Sunday, November 30, 2014

Movie Review: "Dom Hemingway" (2013)

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Movie"Dom Hemingway"
Director: Richard Shepard
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) is an arrogant, violent, foul-mouthed, sex-crazed, all-around asshole who is finishing a 12 year stretch in prison. Upon his release, his first order of business is to beat the crap out of his late ex-wife's husband. From there, he meets his best friend Dickie Black (Richard E. Grant) at the local pub, who informs him that their boss Mr. Fontain (Demian Bichir) would like to show Dom his gratitude for not ratting on him, and has bought him a pair of prostitutes as a present. Dom takes the girls and goes on a quick cocaine, alcohol and sex bender before heading off to meet Mr. Fontain himself to receive the rest of what he is owed. After an unfortunate accident and Dom's reward is stolen, he heads back to London to seek help from his estranged daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke), who obviously wants nothing to do with him. He hopes to find a way back into her good graces while also looking to scrounge up "work" as a safe cracker. 

The character of Dom Hemingway is a despicable one. He beats a man severely and takes a bite out of his face for having the audacity to marry his ex-wife. He also thinks very highly of himself as we gather from his poetic monologue about his penis that opens the film. There is only about a minute or two in the film where you feel any sympathy for Dom, but any emotion you feel for him fades quickly as it turns out he is just your typical screw-up who likes to think his problems are caused by bad luck rather than his own poor life choices. Hemingway is a wholly unlikable person and it's hard to get into a movie with such a jerk for a protagonist. Most anti-heroes have at least one redeeming quality, and we can't think of any that Hemingway had. Jude Law does an excellent job as the titular smarmy, greasy sleaze-ball, a complete 180 from his days where he was always playing a romantic heartthrob. Now older with thinning hair and less chiseled looks, Law is able to play this type of character with conviction and success. Unfortunately, this movie just isn't anything special to carry his good performance. Obviously, the film is meant to be a dark comedy and there is some humor in it in the form of oddball imagery (a strange monkey painting, for example), Dom's off-beat but funny soliloquies and some random exchanges between Law and Grant. In fact, the movie teeters on eccentric more often than not. It is successful in this aspect, but we're not sure if Dom's profanity laden rants are meant to be humorous or just to show what an unstable prick he is. Their is a lot of interesting camera work and the film is shot very well with some fantastically stylized sequences, but based on the trailer, this is a much different movie than what we thought we were going to see and want to watch that one instead. That, plus, it ends abruptly.

The movie as a whole didn't receive a lot of attention and to our knowledge, didn't get released in very many theaters. Many in the general public may not even know this movie exists, and we don't think that there's anything strong enough to warrant seeking it out. We really like dark comedies, and it's not bad, but it just wasn't our cup of tea.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 59%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Ender's Game"

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