The opportunity for redemption is open to all. Keep trying, keep getting better.
Ultimately, know thyself and what you are capable of. Whether you are the character Dom Hemingway, a despicable, violent, angry lowlife criminal or you are Jude Law, a good looking, well-known, successful actor; this path is open to you and all in-between.
The main problem with this film is the mis-casting of the lead character. Sure, he may be able to learn his lines, show up on time, already have a name for himself but if he don’t have the chops the camera will show it, (remember what Bucks Fizz said? -it never lies).
Jude Law is Dom Hemingway, a man released from jail and owed heavily for keeping his mouth shut. Hemingway is a lout, quick to anger (which in this case means a LOT of shouting), emotionally retarded and extremely violent.
There is a fairly well written screenplay hiding within this film and it contains some (potentially) great speeches, the sad thing is that the brilliance lies dormant on the page and it never quite translates into walking and talking in front of camera.
Richard E Grant can always be relied on to bring a certain energy to a part, ever enjoyable, always real and it was cool to see Demian Bechir giving his best in dangerous heavies as Dom’s former boss. Emilia Clarke grounds the film with a heart. Romanian actress and model, Madalina Diana Ghenea smoulders in a part that could have developed into something more interesting. Irish actress Kerry Condon has fun with her hooker with a heart role, so there are interesting women’s roles in there, they just don’t connect properly because the main fuse isn’t working.
Everyone is sturdy with the exception of the lead. Without wanting to sound too harsh, it’s like a film has been cast with talented, experienced professionals and they decided to cast the lead from a drama school graduation show, someone who may have potential but isn’t quite there yet. There is little more to say about this 43 year old man who has been in the business for years.
In the same vein as Sexy Beast only without the interesting performances.
The director Richard Shephard has just directed 6 episodes of HBO’s Girls and quite a few bits of TV and film and does the best he can when weighed down by a lead who doesn’t have the gravitas to keep it afloat.
A film hinges on its lead and if said lead can’t carry it, drop goes the movie.
A fairly painful 93 minutes.