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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An impressive Jude Law isn't enough to save this indulgent, weirdly superficial flick

Author: secondtake from United States
31 January 2015

Dom Hemingway (2013)

Yeah, as many reviewers say, this is a mixed bag. Jude Law is excellent, but he plays such a repellant character you don't really care how good he is. Or care about his fate. The movie around him is well built, well made. The plot around him is thin, however, really boiling around him trying to get some money back from old cronies after getting out of jail.

So heads are bashed and one flamboyant escapade after another pulls us along, with no real "development" of either the plot or the character. You can't say it gets exactly boring because it's all so outrageous, but it isn't satisfying, either.

So director Richard Shepard deserves credit for being brash and out there. And writer Richard Shepard (same guy) deserves some criticism for not taking this bold scenario anywhere actually interesting. Or moving. Or, blimey, original. It's odd to notice that a movie this original lacks basic originality. For a fast and unfair comparison, look at "Pulp Fiction" for a similar outrageous romp with cons and ex-cons. That one was original, whatever you think of it. This one lacks all those loops and hoops, the formal and narrative surprises that you actually do need.

See it? Maybe not. Law is truly excellent and in some ways it's worth seeing him for his acting, if you can appreciate that separate from the rest of it. He's so different than his usual sweet pretty boy self, it's a minor jolt. And there are some fun, campy aspects to it all that keep it perky and odd, or at least peculiar, which is worth something. That it doesn't matter, or gel, might not matter if you just like the style.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Yet more 'thugging up'

Author: bowmanblue from United Kingdom
23 June 2014

Ben Kingsley did it in 'Sexy Beast,' Tom Hardy did it in 'Bronson' and now Jude Law 'thugs up' in Dom Hemingway. And as most will be aware, Law is best known for his dramatic performances, where he plays softer, more gentile characters. Therefore, you can't blame him for wanting to try something a little different. Here, in 'Dom Hemingway' he plays the titular role of a convict released from prison and attempting to get back into his old ways.

Now, if you read any of the publicity for the film, you'll keep seeing the phrase 'larger than life' used to describe Jude Law's character. That, in my opinion is a very kind use of language. I would describe the character of Dom Hemingway as 'loud, foul-mouthed and very annoying.' I have nothing against bad or offensive leading characters/antiheros, but Hemingway is just too unlikeable to feel anything for. He just lurches from one scene to the next where he goes in, acts nice and friendly, only to degenerate into swearing loudly at someone or cracking their head open.

Fair play to Jude Law – he plays the part of a horrible character well. However, his character would be better suited as the 'bad guy' in a film, rather than someone we're supposed to like. The film got me thinking of 'Layer Cake' where Daniel Craig was the 'hero' despite being a drug dealer and criminal in general. However, despite his dodgy lifestyle, he was well-mannered and decent and therefore a lot easier to think of as a hero.

Fans of Jude Law will appreciate the performance he gives. However, I can't see many people actually 'liking' the character he plays, which is a shame, because the character of 'Dom Hemingway' would probably be perfect as the villain in some sort of British gangster movie directed by Guy Richie.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not really satisfying, but it's watchable

Author: KineticSeoul from United States
29 May 2014

This is a watered down "Broson" except it just isn't as raw or good as "Broson". It's more stylish and I could tell at the beginning Jude Law was trying to do his best Broson impression. But it's nowhere near as convincing or powerful as Tom Hardy. Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) isn't as cool or likable as Broson, but despite his super narcissistic and selfish actions he does have a conscience and a code he stands by. I don't know, but there is just something about men with certain codes that makes them stand out. This movie however although not all that satisfying does a good job of building up the character Dom Hemingway to the point of getting the audiences to sympathize with him. I did also like the erratic direction of it all, I expected the movie to go in a certain direction but it goes in another completely different one. Overall this is a watchable flick, just not really a satisfying one.


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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An Uphill Gardener with a weak chin.....

Author: FlashCallahan from Leicester, United Kingdom
8 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jude Law plays the titular character, who has just been released from chokey after twelve years and wants what he is owed for not opening his mouth.

He meets up with one handed Richard E. Grant and travel to get his money. After a night of debauchery and a car accident, he loses his money and has to start again from scratch, first trying to bond with his estranged daughter.

And to get his loot back.....

Its a mix of a lot of films. Most notably Sexy Beast, Bronson, and Payback. But unlike those movies, it's weirdly bland, despite the psychedelic feel the movie has (almost Sixties like) and a wonderful performance from Law.

The first couple of acts are brilliant. Lots of swearing and cockney wide boys giving it the big one, and all the while Law, spouting out lines like a Cannon, and looking like something from Life on Mars.

But as soon as we look deeper into Dom Hemingway, the person, you found out that Dom Hemingway,mother film, is rather shallow and not as funky as the first two acts suggest.

It's when we meet his daughter, and catch up with his past, that the film loses his way, when Dom is becoming more of a real person, not the pantomime character he was to begin with, as if the makers are struggling to make him 'normal'.

But it's still watchable, Law is brilliant, and its funny in places, just a little too bland come the finale.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"Dud" Hemingway

Author: scott johnson from United States
28 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jude Law's latest film, Dom Hemingway, which is finally making its way to America, is a rather disappointing tale of a man who just cannot find any good luck.

