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With Jim Sabatini

Dom Hemingway

Dom Hemingway
Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Jumayn Hunter, Emilia Clarke and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett

Rated: R for sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: April 18, 2014 Released by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

A new crime thriller starring an all-in Jude Law has some dark profane wit about it early on (especially in a wildly revealing opening monologue), yet the conventional trappings of a popular genre finally render it too rote and pedestrian for its own good.

Dom Hemingway has a rather paunchy, hirsute Law (in the wistfully wry and winning Grand Budapest Hotel) as the eponymous character out to visit the very well-off boss Ivan (a slick Demian Bichir) that he took the fall for by serving a dozen year jail term.

Dom and chum Dicky (a finely understated Richard E. Grant) meet up with Ivan in the south of France that doesn't start off well indeed. When the financial situation sours after some unanticipated changes he ends up in London starting anew in cahoots with a much younger illicit fellow (Jumayn Hunter). This estranged father wants something meaningful to occur with daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke) and her native Senegal spouse (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett).

Writer/director Richard Shepard posits the events and circumstances in ways that just don't add up working off the floral and ingratiating that Law in many respects eats up especially in terms of the physicality of the character and situations. The messy entanglements or comeuppance in the narrative doesn't do well at least when it comes to empathy for Dom whose priorities shift as a high-powered underling.

The filmmakers just can't stage all the wicked rude mayhem with the kind of style or flair to make the thematic resonance something more than contrived to make the effort and intensity Law exerts to create interest from all the trouble Dom caused. All the actor's yeoman efforts does allow for his costars like Clarke and notably Grant with some nice reaction shots to have their moments in the sun. Even if the explosiveness that sometimes is reminiscent of some of Guy Ritchie's more exemplary forays in the genre really doesn't add up to much at all.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Dom Hemingway        C+   C+                  C+ 

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