Release Date: April 18, 2014
Running Time: 93 minutes
Dom Hemingway isn’t the scariest British crook we have crossed paths with in the past decade. That distinction goes to Ben Kingsley’s Sexy Beast sociopath Don Logan. Nor is Dom the toughest. That honor goes to Tom Hardy’s thuggish Charles “Charlie” Bronson from Bronson. What separates the eponymous antihero of director Richard Shepard’s British crime comedy Dom Hemingway from his contemporaries is his humanity. He knows when he’s done right and he knows when he’s done wrong, even though he can’t help himself from doing more wrong than right. That’s not to say Dom (Jude Law) isn’t fast with his mouth or isn’t quick to throw a punch like Logan and Bronson. But more often than not he suffers as a result of the consequences of his action. Released from prison after a 12-year stretch, Dom travels to France to collect money he is owned by the notorious mobster Mr. Fontaine (Demián Bichir) from the job that put him behind bars. Things quickly spiral out of control, resulting in a series of unfortunate events for Dom that is as abrasively hilarious as it is episodic in nature. Dom Hemingway certainly would benefit from a tighter script with more focus, especially in regards to Dom’s desire to reconcile with his estranged daughter Evelyn (Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke). Still, Shepard can be forgiven for allowing Dom Hemingway to meander when the action shifts back to England. Why? Because Dom is a wonderful comic creation whom Law manages to turn into a sympathetic figure despite his obvious shortcomings. From the moment we are introduced to Dom, and what an introduction it is, the beefed-up Law fully embraces all of Dom’s flaws and uses them to full effect as part of the transformative journey the loud, obnoxious and foolhardy criminal undertakes following his prison release. Law’s never been this loose or funny, and he favorably recalls a young Michael Caine at his most crafty and charming. His performance is as outrageously memorable as the ones Kingsley and Hardy gave in, respectively, Sexy Beastand Bronson. Law also gets great support from Richard E. Grant as Dom’s closest friend Dickie. Dickie’s dignified manner offers an amusing contrast to Dom’s boorishness, most noticeably when the two pals are bickering over this or that, which is quite often. While Dom uses Dickie as a sounding board, he’s never quick to forget who he is. “I am Dom Hemingway,” Dom bellows whenever he finds himself in a tight spot. It’s a rallying cry from a proud, self-aware man who cannot be denied.
Aired: April 17, 2014
Web site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/domhemingway/