The movie starts out with one of the funniest openings ever. I won't spoil it, mainly because it is grossly inappropriate and over the top. With an opening like that, one would think that the rest of the movie would be a hilarious ride, but that simply, in my opinion, is the funniest part of the movie. Dom has been in jail for 12 years for keeping his mouth shut and not ratting out his boss. Now that he is out, he wants to get what he deserves; a lot of money. So we follow him and his friend Dickie, played by Richard E. Grant, to the French villa where Dom's boss is. Of course, things don't go as planned and Dom ends up with no money.

What I just explained was about 30 minutes of the 90 minute movie. The script was very poor. Some things in the movie just don't make sense. Like how Dom winds up at his estranged daughter's doorstep in England in the middle of the night minutes after being at the French villa, I mean the guy who wrote this must have written Heroes too. The first act is pretty solid, but once acts 2 and 3 come along, it gets hard to see any sort of sense in the structuring of the plot. Once Dom finds his daughter, played by Emilia Clarke (Daenerys on Game of Thrones), one might think he does not need the money after all and he can start to rebuild his relationship with his daughter. Nope, instead she only gets about 10 minutes of screen time and Dom goes off to find a job from some guy he knew from before he went to prison. Yes, he basically forgets all about his lost money once he gets back to England. The movie could have been a lot better if we had gotten more time with his daughter, because then we could have gotten some sort of emotion in the film.

Jude Law is quite good in the film, if not a bit over-the-top like the script. He is a man who has terrible luck, but he also lives very unhealthy lifestyles. His wife died while he was in prison, he has sex with hookers, snorts cocaine, and is constantly drinking some sort of alcoholic beverage. He carries the film with tremendous force and we see both his highs and lows. He "DOMinates" the screen, and only Grant comes close to equaling his screen time.

In the end the movie is nonsensical and almost void of all emotion. The best joke is used at the very beginning, even before we get the title of the film. A lot of the time when watching this, the jokes seemed to have a bit of a delayed reaction among the audience. I'm not sure if it's because the jokes were bad or what, but there was definitely a lot of silence before a late laugh. It feels like the movie should have had about a third of the scenes cut out and replaced by more of the relationship between Dom and his daughter. So, if you want to see a decent movie that has a great performance from Jude Law, but not much else, check this one out.

In fact, just wait until it comes out on DVD.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Oscar nomination for Law

Author: jdesando from United States
20 April 2014

"Oh. I'll tell you who I am. I'm the f- who'll tear your nose off with my teeth. I'm the f- who will gut you with a dull cheese knife and sing Gilbert and Sullivan while I do it. I'm the f- who'll dump your dead body in a freezing cold lake and watch you sink to the bottom like so much s-. I am that f-. That's the f- who I am." Dom Hemingway (Jude Law)

If you agree Matthew McConaughey deserved the Oscar last year in Dallas Buyers Club, playing a reprobate turned good, then you will agree Jude law in Brit gangster comedy Dom Hemingway should be nominated: He's better than the very good Matthew with a less redeemable character.

From the opening quote, Dom carries the physical and verbal venom built from 12 years in prison (because he would not rat on the leader of a heist). His language is both profane and ingenious, a mind rich with imagination but untutored. After awhile, his metaphors and quotes from the likes of Shakespeare help to broaden our appreciation for a wild cockney hood on a long rehab.

The richness of language is not restricted to Dom, for buddy Dickie (Richard E. Grant in a solidly entertaining role) describes a kingpin: "He was raised in a Russian orphanage and kills people for a living. Of course he has a well-stocked bar." Hoodlum leader Lestor (Jumayn Huntere) tells Dom in similarly inventive language, "See, there is a part of me that wants to put you in the trunk of my sister's Prius, drive you up to Canvey Island and bury you up to your thick f----ng neck, cover your fat f----ng face in hamburger patties and let the creatures of the night eat you to death while I watch."

Law's Dom is ever analyzing his brutality, the first step toward balancing his life: "Oh, my head is throbbing. It's f----n' throbbin', Dickie. Like a disco in my head. Like a f----ng Manila disco full of transvestites and suckling pigs." His demons are real in his head.

For an ex-con, gaining back the money he lost in the heist is an obsession leading him into anti-social actions ("I got anger issues."), but he's smart enough to see that more satisfactory than those millions is reconciliation with his daughter, whom he abandoned as a child along with her cancer -infected mother. Although these reflections slow the film, they provide a reason for his redemption.

Yet, this all leads to an arguably realistic ending in which an incantation by a woman he saved comes to his rescue too conveniently. However, his change of fortune also accommodates Dom's natural inclination for larceny, a nice touch that doesn't compromise a story seeming to aim at a sappy ending.

This unusual comedy combines the ridiculous with the realistic, and director-writer Richard Shepard makes it, as Dom says, "easy, peasy lemon squeezy."

