A Man Apart

Vin Diesel, Larnez Tate. Directed by G Gary Gray.
Running Time: 114 mins
Rated: R

Filmed prior to his high octane role in xXx, A Man Apart is another action show for Vin Diesel, somewhat inexplicably emerging at the beginning of the decade as a successor to Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis. The film was held back from release until the opening weeks of the war in Iraq and is interesting to view making comparisons with real events, especially the assumptions of US superiority, authority and being police leader of the world.

It also shows undercover operations against Mexican drug cartels (which have required seven years of covert activity rather than several weeks) and daylight operations in the streets which seem to be indiscriminate gun mayhem with audiences unable to tell who is who as everyone is dressed in civilian clothes. Some of the police arrange the evidence to protect violent emotional outbursts on the part of a buddy who 'loses it' and throws a secret operation into turmoil when he takes justice into his own hands.

The drug world, as in Traffic, centres on California and Mexico. It obviously requires a great deal of commitment for police to stay in their roles to protect innocent society. It is shocking to see some of the violent episodes on the part of ruthless gangsters who assume their rights to superiority and the violent consequences of law enforcement. Diesel is a po-faced hero who unleashes fierce emotions that jeopardise himself and his work. The rest of the cast play the usual roles of police, wives and families or the usual suspects, suppliers, henchman and bosses.

Fr Peter Malone MSC is the International President of SIGNIS: the World Association for Catholic Communicators.

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