Pin It

Review: Dom Hemingway 

Ken Korman says that without Jude Law's performance, this one would go straight to video-on-demand

click to enlarge film_rec3.jpg

Gangster movies live or die on the strength of colorful, larger-than-life characters. That must have been the guiding principle for perennially mild-mannered leading man Jude Law when he agreed to go against type and intentionally chew the scenery in the title role of a flamboyant safecracker in Dom Hemingway. Law portrays an impossibly verbose ex-con whose only redeeming quality seems to be that he's a little less horrifying than his fellow criminals. This presents a problem for both Law and the audience as the story moves along. There's just no reason to stay with it apart from intermittently funny dialogue and the sheer audacity of Law's performance. Wild fluctuations in tone are an issue from the movie's first scene as director Richard Shepard (The Matador) seems unsure where to take his film. A few sequences, especially one involving a nonsensical bet with a former associate that may result in Hemingway literally losing his manhood, are difficult to watch. Shepherd's decision to take the movie vaguely into tearjerker territory seals its fate. But you've got to hand it to Law — without his efforts, the film would have gone straight to video-on-demand.

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Latest in Film: Previews and Reviews

  • Review: Kink

    Ken Korman submits to a new documentary about the world’s leading purveyor of bondage videos
    • Aug 25, 2014
  • Review: Land Ho!

    Ken Korman on a spirited indie road movie about two old fellows who travel across Iceland
    • Aug 25, 2014
  • Review: Magic in the Moonlight

    Ken Korman says Colin Firth and Emma Stone are fine, even if it’s not top-shelf Woody Allen
    • Aug 18, 2014
  • More »

More by Ken Korman

© 2014 Gambit
Powered by Foundation