Jude Law is clearly having a ball in the title role of this riotously rude crime comedy about an ex-con Cockney safecracker with a foul mouth, a short fuse and a wilfully perverse capacity for self-destruction. His Dom Hemingway is back on the streets after 12 years in prison and looking for payback for having kept schtum in jail. So, accompanied by best friend Dickie Black (Richard E Grant), he heads for the South of France to visit his surprisingly obliging former crime boss Mr Fontaine (Demián Bichir). Dom, however, has an unerring instinct for creating disaster…
Kicking off with the, ahem, lengthy paean in praise of his Nobel prize-deserving, Louvre-worthy manhood that begins the film, Law delivers Dom’s flights of ribald rhetoric with a cocky leer and beefy swagger – a working-class version, if you like, of co-star Grant’s seedy out-of-work actor in Withnail and I. Writer-director Richard Shepard’s script can’t match Bruce Robinson’s great 1986 comedy for profane poetry – and giving his disreputable protagonist a redemptive character arc involving his estranged daughter was probably a mistake – but Law’s go-for-broke performance is terrifically entertaining.
Certificate 15. Runtime 94 mins. Director Andrew Shepard.
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