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Somehow Derivative but wont affect the enjoyment

Author: geneva notagain from london
4 April 2014

Dom Hemingway reminded me a lot of films I've seen(ie, filth) and even the narrative structure is sort of familiar. But although the film can hardly be a original mind-blower, it does teem with hilarious conversation and thanks to Law's hard work. This film is not bad. I've noticed a pattern here for those superficially unconventional movies ranked R only because of good old blasphemy and nudity rather a deeper and darker theme but main audience are adults e who are in seek of fun thus essentially a mainstream ones like Dom Hemingway. The lead role are often casted by pretty faced actors so they can be "overweight and under-shaved but still don't give a toss", and are extremely narcissist about themselves, strutting around in three-pieces that soaked in whiskey and fags, annoyingly loquacious and mutter their tirade with visible spit. But as the storyline unfolds you'll see their own fatal flaws and troubled mentality etc,etc,otherwise wheres the fun. And after a sequence of hustle with hilarious dialogue and witticism and probably some grotesque and unearthly events and probably some nudity toppings, they lead role endured some sort of epiphany and end. The trendy thing to do is probably to comicalize, makes normal conversation comical with ticker-tape laughter-provoking verbiage, dramatize the drugs and parties and coincidence.

Im not trying to do a smartass parody here, I still think Jude Law had really tried to deliver a vivid Dom Hemingway, thrusting outta jail after 12 years for his foreseeable fortune and imperative retribution and long overdue daughter. And I did enjoy some of the funny moments(i.e.where are you going, to find dry cloth, where are you going, to find my bloody money) But derivatives' artistic value is always inferior to the original and iconoclastic ones, this film simply cannot be remember for long despite his exuberant color and sharp fast pace. Making a breakthrough requires more than gaining an extra 20 pound or mild hardcore content for an increasingly insatiable and fastidious audience.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

What a Nutter! 4/10

Author: leonblackwood from United Kingdom
5 April 2014

Review: This movie starts of well and you do get to see Jude Law in a different light, but in all, it's just about a foul mouth geezer who seems to get away with everything. There wasn't much point to the film, although there is a moral to be learnt, but it just dries up after a while. After all the outrageous situations run out of steam, the storyline gets a bit weak but you can't fault Jude Law on his great performance. When he is brought face to face with his only weakness, you do get to see another side to Dom, who is a proper crazy individual, but the movie could have been a whole lot better if he wasn't chatting so much pointless rubbish and the storyline actually went somewhere. Watchable!

Round-Up: The chemistry between Dom and Dickie was great because they both have totally different personalities. You don't really get to see then at work, but the situations that they get into were great to watch them get out of. You can see that Jude Law put on weight for the role, which made the character more believable, but I couldn't take his silly one liners and his ridiculous conversations that don't go anywhere. After the shock value goes, the director ran out of steam, but it's worth a watch just to see how mad Dom is. The whole daughter storyline slowed down the movie and took away the mad side of Dom, which was what made the movie interesting, but you do end up sticking with the film just to see what Dom is going to do next.

Budget: N/A Worldwide Gross: $10,000 (Terrible!)

I recommend this movie to people who are into there about a guy who leaves prison and tries and get is life back together. 4/10

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7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Come on now ... lets lift this film on its proper rating !!

Author: johntheholder from Greece
2 April 2014

Its really a blended film , dense with meanings and mainly mockeries of the bizarre world we live in. And thats where the comedy lies. Don't try to find " funny scenes" or lines. This is a complex film , that works out great as a whole. Richard Shepard basically mocks contemporary life with his irony , something familiar with his line of work in general as a writer/director. And i personally enjoy it , when its witty and not banal, not too obvious. And it certainly isn't that obvious here , which justifies why so many people misjudged it in a ridiculous 6.5 rating.

Jude Law's performance is spectacular. I mean ... what was that ??? Immense nerve ,great adjustment into the psychology of the unlucky dramatic criminal whose daughter hates him.

I guess you can claim it is a character driven film , but do consider its not just that.

And i guess thats what a contemporary film really is. It is complex and intricate , because there are so many predecessors , and life today is so weird in complex ways , you need to portray some of it , if you want to produce current auras.

Thats what its all about. And it succeeds it with great, real dialog , great acting , good plot development and solid direction and photography.

I feel sorry for people who saw this and said " shallow story " or

that it copies Guy Richie or a 2008 film Bronson.

Stop taking things for granted , erase your prejudice , be aware that there certainly is obscene language and scenes , although not way far out , unless you're a nun or an ultra conservative in which case avoid this film.

Otherwise , go watch it and judge for yourself. - 8/10

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7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

So bad it's good

Author: John Read from United Kingdom
29 March 2014

'A man with no option had all the options in the world', 'I got a face like an abortion' , these are just two of the flaccid witticisms on offer in this outing. This film walks a fine line between utter garbage and tongue in cheek ironic observation. It's funny and I laughed a lot, but I was laughing at it, not with it. I do like Jude law so maybe I persevered with it for him. The story is old and tested and probably best left alone in 2014. I may have felt differently about it if get carter and performance hadn't been over 30 years old. It just lacks any originality both in terms of story and character. If this film really needed to be made, it might have been cool to include a talking dog or wise cracking parrot, or something that would sign post the fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's a comedy film and it's funny, so there we are then.

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