does the opening scene of a film project its quality and entire content,
but this one does. If you like Jude Law’s opening monologue, a
profanity-laden paean to his male member, you should like what follows.
If, on the other hand, you are like me and find the monologue
cringeworthy and distasteful in the extreme, you are advised to walk out
and not return, because it doesn’t get any better.
plays the titular Dom and to say he plays it to excess is not mincing
words. Although billed as a comedy, there’s nothing the least bit
humorous in this dark tale of a guy who is obviously a sociopath.
a big comedown for writer/director Richard Shepard, whose 2005 film
The Matador was such a pleasant outing for Pierce Brosnan. That was
a comedy. Shepard has lost his way if he thinks this is one.
the dialogue, when Dom talks about a “revolution” to crime boss
Mr.Fontaine aka Ivan Anatoli (Demian Bichir), Mr. Fontaine replies, “If
that’s an adverb it’s not working.” This epitomizes the picture of Mr.
Fontaine as a crime boss who is genteel, polite, erudite, and patient.
Real life crime bosses are more like John Gotti, who was a cold-blooded
killer totally devoid of human compassion. Charm and patience and
forbearance aren’t part of their makeup. And they certainly don’t put up
with the abusive nonsense from underlings that Dom heaps on him. But
this is a movie, and that’s no place to expect reality.
Production Notes proclaim, “…no matter how much sacrilegious mayhem he
spreads wherever he goes, the audience can’t help but hope, however
improbably, for his redemption.” Maybe Shepard believes this, but
whenever a film highlights a protagonist who is disagreeable and
unsympathetic, it dooms itself. Dom is an unremitting jerk. He is rude,
crude, and possesses no redeeming values, save that he loves his
daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke, in a good performance; known by some
for her appearance in HBO’s Game of Thrones). She, in turn, hates
him and she’s got a good reason. He is such a disputatious jackass I
never identified with Dom or hoped he would get it together. I was
thinking that Mr. Fontaine should just plug Dom and put him (and the
audience) out of misery. When you make a film in which the audience
roots against your protagonist, you’ve got problems.
anyone would want to spend time on a film as vulgar, emotionally
violent, and silly as this one is beyond me.