.

A Man Apart

Larenz Tate, Vin Diesel

Directed by F. Gary Gray
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 1
Community: star rating
5 1 0
April 4, 2003

It's a little early for self-parody in the career of Vin Diesel. But he's a calamitous cliché in A Man Apart playing Sean Vetter, an L.A. cop on a crusade against a Mexican drug cartel for killing (in one thug's words) his "stupid bitch wife." The thugs aren't the only ones saddled with duh dialogue. Get this line from Sean — for full effect, imagine the rolling thunder of Diesel's voice: "If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead."

With more movies like A Man Apart, it'll be kaput to Diesel's acting future. The former bouncer showed promise with supporting roles in Saving Private Ryan and, especially, Boiler Room. And the star spot felt comfortable in The Fast and the Furious, in which he did a cool-jerk version of Lee Marvin with more muscle and less hair. It was last year's hit xXx that overplayed Diesel's hand. Was he real or digital? To the press he was cocky about his appeal and coy about his ethnic origins (Italian? black? both?) and sexual orientation. In A Man Apart — filmed before xXx — he pulls a lap dancer off his crotch. "Learn to respect yourself," he says, earning a snigger. "You calling me a faggot?" he shouts without an ounce of irony. At least he could've joked, "Not that there's anything wrong with that." What's wrong with Diesel is that he's letting his talent atrophy into caricature. Nothing kills a career quicker.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com