Dom Hemingway (2013)

(On Cable TV, October 2015) Brash, loud, articulate, arrogant and convinced that the world owes him a favour, Dom Hemingway is a great addition to the British crime canon, and Jude Law turns in a splendid performance by incarnating him.  The film’s story isn’t much more than a simple ex-con seeks revenge romp, but –from the very first moments- it’s Law’s charisma as Hemingway that carry Dom Hemingway.  The direction keeps up with its protagonist’s flights of eloquence and brash actions, resulting in a film that moves fast, hits hard and harkens back to some of the most dynamic British crime films of the past fifteen years.  Dom Hemingway doesn’t always succeed (Emilia Clark is a notable low-point for the film, sucking energy out of it even as her character is supposed to be an emotional linchpin for Hemingway’s redemption.) but it gamely tries, and there are plenty of good scenes along the way.  Great lines of dialogue don’t always mask the routine nature of the story, but the quotable content can’t be dismissed and writer/director Richard Shepard clearly knows and enjoys what he’s putting together.  Still, discussion of the film starts and ends with Jude Law, who clearly relishes the opportunity to let go of his pretty-boy persona and take on a darker role with gusto.  Dom Hemingway sparks to life whenever he sinks his teeth in the character, and the result feel invigorating.

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