For a short time at the start of the year 2000, Vin Diesel movies seemed to indicate he would be the next huge action star. That career sputtered out quite quickly but, in its path, left a number of great movies along the way. However, Diesel started out as less an action hero and more of a serious actor. His career path, while not as great as he might have hoped, still remains a nice filmography.
Steven Spielberg is responsible for helping discover Vin Diesel. Movies like “Saving Private Ryan” are a method for a number of different actors to display their talents. With a cast including Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Edward Burns and Tom Sizemore, it might be easy for a small no-name actor to get overlooked. Spielberg saw something special in Diesel, thanks to the actors early independent efforts and fans latched onto the muscular actor thanks to his performance in this Oscar nominated film.
“The Iron Giant”
While not always referred to as a Vin Diesel movie, it was the big man who voiced the large robot in this underappreciated animated classic. Directed by Brad Bird, the man who went on to join Pixar and create some of the company’s classic films, this movie tells the story of a robot who fell from outer space and befriends a young boy. This is a great animated film that slipped through the cracks and deserves a second chance.
Vin Diesel finally became a star thanks to this fantastic sci-fi horror movie. What people know as Vin Diesel movies began with this action flick. Vin stars as a convict who is being transported to a prison planet when the ship he is on crashes onto at unknown planet. He must soon join forces with the other travelers on the ship when the sun goes down, casting the planet into a state of pitch black, and monstrous giant bugs arrive to kill anything living. It spawned a sequel called “The Chronicles of Riddick.”
“The Fast and the Furious”
While “Pitch Black” was the movie that defined a "Vin Diesel movie", it was street racing movie “The Fast and the Furious” that made Vin Diesel a star. Starring as the bad boy alongsid Paul Walker’s federal agent, Vin Diesel set the world on fire and helped the movie rake in more than $200 million at the box office. There have now been five installments of the franchise with Diesel starring in three of them, including the recent addition, “Fast Five” in 2011.
Vin Diesel had one more big action movie left in him by 2002. “xXx” was a brainless action thriller where Vin Deisel was set loose in what was supposed to be a new franchise for him as a James Bond type character. He played a former convict hired be the American government to take place in extreme sports styled adventures. Sam Jackson co-starred as his handler. Vin Diesel chose not to continue on with the sequel, preferring to try to work on the “Riddick” sequel and his career sputtered out shortly after that.