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Sean Vetter, Vin Diesel, an American cop, leads a team that raids the Tijuana, Mexico, HQ of drug cartel boss Memo Lucero, Geno Silva, who is transported across the border to serve time in an American prison. No sooner have Sean and members of his team finished celebrating than a gunman attacks the beachside house he shares with his vivacious wife, Stacy, Jacqueline Obradors. Stacy is killed and Sean badly wounded. Vowing revenge, he discovers that Lucero's operation has been taken over by a shadowy character called Diablo, who was probably responsible for his wife's death. The trail leads to a hip Hollywood hustler, Timothy Olyphant, and then into a rendezvous that turns into a violent shoot-out; Sean is forced to hand in his badge, but he won't give up the fight. Basically, A Man Apart is a variation on countless films about crusading cops, films like Fritz Lang's The Big Heat, which contains many similar situations. But director F. Gary Gray seems overly influenced by Traffic - he hops about all over the place with bewildering rapidity, and though he wants to be cool at all costs, he stages the action scenes without precision. This is another modern film which, in pandering to the supposed tastes of teenagers who can absorb information at an amazing rate, winds up chaotic and confusing. Vin Diesel's vengeful cop lacks the charisma he brought to some of his earlier roles, and the film is more interested in violent action than exploring in any depth the real problems of the drug trade.Comments by Margaret PomeranzSlickly told by F. Gary Gray (what does the F. stand for?) who will be responsible for two movies on our screens within a short space of time, he directed the remake of The Italian Job which we’ll be seeing soon, this is nevertheless pretty standard fare. Not too many surprises, Vin Diesel crying on a beach is one I remember, but apart from that it seems like a re-run of many a US cop versus south of the border drug lords story. Just another movie you sit through with momentary involvement that doesn’t last past those steps out of the cinema.

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