Vin Diesel: his 5 Best Movies (I promise not Fast & Furious)

What are the best films/roles of Vin Diesel, who became a superstar thanks to the Fast & Furious series ?

Our review of the bad Fast & Furious 10.

When we say Vin Diesel, we immediately think of exhaust pipes, tuning and a corona around a barbecue. And we probably want to laugh thinking back to the half-moralizing, half-Cirque du Soleil delusions of the sheet metal of the saga Fast & FuriousOr the actor plays as if he were at Shakespeare.

But Vin Diesel, it’s not just that, even if he puts all his energy into proving the opposite with an indestructible frankness, since Fast X is only the beginning of the end. For many, the actor and producer remains the unforgettable Riddick, among other notable roles.

We decided to go back to 5 Notable Vin Diesel Roles and Movies.


Released: 1997 (unpublished in France) – Duration: 1h45

He was born in Marcel

It all started there, on many levels. In the film, Vin Diesel plays Rick, a hottie who walks around in a white tank top so that we can see his biceps clearly, hangs out with his family (his friends, cousins, brothers and company), scrolls through the girls in his bed and searches for meaning in his life as a small drug dealer. When he falls in love with a woman from another world, he will have to face his demons to grow up, and decide who he wants to be, even if it means upsetting the balance of his little band.

There is more humor, simplicity, awkwardness (and therefore, tenderness), but there are all the ingredients of the soup Fast & Furious. Dominic Torreto could have been born there, in these streets that Vin Diesel knows so well. In any case, he had the look of the future hero of F&FAnd his game was based on the same… economy, it will be said.

But above all, Strays was a deluxe demo tape for Vin Diesel, here director, screenwriter and actor. He had already done it with the short film Multi-Facial in 1994, where he staged as an actor seeking to land roles and launch his career. He put the cover back with the feature film Strays, shot in 16mm for a tiny budget (around $50,000, probably the equivalent of a coffee break on a Fast & Furious).

Strays: PictureAbsolutely magical scene

The plan worked since this first film definitively placed Vin Diesel on the radar, with a passage in the competition at Sundance in 1997, and especially the attention of Steven Spielberg. After seeing it in Multi-Facial And Straysthe superstar filmmaker decided to write him a role in We have to save the soldier Ryan.

In 2018, Vin Diesel told the Los Angeles Times: “He asked me to come and meet him on the set of Amistad. And I remember thinking, ‘What do I have to look like? He’s writing a role for me based on what I’ve done as a director, so what am I doing here? What am I going to tell him?’. I promised myself not to say something he had heard a thousand times, like ‘I love what you do’. And, surprise, I find myself in front of him, he tells me ‘I love what you do’, and I answer, ‘I love what you do so much'”. Historically, Strays is therefore essential on his CV.

The Iron Giant

Released: 1999 – Duration: 1h25

The Iron Giant: photoThe death of Mufasa < the sacrifice of the Iron Giant

Before playing stars and supermen in Pitch Black And Fast & Furious, Vin Diesel has tried his hand at dubbing in animation. And not in just any feature film, since it’s the tearful and timeless masterpiece by Brad Bird, The Iron Giant. Still unknown to the general public at that time (except for his second role written especially by Steven Spielberg in We have to save the soldier Ryan), he thus lent his voice to the metal giant and, in a sense, landed his first leading role in a production of which he is not the director.

Today, Vin Diesel’s ego crises are no secret to anyone, so much so that this role can be considered out of place because it is so minimalist and independent of the actor’s physique. This one remains in the shadow of his character, with about fifty words only spoken and a modified voice that is difficult to recognize. Its deep timbre, its slow flow and its monolithic tone (yet laughable everywhere else) thus play on a double register, that of the dehumanized and potentially dangerous machine, and that of the naive and vulnerable friend.

