Monday, April 14, 2014

DIFF 2014 Review: DOM HEMINWAY - Javi's Take


Directed by: Richard Shepard
Written by: Richard Shepard
Starring: Jude Law, Emilia Clarke, Richard E. Grant, and Damian Bichir
Synopsis: A crook, who just served 12 years protecting a crime lord, tries to reinstate himself into society with mixed results. 

DOM HEMINGWAY is a loud, crude, bombastic, funny and ridiculous movie about a loud, crude, bombastic, funny and ridiculous man by the same name. While the movie tries to be seen as a movie about a man getting out jail after 12 years trying to make his way back into the world and the lives of the people that he abandoned, it also deals with themes of aging, inadequacy and regret from a purely male perspective (which you know, we've never seen before).

Jude Law is very surprising in this role as he always seems to play the straight man in film. Here he is completly unfiltered as Dom. He is a violent drunk with ridiculous partying habits, but who also believes in a code of ethics among thieves. He's the type of friend that you would definitely want to have at your party to make it seem more lively, but would hate to hang out with during brunch the next morning. The first thing that he did as soon as he got out of jail was to seek the man that married his wife and beat him to a pulp and then proceeds on a three day bender of coke and booze with two strippers.

The majority of the movie is about him trying to stick to his old ways while trying to rekindle a relationship with his daughter. He tries to get money from the man whom he protected by staying silent and going to jail, and he tries to get a new job from a former enemy's son. No matter how much he tries to go straight or improve in his life, his insanely large ego gets in the way, and he burns bridges left and right.

The strength of the movie is both Jude Law and director Shepard's writing. The majority of the humor is based on conversation instead of physical comedy, and Jude Law delivers the lines with such conviction they had the whole theater laughing. Richard E. Grant as Dom's best friend is fantastic, and its apparent through their chemistry that these two men have known each other since they were young.

Plot wise, while the movie can get repetitive, seeing Dom mess up time and time again. However, the script is good enough where it doesn't let any of the characters become Hollywood cliches. The movie tries to explore the concept of aging through the lens of a very stubborn person that won't let go of their youth. The movie did need to maybe explore those issues a little bit more instead of multiple instances of Dom acting crazy.

DOM HEMINGWAY is a gritty and nasty little comedy and Jude Law excellently shows you how you can age in the least graceful way possible. It is one of the most obscene movies around, but despite that, it still has a story full of heart.

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