Imagine that a group of guys got together one night to binge watch crime movies while drinking their way through several cases of beer. At some point during this male bonding experience, one of the guys exclaims, “Dudes, we should write a movie.” Another quickly responds, “It would be epic!” And, thus they drag out a laptop and start plucking out what they are sure will be the best, most hilarious crime movie ever made. That movie would be Dom Hemingway.
I did not dislike Dom Hemingway, and found parts of the film to be quite humorous. However, I’m not really sure that I understand the point of the film.
Centered around a safe cracker with a fondness for his own name, the film follows Dom Hemingway as he is released from prison after a twelve year sentence he served for keeping his mouth shut, something that we are reminded of several times. He is accompanied by his friend, Dickie Black, whose involvement in this criminal world is never really explained as they travel to a remote part of the French country-side. It is at the lavish home of ‘the boss’ Mr. Fontaine that Dom will finally receive what he is owed for his silence. As this all takes place within the first twenty or so minutes of the film, it is not so surprising that this adventure does not go smoothly, and Dom finds himself, once again, short on luck.
The acting was spot on. I can’t say this enough, because even though the story was confounding to me I had no trouble understanding that Dom Hemingway is a morally bankrupt, overly crude, criminal without a cause that has a penchant for monologues and at some point in between cracking safes found the time to swallow a dictionary. Jude Law could not have done a better job bringing this almost farce-like character to life.
As I previously said I didn’t dislike the movie, but I didn’t necessarily like the movie either. The film asks us to accept Hemingway as an anti-hero and feel bad for him, but never gives us a good enough reason as to why we should pity this person who’s choices have caused his own misfortune. The script, while funny, felt as though it was stuck in between taking itself too seriously and making fun of itself. I could have done without half the crude language and situations that were seemingly put in the film for nothing more than shock value. Don’t misunderstand me, I have no problem with harsh language or uncomfortable situations, but I would like them to serve a purpose. From the start, they did not really serve much of a purpose in Dom Hemingway.
If I had to guess, I would say that plenty of people will find Dom Hemingway awesomely entertaining. The movie was definitely not my cup of tea, but if you are looking for a gritty pseudo-crime film / dark comedy and you are not easily offended then this is the movie for you. Ladies who want to see this movie because you loved Jude Law in The Holiday, Do. Not. Go!
Tipsy Recommendation: Either have several drinks before you go or don’t drink anything but water. The sheer amount of alcohol consumed in the film will make you feel plenty tipsy!