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Susan Granger's review of 'Dom Hemingway'

Published 2:16 pm, Friday, April 18, 2014
  • This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Jude Law, left, and Richard E. Grant in a scene from "Dom Hemingway." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight Pictures, Nick Wall) Photo: Nick Wall, Associated Press / Associated Press
    This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Jude Law, left, and Richard E. Grant in a scene from "Dom Hemingway." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight Pictures, Nick Wall) Photo: Nick Wall, Associated Press

 

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In this British black comedy/crime drama, Jude Law plays the hot-tempered, self-destructive titular character, a notorious London safecracker who gets into trouble as soon as he's released from 12 years in prison.

Because he refused to rat on his Russian boss, he's expecting a generous reward. After relishing three days of utter debauchery with his meditative mate Dickie (Richard E. Grant), they take the train to the south of France, outside of St. Tropez, to visit the posh, countryside villa that belongs to Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir), who gives him three-quarters-of-a-million pounds in cash.

Predictably, disaster strikes -- in the form of a nighttime Rolls Royce car accident and an exotic femme fatale named Pasolina (Romanian model Madalina Diana Ghenea) -- launching this crime-caper, interwoven with Dom's attempts to establish a relationship

with his estranged daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke), a struggling singer with a young, mute son.

Self-consciously written and directed by Richard Shepard ("The Matador," "The Linguini Incident") as a redemption saga, it's certainly not as compelling as other dramas in this gangland genre, like "Sexy Beast" or --Two Smoking Barrels." On the other hand, it gives usually handsome Law ("Sherlock Holmes," "Alfie," "Cold Mountain") an opportunity to gain weight, grease and comb back his hair, sport a double-mutton chop beard and spew crude, vulgar profanities in a Cockney accent. Reportedly, he piled on the extra poundage by drinking 10 Coca-Colas a day. Law obviously enjoys impersonating this abrasively loquacious, lowlife lout, even though no one else seems to care very much about his relentless rants.

It will be a challenge for fans of "Game of Thrones" to recognize Emilia Clarke, who looks nothing like Daenerys Targaryen, the blonde dragon princess she portrays on that popular TV series.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Dom Hemingway" is a dissolute, insufferable 5. Wait for the DVD.