Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dom Hemingway (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

Dom Hemingway

Jude Law sheds his Hollywood glamour and seems the one having the most fun in "Dom Hemingway," a new dark comedy by director Richard Shepard (Ugly Betty).

Law plays an egocentric and hardened British safecracker with some slightly Shakespearean saliva, Dom Hemingway. Dom has been incarcerated for twelve years over a bad deal. His only friend is Dickie (Richard E. Grant)  a Michael Caine-ish cohort with a black leather hand.

Right from the get-go director Shepard pushes the envelope, having Hemingway getting oral sex in prison from a mean mister as he roars half-poetically about his penis.

Abruptly, Dom is released and tries to find criminal employment but no one wants a thing to do with him: he's maudlin sad and sour, a bit like Jack Sparrow soaked in 80 proof and absinthe.

Dom is a one-man orgy container. He swaggers. He spits. He chugs liquids potable and not so, out wolfing the Wolf of Wall Street.

He checks in with his old buddy, the ostentatious Fontaine (Demian Bichir) who plays his character like Gomez Addams, complete with a rifle and white suit.

Although Bichir's character is too comically drawn, this is Law's best scene whose raging tirade is alliterative and nothing short of something nastily dark, coarse and angelic. Dom makes an ass of himself, but you would be hard pressed to find a singular and iron-rich example as the one found here with such adept and unrelenting staccato.

Dom makes a mine of marvels from his speech of offense and manure. Such talk would put Trey Parker in the land of truffles.

After a terribly gory accident, Dom tracks down a snooty and glib rival (Jumayn Hunter) who holds a grudge. The rival, Lestor, gives him a safe-cracking test that is almost certainly rigged from the first second.

He has no choice.

The best parts of "Dom Hemingway" give Law free reign to go wild in a feral, rangy way possessing a pendulous spontaneity. Jude Law is a human pinwheel and great fun to watch.

The film loses its freedom a bit though, when the story attempts to turn to drama rather than an iconoclastic character study with the introduction of Dom's daughter (Emilia Clarke) and his grandson (Jordan Nash). Such scenes of want and connection strike a conventional tone in contrast to what otherwise is so refreshingly zany and unapologetically sincere in its high volume.

One nice touch occurs when Dom enters a elite restaurant and sees Poulina, his own scarlet-nailed thief. What follows is perfectly snake-like and sneaky---a satisfying "just desserts".

Although the drama combines a little too lightly making the whole of "Dom Hemingway" more of a sketch than a full film, the crackling and crawling spirit of Jude Law is in terrific form here.

Regardless of some well-expected proceedings, Dom's dirty and spite-filled invective, at once elegant and execrable, is a sleight of tongue impossible to resist.

Write Ian at

No comments: