Richard Shepard turned Pierce Brosnan into a foul-mouthed hitman in The Matador. Now he gives Jude Law an equally surprising makeover in a film that gets in your face from the first frame and stays there.
As the eponymous safe-cracker settling old scores after a 12-year stretch in chokey, Law is menacing, funny and scabrous. However, the story of his picaresque journey from London to the South of France and back again is woefully underwritten, hinging on dismally contrived twists that just feel lazy. A sentimental subplot involving Dom’s resentful daughter (Emilia Clarke) and a rushed denouement leaves you thinking, “Is that it?”
This is a pity, as Law – who doesn’t quite manage to make sense of Hemingway amid the episodic plot’s tonal shifts – throws himself into the role of the crass criminal with a thrilling recklessness, while Grant is a delight as his somewhat smoother sidekick.
First published in The National