It’s all in the nuance, in the variations of intonation and breathing to make him look pathetic and elicit empathy, mirroring his choppy breath and slight stutter at what he thinks is Hoghart’s corpse. And because the mere word “Superman” has sparked crying spells across generations, it’s safe to say that it’s still his most vibrant, if not best, up-to-date interpretation.

all riddick

Released: 2000, 2004 and 2013 – Duration: 1h52, 1h59 and 1h59

Pitch Black: photo, Vin DieselThe only person who can wear swimming goggles with class

It was the role that revealed him to the general public (his intervention was very secondary in We have to save the soldier Ryan) and he stuck to it, backed by director and screenwriter David Twohy. It must be said that the character of Riddick was largely significant enough to propel his interpreter into the heights of Hollywood and the land of big billionaire cars. Menacing, decked out in dark glasses adapted to his nyctalopia, the furyen is an extremely charismatic born predator.

He made an even stronger impression because Pitch Black is a very well packaged B series, coupled with a real success of esteem. Ironically, it is the success of Fast & Furious that motivated Universal to give it a sequel, the (wrongly) unloved space opera The Chronicles of Riddick. Despite its flop at the box office, Diesel and Twohy did not let go of their antihero, during a hell development that has become legendary. The actor went so far as to accept a cameo in Tokyo Drift in exchange for franchise rights and was personally involved in the production of the latest installment, Riddick.

The Chronicles of Riddick: photo, Vin DieselYes, The Chronicles of Riddick is very good

It’s give and take: the saga gave him his career, his career kept the saga alive. And his investment is felt in each photogram. The absolute first degree that has earned his recent blockbusters much ridicule is particularly suited to Riddick. And his muscle mass is a perfect match for that alien Rambo that’s best not upset.

Good news: he should find it for a fourth part entitled Riddick 4: Furya, discussed for years. And to which Vin Diesel clings.

find me guilty

Released: 2006 – Duration: 2h05

Find Me Guilty: PhotoBaboulinet brush broom option

If we tell you Vin Diesel with hair at Sidney Lumet, you’ll tell us that it’s too good (and unlikely) to be true. Nevertheless, find me guilty is indeed one of the American master’s feature films of the 60s and 70s, even if its box office flop did not make it a classic like 12 angry men Or Network.

That said, we find here the sap of Lumet’s cinema, through a camera based on the true story of Giacomo “Jackie” DiNorscio, a mafia who, in the 80s, helped drag out for two years of a resounding trial. By choosing to defend himself, Jackie played his patter and his chat to put the jury in his pocket.

And it is clear that this counter-use is very successful for Vin Dieselwho deploys an astonishing sense of histrionics, a far cry from the constipated torso bulging of Fast & Furious. However, the actor never seems to overdo it, and weaves a fine line between the authenticity of his character and his way of putting himself on stage. Result, we take a liking to this gangster, while Lumet plays with this identification via dialogues always as chiseled. From afar the actor’s most surprising role.

A day in the life of Billy Lynn

Released: 2016 – Duration: 1h52

A day in the life of Billy Lynn : Photo Vin DieselBaboulinet elite soldier option

From the start ofA day in the life of Billy Lynn, Ang Lee makes Vin Diesel the vessel of his experimental approach. By having shot his film in 3D, in 4K and above all in HFR (at 120 frames per second), the filmmaker has offered an avant-garde work, a war film carried by a truly unprecedented level of immersion. On this occasion, the feature film allows itself some particular choices, such as these subjective views of the hero played by Joe Alwyn, who is stared down by our dear Baboulinet.

More generally, the role of Diesel (Sergeant Virgil “Shroom” Breem) is the unexpected emotional heart of the story. In addition to being the trigger for the plot (his sacrifice leads his troops to become a propaganda tool back home), he embodies a soldier who is the opposite of the masculinist and belligerent clichés that one might expect. . Conversely, Breem is a man focused on spiritualityand Ang Lee makes sure to scrutinize his actor carefully in these quiet moments.

Of course, the director makes the most of the image of the star, to the point of creating the most disturbing contrast of a feature film that upsets our prerequisites on the United States and their relationship to armed conflicts. The Sergeant is efficient and directive when necessary, but he always takes the time before a mission to declare to each of his men that he loves them. Like what, VIn Diesel is never at its best except when clever filmmakers pervert its image as a sandbox kéké.

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Vin Diesel: his 5 Best Movies (I promise not Fast & Furious)