Dom Hemingway review
Jude Law is wonderfully deranged and utterly plausible as a rage-filled moron, but the movie leaves him adrift amongst unrealized satire…
I’m “biast” (pro):
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
There’s a point early on in this portrait of the criminal as a dumb man that I thought Jude Law was actually going to have a stroke onscreen. I can’t recall actually being terrified for an actor like that before, not even when dangerous physical stunt work was involved. To say that Law (Rise of the Guardians) gives it everything he has, and then some, here is an understatement: the man is wonderfully deranged and utterly plausible as a rage-filled moron who mistakes his felonious “ethics” for a code of honor, and his fellows’ lack of interest in playing by the “rules” as betrayal. But Dom is not a man who thinks profoundly about anything other than himself and his “shitty” luck. (The opening monologue has Dom contemplating the supposed magnificence of his cock, and this moment represents the summit of his intellect.) His bad luck now concerns the 12 years he just finished spending in prison for keeping his mouth shut and not ratting out the crime lord (Demian Bichir: Machete Kills) he was working for — Dom wants the money that’s due him from that job gone wrong, plus interest, plus a present (he has rather Neanderthal ideas about what might constitute a present). Alas for Law’s spectacular performance, the film around him doesn’t quite rise to meet it. Writer-director Richard Shepard was far more astute in The Hunt and The Matador, his earlier, superior filmic explorations of the blurry boundaries between criminality and morality. And so Law and the always amusing Richard E. Grant (Doctor Who), as Dom’s most faithful buddy, are left adrift, straining to find sympathetic pathos in a scenario where it doesn’t actually exist.