Sunday, 17 November 2013

Review: Dom Hemingway

World of Blackout Film Review

Dom Hemingway Poster

Dom Hemingway
Cert: 15 / 94 mins / Dir. Richard Shepard

Now here's an odd beast. It feels like it sits somewhere between The Bank Job and Bronson, with the grimy, untrustworthy London of the former populated by the cartoonish wideboys of the latter. Jude Law gives a magnificent performance as the eponymous safe-cracker, steering the role carefully between likeable rogue and self-obsessed scumbag, making sure he lands squarely on neither. The comedic moments he shares with Richard E Grant's Dickie are among the film's finest and most confident (Grant is also marvellous, if completely underused after the first act).

The film is split into chapters, clearly marked with a title-card between each, and once the thread with European crime-lord Mr Fontain (a delightfully barking Demian Bichir) comes to its end, so does the story's coherence. Everything after 'the crash' feels like it's freewheeling; earnestly played, but ultimately aimless (much like Hemingway's character, to be fair). As each segment ends, it feels slightly incomplete, and you know the final reel is going to have to pull something pretty special out of the bag to cap things off neatly. And ultimately, it doesn't.

But for all my over-analysing, it's still a very enjoyable movie when it's working, and I foresee it being a regular Saturay-nighter in years to come. Add beer and friends for best results.

Dom Hemingway is full of great performances looking for a strong screenplay to inhabit. The core idea is there, and so's all the talent to make it happen. It just feels like an outline of what a cracking Brit-flick should be…

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
In the opening act, yes; but less as it went on.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
I'm not sure. I don't think so.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
It's good, but the DVD should do you.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
I will.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There isn't.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
The film felt (to me) like it was missing the archetypal London kingpin (Gambon in Layer Cake, Moriarty in Lock, Stock); who would you cast in this to complement Jude Law and Richard E Grant, without upstaging them?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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