Domino
Director: Tony Scott (Man on Fire, Crimson Tide, Beverly Hills Cop II, Top Gun)
Writer: Steve Barancik (The Last Seduction)
Screenplay: Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko)
Producer: Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Samuel Hadida
Starring: Keira Knightly, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Rodriguez, Christopher Walken
Rating:R
read my spoiler disclaimer



     Clearly I have issues. Whatever the critics hate, I tend to like. Whatever they love, I think it is over-rated; and the critics are hating this one. It's most certainly a dude movie. Lots of over the top fighting and explosions. Fast talking, slick dialogue full of "F yous" and "I'll crush your skull" threats. It's a lot like "Desperado" would be had it been directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock Stock) or maybe Oliver Stone.

      Keira Knightly plays the title role in this one. Giving up her innocense of her previous films like "Bend it Like Beckham," "Love Actually" or "Pirates of the Carribean." She's cut her hair in true punk fashion, tattooed herself everywhere, and given up the soccer ball and cute smiles for switch-blades, nun-chuks and sawed off shotguns. It is the implausibly true story of model turned bounty hunter, Domino Harvey. Daughter of famed Hollywood actor, Laurence Harvey, Domino goes a little "hay-wire" after his death. Knightly explains the character this way, “I did very briefly [meet the real Domino] once way before we started filming. And originally, I kind of thought that it'd be really interesting to just play her totally and I'd do the voice and I'd do everything. Then I sort of met her and heard all her stories which were amazing, but although this is totally inspired by her and by her character, it isn't true to her story. So I sort of thought, 'Okay, well, seeing as we're not completely telling her story, it gives me a sort of freedom to actually do what I want.'"

      It is a pretty straight forward, simple story with emphasis much more on style than depth. Crazy, quick editing and saturated lens filters make for a real surreal experience. The jittery camerawork and A.D.D. style editing can bring you to the brink of insanity if you're not ready for an intense ride. The reason I mentioned Oliver Stone is the use of so many different types of film styles used: flashbacks, slow-motion, grain, timelapse photography and weird color filters. It's reminicent of Natural Born Killers that way. Not to mention the not-so-subtle undertone of media over-kill in this story.

      She joins up with a couple of real bad-asses in Ed (Rourke) and Choco (Rodriguez) and becomes a real bad-ass herself. Together they become notorious bounty hunters that get in a little over their heads. Rourke, who was also my favorite charcter in this past summer's "Sin City," played a similar guy in Domino: a person with whom not to mess, to put it mildly. I love those type of charcters...just super-cool. A few cameos you will notice from musicians to former teen stars make the film a little more fun.

      Add to that all of the cool guns and cool characters, and you have a blast of an actioner with an entertainment value of near priceless. Notice I said cool characters, not necessarily good characters. Which is what I liked about the aforementioned "Desperado." A lot of unsavory characters that I would like to hang out with for stories, but without getting within twenty feet of them for fear for my safety.

      At first I was real excited to see this movie, then I saw the horrible rating it had at Rotten Tomatoes, and my expectations fell through the floor. I think partly that's why I enjoyed it so much. It took me for a better ride than I thought it would, and it made me realize how much I like Tony Scott films. He's directed some real doozies in the past and "Domino" is no exception.


Links:
Official site
Who was the real Domino Harvey?
Full cast and crew at IMDb







drewbacca@moviepatron.com