Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Dom Hemingway (2013)

I'm at home, in bed and ill so I thought I'd give this a watch based purely on the poster and the fact that it looks like an easy, fun time. Jude Law tends to be a bit of a pretty boy in films and here he looks like some sort of East End Wolverine. Plus I have a good set of sideburns as well and, believe it or not, they're older than some of my letterboxd friends :)

Not even 5 minutes in and the dialogue is pissing me off. It's like the writer thinks that making everyone speak like a Cockney version of Hamlet would be a good and cool thing. No it's not, it's stupid and any middle-aged prison screw uttering the phrase "are you disrespecting me?" needs stabbing with a plastic pudding fork. Ernest Hemingway was famous for his ability to strip a story down to its bare bones, to rip out the purple prose, to throw away the thesaurus and build beauty from simplicity. Richard Shepard, the writer/director of Dom Hemingway, goes to the other extreme and, like Russell Brand, thinks that complexity equals intelligence.

Dom, the safecracker, gets out of prison and beats the shit out of someone with his tools of the trade - his hands. Not a wise move. Dom gets drunk and shags prostitutes. Dom smokes in a pub not realising that it's been banned for years (are there no newspapers or tv inside?). Does Dom care? Nah, you cunt! Dom soliloquises. Dom is a geezer. Dom goes to France just like British comedies of the 70s did - when things get boring send 'em abroad. How do we know we're in France? Because we get a girl on a bike. That's what the French do, ride bikes all day long. All we need is some fucking onions! Just as I thought the stereotyping couldn't get any worse, a Russian crime lord appears. Dom Hemmingway is getting on my tits. Twenty minutes in and I'm bored shitless.

So we've got your standard, low-rent, Guy Ritchie-a-like, UK gangster film that tries to be hard but comes off as a laughable mess. We got bored of Richie doing doing this shit years ago so what made Richard Sheppard think that this was a good idea? As we used to say back in the day "Oi, It ain't big and it ain't clever". The cast is largely wasted with Speed from Citizen Smith, Mark Wingett from The Bill/Quadrophenia making a brief appearance and Richard E Grant filling some screen space but, otherwise, serving little purpose.

The soundtrack, like in Richie's films, is pretty good but a soundtrack does not a film make. As an indicator of how lazy this film is, Dom's daughter's band perform The Waterboys' Fisherman's Blues. Excellent, I thought, I like that song. What was not excellent was the fact that it sounds like they used the original Waterboys' version, stripped the vocals off and added the daughter's piss-poor voice on top and to top that we've got a mandolin player obviously miming along really, really badly.

If there's one word to sum up Dom Hemingway it would be "lazy" and as Dom would have said: it's a boring, cliché ridden, ballsack of wank and I'd rather have a chorus line of one-legged ballet dancers pirouetting on my cock than watch this pompous shitfest ever again.

Original letterboxd review

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