Dom Hemingway follows the exploits of the eponymous character (played by Jude Law), a notorious safecracker, after he is released from 12 years in lockup. He took the fall in a job gone south and paid the price. He could have made a deal with the police to get a reduced sentence, but he wouldn’t do that; Dom’s an old-fashioned guy, who believes in honor among thieves and all that stuff. But now that’s he out, he’s going to get what he’s owed, and he’s gonna have a hell of a lot of fun while doing it. Soon though, he realizes that there might be things more important than money and repaying debts.
But first, let’s take a moment to stop and admire Jude Law’s facial hair. I mean, look at it!
Between the small furry animal that died on Jude Law’s face and the extremely British dialogue, I was giggling like a nutcase through the whole film. Jude Law gives a solid performance; he’s able to alternate between amusingly sociopathic and surprisingly heartwarming in the space of the gap between the train and platform at King’s Cross. Richard E. Grant and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) are also in this movie, but they get very little screen time compared to Mr. Hemingway. It seems that the writers tried to shape Dom into a memetic badass in the vein of Chuck Norris or The Most Interesting Man in the World, and while Law certainly chewed the scenery, he falls short of the kind of exploits required to become a sensation on tumblr.
If Jude Law is the definite highpoint of the film, the low point is probably the plot. Much like Mr. Hemingway, the movie itself seems to be having an identity crisis. Sometimes it seems to be a classic crime drama, sometimes it’s a black comedy, and sometimes it’s a heartwarming tale about forgiveness and the importance of family. While Law is able to pull off the wildly different tones surprisingly well, the rest of the film has far more trouble. Many of the transitions seem to be needlessly abrupt, and some of the plot points made little sense. Overall, with the possible exception of the titular character himself, nothing about this film is particularly great or memorable.
I think the real problem with Dom Hemingway is that it simply tries to be too many things at once. Mix together some Trainspotting with a bit of Goodfellas, add in a dash of Monty Python, a scene with Jude Law’s naked ass, and a hint of every annoying movie about how family is the most important thing, and you get.. something. Ah well, at least I was able to snicker when people said bollocks.
Grade: B- (if you like English accents as much as I do)
Grade: C/C+ (if you’re a normal person)