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A Man Apart
2003 - R - 110 Mins.
Director: F. Gary Gray
Producer: Michael De Luca, Vin Diesel, Robert John Degus
Written By: Christian Gudegast and Paul Scheuring
Starring: Vin Disel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olymphant, Steve Eastin
Review by: Joe Rickey
   
This film is one that I didn't actually want to see at first. Diesel is very hit or miss when it comes to the quality of his films. I enjoyed The Fast and the Furious and Pitch Black but found XXX below average at best. It was so over the top it was sad. As for Knockaround Guys which really wasn't even a Diesel film anyway, I did enjoy it somewhat but found it a little too convoluted at times. I do however like Diesel as an actor because he really seems to have worked hard to get where he is, what with making his own little films and such. I admire the man for the hard work that he put in to become a now famous movie star. Also, the premise of a man seeking revenge on the man who had his lover killed is rather cliched but the end result ended up being a really solid film.

Director F. Gary Gray did a pretty good job directing the film. He paced the film fairly well as there weren't really any long stretches of boredom or me getting lulled to sleep. Whether it was through the use of various camera tricks and/or quick editing cuts (thankfully not overdone) even the sections of the film that could have easily dragged under another director don't for the most part, in A Man Apart. Gray also shows that he really knows how to handle action sequences, as the various action set pieces in the film are really well staged and thoroughly entertaining. A shootout in about the middle of the film is unbelievable to behold. The fact that Gray doesn't shy away from the brutality of the characters really improves the style and overall feel of the picture. The world in which A Man Apart exists is one of devilish characters and the brutality of the film really does a good job of reinforcing this.

As for the acting, well it is actually better than one would expect. In the lead, Vin Diesel is of course good at handling the portions of the film where he is asked to be a macho man but, quite surprisingly, he is also game at being a grieving man who just cannot quite understand what made his life go off its intended path. He really gets the attention of the viewer during these scenes and never once comes across as corny or overacting. As his faithful partner, Lorenz Tate also does well. Unfortunately, he is handed a role that isn’t quite as developed as the lead, which hinders him at times. I sure would have liked to see more of what his home life with his wife and young kid than what is presented in the film.

Overall, A Man Apart is a surprisingly good revenge drama/action film with well-staged sequences of action and enough drama and solid acting to back it up. Well done all involved.
 
Movie Guru Rating
An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater.
  4 out of 5 stars

 
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