Earlier this year we had James McAvoy attempt to be the vilest screen-character of the year in Filth, but now we have Jude Law giving him a serious run for his money as Dom Hemingway. Opening on a long monologue about the virtues of his, ahem, downstairs member, we meet Dom just as he's being released from jail after a 12 year stint. On that first day we spend with him, we soon realise he is a chain-smoking, alcoholic, aggressively violent, inventively sweary, egomaniacal drug and sex fiend. Let's just say, he leaves an impression.
There isn't much of a plot happening here, but rather a constant sense of momentum, with Dom (and us) just sort of arriving at places, at which point we sit back and watch as he brings his surroundings (and himself) to their knees. Meeting up with his old friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant, an enjoyably po-faced straight man to Dom's whirling dervish), they head off to France to meet Mr. Fontaine (Damian Bichir). He is the man that Dom never ratted out while in prison, and he wants to pay him back, but unfortunately, Dom isn't going to make that easy. From this point on, stuff just seems to happen, and you'll either go with the whizz-bang-pow nature of the scattershot story, or find it too tumultuous to enjoy.
The movie, much like its leading man, is certainly not going to be please everyone's tastes. However, despite the fact that it's never fully clarified when all of this is happening, and the fact that there's scarce a mobile phone in sight to help nail down a time period, the odd 80s aesthetic married with the Guy Richie-esque dialogue (the swear word count is off the charts) certainly helps to set a unique tone.
Of course, the make or break factor comes down to Jude Law himself, completely losing himself in this vain character but playing him vanity free. Simultaneously disgusting us and drawing us in, he is a Tasmanian Devil on cocaine, and his Dom dominates the screen, the story and every other actor around him. This is both a blessing and a curse, as with such a fantastic character at their disposal, it's too bad they didn't give him an equally as fantastic story to play with.
Review by Rory Cashin | 11:52 | Friday 15th November 2013 | Movie Review