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REVIEW — “Dom Hemingway”

Imagine taking one of the colorful characters from a Guy Ritchie Gangster flick (Snatch, RockNRolla, etc) and focusing just on segment from his life.  In essence, that is what the incredibly entertaining “Dom Hemingway” provides.


Written and directed by Richard Shepard, the story follows Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) in his first few weeks of freedom after spending 12 years in jail.  An infamous safe cracker, Hemingway stuck to his personal code and never ratted on the man he was working for, but now is on a mission to get what is owed to him.  Besides losing over a decade of his life, his wife died from cancer, and his daughter no longer wants anything to do with him.  Driven by a volatile temper and his own skewed perception of what is right and wrong, Hemingway tends to lose control and talk himself into some very precarious situations.  Fortunately, when he regains his composure, he usually has the ability to talk himself out of those very situations… At least until he suddenly makes another bad decision.  He’s joined on the outside by what may be his only true friend, Dickie Black, played hilariously by Richard E. Grant.  Dickie is a Jiminy Cricket of sorts, desperately trying to be the voice of reason to Dom’s overly passionate sensibilities.  More often than not though, he is relegated to making faces of shock or horror at the things that spew from Dom’s mouth.


These rants are one of the highlights of the film.  The script is exceptional and Jude Law is able to deliver amazing, poetically offensive monologues with intoxicating vigor.  In fact, the movie opens with a 5 minute soliloquy on his favorite body part and just how awe-inspiring it is. (It’s a truly rousing speech!)  His passion is reflected in the visual tone of the film, at times almost cartoonish, bright reds dominate the Mise en scène.  At times it’s splashed on the screen like a punch from Dom’s meaty hand.


The combination of an amazing script, fun visual style, and vigorous performances almost make us forget that there is virtually no plot.  This is just few weeks in his life, not much is resolved by the end.  But as the director said after the Arizona premier, “Dom is such a fun character, I could probably write him going to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread and it would be interesting!”  After watching this film, you’ll probably want to see that movie made as a sequel!


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