DVD review: Dom Hemingway

DVD review: Dom Hemingway.
DVD review: Dom Hemingway.

DVD review: Dom Hemingway

(Transmission/Paramount Pictures, R16)

Dom Hemingway exists in the wonderfully terrifying British gangland of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Sexy Beast.

Although this tale is not quite as good as either of the aforementioned films, it still has enough swagger and gritty panache to make it a worthwhile and viscerally violent viewing experience.

Released after a 12-year stretch at Her Majesty's leisure, the excellently-monikered career safecracker Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) is ready to settle a few scores and get what's coming to him - namely, his share of the burgled loot he kept his mouth shut about while he was inside for all those years.

Was the payoff worth the wait? Therein lies the rub.

As Hemingway, Law deserves a spot in the great rogues gallery of the United Kingdom's most memorable cinema bad guys. A minor spot, sure, but he squeaks in with his "Lemmy from Motorhead" muttonchops intact. He has the talk of The Long Good Friday's Harold Shand (played by the late, great Bob Hoskins) and the arbitrary brutality of Trainspotting's Begbie (Robert Carlyle). It's a mix that does not serve this character particularly well.

You see, the trouble is Dom Hemingway is not quite in control of his emotions - especially the anger-associated ones. He's a loose unit. A spectacular failure of the so-called prison rehabilitation system, prone to exploding after being primed with a beer or three. And Law, who rumour has it stacked on 30 pounds for the role by drinking 10 Coca Colas a day, pulls it off beautifully.

Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke pops up as Dom's daughter, who is not thrilled with the return of her dad to the outside world, but the real bonus of Dom Hemingway is the brilliant banter between Dom and his offsider, Dickie Black, played by Richard E Grant at his most acerbic since Withnail & I.

And the one-liners are frequently, wonderfully quotable: "I should f***ing kill you," Hemingway tells one of the victims of his pent-up ire, "But I fancy a pint instead."

One to watch with the lads and a few brews.