Thursday, April 17, 2014

MINI-REVIEW: Dom Hemingway

Dom Hemingway

Jude Law, Richard E. Grant


April 2, 2014 (NY/LA)
April 11, 2014 (Expands)

Richard Shepard

Fox Searchlight Pictures

1 hour 33 minutes



When a movie starts off with the titular character breaking the fourth wall in prison talking about how incredible his "piece" is while being "serviced" by a fellow prison inmate, you know that you're about to see a film that is out of its own mind.  "Dom Hemingway" is a movie that starts off with constant swearing and drinking and never ceases from there, despite getting darker and more heartfelt as the film progresses.  Jude Law plays the titular character, and he's been in prison for 12 years due to not snitching out his colleagues.  Now he's out, and he's got a lot of catching up to do.  After all, his daughter's grown up now and doesn't want anything to do with her dad, his friends are minimal and his enemies are exceedingly high, and Dom wants the money that belongs to him.  What ensues in the 93 minutes that this movie lasts is absolute absurdity, but in the best ways imaginable.  Thanks to a fleshed out narrative, very satisfactory/shocking moments placed throughout the film's duration, and a fierce and commanding performance from Jude Law, "Dom Hemingway" is an insane, hilarious, and surprisingly heartwarming dark comedy that is definitely worth seeing.

To say that Jude Law's performance as Dom is great is an understatement.  Of all of the performances I've seen from him, this is probably my favorite one of his next to Gigolo Joe from "A.I. Artificial Intelligence."  The character of Dom is a sour, bitter, and pathetic human being who is actually fleshed out and gives the audience a reason to sympathize with him.  Despite his aggressive temper, over the top sexual charisma, and absolute hatred for the world, Dom is still a human, and Law clearly shows this, especially in the film's second half.  Richard E. Grant's performance as Dom's right hand man Dickie helps to contradict Dom's aggressive manner at times, and even manages to give off some powerful laughs here and there.  Demian Bechir and Emilia Clarke help to round out this stellar cast of characters, though Jude Law basically owns this movie at the end of the day.

Director/screenwriter Richard Shepard manages to take this pathetic character and give him a story where we, the audience, get to both laugh at his absurdity and pity him when things go from bad to worse for him.  This film as a whole is an absurd dollar coaster ride into the life of one crazy man looking for revenge and redemption, and I for one had a blast with it.  The direction is great, Jude Law's performance is out of the park, and "Dom Hemingway" as a whole is a great little gem that deserves your attention no doubt.  It's one of those movies that doesn't quite go as far as one may want it to, but the overall experience is incredibly satisfying.  If this movie is playing in your area, definitely check it out.  "Dom Hemingway" is a love it or hate it dark comedy that I saw as an insane, bonkers, but great movie with a well-written story and Jude Law's most energetic and twisted performance to date.

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