So, what we’re looking here is, according to the blurbs, a black comedy. This is a difficult thing to pull off well, a brilliant example being In Bruges – laughs well-balanced with incredibly dark moments designed to stop in your tracks and turn giggling into sober contemplation. If any of this is to be found in Dom Hemingway, however, it’s not apparent from the trailer.
What we see here is only the comedic side. Barring the possibility that it’s one of those comedies that gives away literally every funny moment in the preview and leaves only cinematic filler in between – Year One, maybe, I forget – it’s going to be very good.
Casting is going to help. First off, we have Jude Law as a loud, often drunk, flamboyant safe-cracker fresh out of prison, on his way to the south of France to collect a pay-off from an infamous crime lord and making crass jokes all along the way. Accompanying him is Richard E. Grant, playing his usual flustered and deadpan self that allows his own humour to come off as unintentional, his character here more like a disapproving uncle than a best friend. The dialogue between the two – again, unless the preview is giving it all away – is quick and witty and seems to carry much of the narrative, as you might expect from anything with Richard E. Grant in it.
Overall it looks like a parody of a Guy Ritchie film, which are already borderline parodies in themselves. It comes from the same director who gave us The Matador, featuring Pierce Brosnan as a washed up hit man similar in many ways to Law’s character here, even performing some of the same public antics. Lest all of this run out of steam, the plot takes a turn for the allegoric and feel-good: after apparently losing all that cash he waited so long to collect, Law decides instead to foster a relationship with his estranged daughter and grandson. Expect a happy ending, some possible somber moments and, hopefully, consistent hilarity from the writers two great leads.