A Man Apart
April 4, 2003
This film was known as El Diablo until Blizzard Entertainment filed suit, claiming that they trademarked the title and planned to use it for a motion picture based on their Diablo computer games. The story in this Vin Diesel starring vehicle bears no similarity whatsoever to those games, which take place in medieval times and involve demonic creatures that have taken over the imaginary city of Tristam. El Diablo instead refers to one of the main characters in the New Line project, a vicious drug lord who is looking to take control of organizations in both US and Mexico.
Vin Diesel and Larenz Tate star as Sean Vetter and Demetrius Hicks, two tough young narcotics officers with urban backgrounds. Their squad, known as The Gunslingers, is dedicated to stopping cocaine traffic from the Mexican corridor into Southern California. After the primary drug lord responsible for the area is busted by US Customs, Diablo (Timothy Olyphant) starts to muscle in on that territory, using brazen and unconscionable acts that eventually lead to grave tragedy for Vetter. Vetter swears revenge, and his partner joins him as they use a combination of street smarts and brute force to infiltrate Diablo's operation. As they use more and more questionable tactics that fall far outside the scope of the law, Vetter and Hicks are faced with the moral dilemma of determining whether they are cops who used to be street-smart tough guys or if they have become thugs with badges.
In addition to starring in the film, Diesel also has an executive producer credit, while F. Gary Gray (The Negotiator, Friday) handles directing responsibilities. It bears noting that New Line is so pleased with what they've seen of the product so far that a sequel is already in development. After a steady rise in popularity that truly started with his memorable turn as Riddick in Pitch Black, Diesel has become one of the hottest names in Hollywood. This role as a brooding, streetwise narc who doesn't go by the book is exactly the type of part he is suited for, and the film itself looks to be a stylish Heat-meets-Traffic take on cops who work outside the law. Expectations should be high, both from the studio and the public. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Comparison films for A Man Apart
|Fast and the Furious, The