Diesel’s films need analysis
It has come to my attention through various journals of record and regularly ‘scientifically rigorous’ periodicals that a very troubling hypothesis has emerged within the cinema watchers community: Vin Diesel sucks.
This, I need not tell my informed readers, is simply false and an oversimplification of a much more complicated body of work. Through my undergraduate and post-doctoral work I have never seen a man so misunderstood. To put it in terms the proletariat may more easily digest, Diesel does not suck, nay. Much like the methane-based fuel for which his surname is homage, he’s only harmful to humans in large doses.
Let’s test this hypothesis on an agreeably mediocre film, for the purposes of this experiment we will use ‘Boiler Room.’ Certainly not a masterpiece but surrounded by a strong cast (and Jamie Kennedy), Diesel is allowed to deliver a nuanced role as a rough and tumble junk bond dealer who secretly hides a smallest of consciences. It is here we can see the strongest persona in Diesel’s quiver of talent, a brawny dumbass who might know a little more than he’s letting on.
Now let’s progress to easily his best work where he has the most lines, a role where he is in fact the title character, the Brad Bird opus ‘The Iron Giant.’ This would seemingly deflate my carefully crafted theory but instead only adds another wrinkle. Vin Diesel can in fact star in the entire running length of a feature film only under the strict rules that his actual face is never shown, and that all of his lines are delivered to sound like E.T. on codeine.
Unfortunately, it is here where we can examine the dark side of this equation.
The easiest example is the transition from ‘Pitch Black,’ where he played Riddick, a brawny creep who might know a little more then he is letting on, to the spin-off, ‘The Chronicles of Riddick.’ This misguided effort unwisely places him as a main character with only Judi Dench and explosions as his supporting cast.
I will leave to your imagination the horror that will befall viewers of ‘The Pacifier’ or the upcoming biopic ‘Hannibal,’ where he directs and stars as the infamous Carthaginian general. But instead of dwelling on the bad, I will again remind Hollywood and movie fans across the globe of the good Diesel can bring us all.
Two of Vin’s earliest credits tell the story perfectly; both ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (as Private Caparzo) and ‘Awakenings’ (as uncredited Hospital Orderly) were nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Picture, and coincidently either has Diesel in the movie for longer then 5 minutes total.
Do the math.
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