Actors: Jude Law, Luca Franzoni, Demián Bichir, Mark Wingett, David Baukham
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Run Time: 94 minutes
Jude Law is so good at chewing the scenery as Dom Hemingway, I desperately wanted to remove him from this film for a more deserving storyline. As aimless as the film is, Law’s performance as the title character had me drawn in from start to finish. It was only once the full-throttle performance was finished that I was released from the trance in order to fully realize my disappointment. It almost feels as though the filmmakers enjoyed their main character so much that they were unable to decide what type of film he belonged in, and so this movie feels disjointed with the uneven blending of a variety of genres. One moment this feels like a crime film, the next a dark comedy, and finally wrapped up with sentimental melodrama. It isn’t that any of these sequences don’t work, but simply that they don’t blend well together. The only constant in the inconsistent filmmaking is Law’s fearless performance, which is enough to make at least half of the film’s flaws forgivable.
After being released from prison after serving a twelve-year sentence to cover for his criminal boss, legendary safecracker Dom Hemingway sets out to get his well-earned payday. When this plan suddenly goes awry because of his propensity for liquor, drugs and women, Dom seeks out his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke) to make amends. When this doesn’t work, Dom seeks out future employment as a safecracker from a past competitor. Although Law is able to revel in each of these situations as Dom Hemingway, there is no clear direction from writer/director Richard Shepard.
There isn’t much else to be said about Dom Hemingway, mostly because there isn’t much else to the film beyond a disjointed narrative and strong leading performance. This story feels like the mash-up of three or four strong short films that all include the same brash bad-boy protagonist. They are all good in their own regard, but none are blended well together and Dom Hemingway feels more like a performance piece than an actual narrative.
The Blu-ray includes a handful of special features which range from pointless to insightful. There is a commentary track from Shepard, as well as a conversation with the director and main members of the cast. There are also a few generic featurettes and a 30-minute loop of the topless ping-pong girls that is playing in the background while Dom opens a safe.
Entertainment Value: 8.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 6.5/10