Brit crime caper Dom Hemingway is nasty fun 

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Dom Hemingway opens with the title character, played by Jude Law, looking straight at the camera while delivering a soliloquy about the power and majesty of his dick. Dom is nude, but we don't see the object of his impassioned speech. Initially, he is only seen down to his waist level, but as the camera eventually pulls back, the view is obstructed by the head of a person administering a blowjob.

That's the kind of movie Dom Hemingway is. A British crime flick turned redemption story, it follows the path of films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, mixing Quentin Tarantino-inspired shocks with zippy mod visuals of the A Hard Day's Night school of elan. Writer-director Richard Shepard (The Matador) offers a violent, kicky outing. The screenplay struggles – some parts don't work, others are too dumb to be engaging. But the film has style on top of style on top of style, along with a swell central performance by Law. Is that enough for you? I wished there had been more, but I left happy.

Law gained 30 pounds of fat for the movie and proudly displays his naked torso and fanny (despite his efforts, he looks more cute than slovenly). In doing so, he follows The Rule of Cinematic Weight Change, which goes like this: If an actor gains or loses a significant amount of weight for a movie, they must be shown in a notable stage of undress to make it clear how very committed they are to their craft. Think Robert De Niro (Raging Bull), Tom Hanks (Castaway), Charlize Theron (Monster), and Christian Bale in both The Machinist (skinny) and American Hustle (fat). Note: Dallas Buyers Club boldly ignores the Rule of CWC and does not do a shirt-off showcase scene of Matthew McConaughey's weight loss.

Fresh off a 12-year prison sentence after taking the fall for his boss, Dom and his best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant) go on a three-day celebratory binge of drugs, drink and women. Then they head to France so Dom can collect his reward from his employer, Fontaine (Demain Bichir). Dom blows the meeting spectacularly (and unbelievably), but amends are made, leading to a drive with Fontaine and his girlfriend Paolina (Madalina Ghenea) that ends in a wreck, providing some exceptionally cool visuals.

Dom and Dickie return to London, where Dom tries to reconnect with his estranged adult daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke) while getting involved with Lestor (Jumayn), a gangster who can't stand him. The film builds to a ludicrous bet with Lestor (that puts Dom's beloved member at high risk) and the resolution of the would-be reconciliation with Evelyn.

Portions of the production don't work and the change in tone late in the proceedings isn't smooth. But Law is aces, Grant provides solid support, the eye candy is delicious and the film's sense of style triumphs over its deficits in substance. Dom Hemingway is nasty fun.

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Dom Hemingway
Rated R · 93 min. · 2014
Official Site:
Director: Richard Shepard
Writer: Richard Shepard
Cast: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Birchir, Emilia Clarke, Jordan A. Nash, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Diana Ghenea, Kerry Condon, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Hannah Blamires

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What others are saying (5)

LA Weekly In Dom Hemingway, Jude Law Goes for Greatness Going bald is the best thing that ever happened to Jude Law. Britain's prettiest export did the best he could with his burden of good looks. He played a genetic ideal in Gattaca, a robotic ideal in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and in The Talented Mr. Ripley, his golden-god perfection got... by Amy Nicholson 04/02/2014
Colorado Springs Independent Dom Hemingway undermines its black-comedy potential with overwrought drama For a film that begins by soliloquizing over its protagonist's penis, Dom Hemingway is surprisingly short of balls. by Daniel Barnes 04/23/2014
Memphis Flyer Safe Words Jude Law mesmerizes as criminal Dom Hemingway. by Greg Akers 05/01/2014
2 more reviews...
Portland Mercury A Right Bastard Hey Jude, you're all wrong for Dom Hemingway. by Ned Lannamann 04/16/2014
Creative Loafing Charlotte Dom Hemingway: Dom capers Rating: *** by Matt Brunson 04/18/2014

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