense as it was explained.  It was twisty for twisty's sake, and that feels cheap. 

A few other things were oddly unexplained.  One of them was "PJF" written on the back of some law enforcement agency's jackets.  PJF?  What's that?  Prune Juice Foundation? 

In another scene, Vin has to "boost" a car.  There's a fancy sports car, a classic car, and what does he take?  A Buick. 

They do use facial hair in this film to symbolize Vetter's character growth.  Stubble, goatee, clean-shaven: the beard is an analogy for...something.  It's in there.  Really.  

For those fans of Vin Diesel's buff body, you should be aware that he doesn't take his shirt off at any point.  The Masked Reviewer understands that many moviegoers have this film on their list in the hopes of getting a look at his hot bod.  No nude Vin, though there are a couple of breasts to behold and the Masked Reviewer is not against that.

Overall, it's not a great action movie and it falls a bit flat as a crime-fighting drama.  But, for being somewhere in the middle, it's okay especially if you're a Vin Diesel fan.  It's much closer in feel to The Fast and the Furious than XXX.  It's like Traffic without any of the actors in it, more confusing and poorly edited gunplay, and a severe case of VD (that's Vin Diesel's initials).  It's nothing special, but nothing so horrible that you'll want to kill yourself, and for an action star, that's an accomplishment.

If they do a sequel, and knowing Hollywood they might, the Masked Reviewer predicts it will be called A Man Further Apart, or maybe A Man Aparter.   Hopefully they'll instead focus on a sequel to XXX.  The sequel will be the hardest to name.  XXX 2?  If they stick with Roman numerals, maybe XXXI?  Maybe X2X2X2?  The best bet for a sequel title might by YYY.  "YYY did they make another one?"   And that, of course, will lead to the third part of the trilogy, titled ZZZ.  A sleeper hit, to be sure.

Expectation from the Title: A movie about a man and the division in his hair.  (A man, a part.  Get it?)

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything): Vin Diesel has a nice voice.

The Pros: Vin is interesting to watch.  Timothy Olyphant was enjoyable over-the-top as Hollywood Jack. 

 The Cons: The action scenes were hard to follow visually, the whole premise is overdone, there are a lot of things that happen in the movie that don't make sense in the movie's context. 


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This site was last updated 09/22/04

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