Two of writer-director Shepard's previous efforts greatly impressed me. The Matador gave Pierce Brosnan an opportunity to step away from his smooth and suave Bond image, while The Hunting Party, which bypassed UK cinemas, saw Richard Gere give a very strong performance as a ravaged war reporter.
This time out it's Jude Law who gets the chance to try something different. He pulls out all the stops as an uncouth, loud mouthed ex convict, recently released from 12 years in jail.
It's his performance that makes the movie as the story is negligible. The first half sees him go to France with his mate (Grant) to collect the money owed to him for not ratting on his shady boss (Birchir). The second half depicts his efforts in London to reconnect with his pretty daughter (Clarke) and get to know his grandson while trying to gain employment. Hardly riveting material then – Law is given little ballast as he struts, shouts, abuses, swears and generally causes consternation to virtually everyone he comes across. It's a raging, in-your-face turn from the actor and he delivers it with confident brio.
Shame then that Shepard disappointingly doesn't provide a sturdy narrative for him to work with. The efforts to instil a more touching tone when he attempts to reconcile with his daughter are anaemic at best while the crime elements lack originality and tension. Grant tries to make something of his '70s clad, one handed, second banana role but the character remains resolutely underdeveloped. Overall, it's watchable enough but ends up a damp squib, Law's meaty ministrations bereft of sufficient support.
EXTRAS ★★ The featurette Who's Dom Hemingway? (2:27); and interviews with Shepard, Law, Grant and Clarke (17:10).