DOMINO is the real life story of a
model turned bounty hunter of the same name. If this film is any
indicator of what really happened, Domino apparently had a poorly written
life surrounded by underdeveloped characters who existed in a universe of
nauseatingly choppy editing, eye straining lighting effects, and epilepsy
inducing light flickers.
Don't let the impressive cast deceive you.
It's a crime that someone could put together an ensemble consisting of
Kiera Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, Lucy Liu, Delroy
Lindo, Mena Suvari and squander it on such an utter piece of crap.
Had they all hopped in a van and drove to Robert Rodriguez's ranch to make
a sequel to SIN CITY, the world would be a better place.
DOMINO should have been a
fascinating story, but the direction of Tony Scott makes the entire
production unwatchable. Many members of the audience at the preview
screening walked out holding their heads in pain as if they were forced to
watch an out of focus 3D film. The only positive comment I could
muster from anyone I asked was from a guy who grudgingly admitted that it
The film starts with a bruised and bloodied
Domino being interrogated by Lucy Liu who plays some sort of agent trying
to find information about a 10 million dollar armored truck heist.
Domino then spends 2 hours telling her a 5 minute story about how it all
happened. You're presented with the climax right up front, and
without any intriguing blanks or back-story, the narrative process becomes
a bore. Scott attempts to use edgy narrative devices like having
Domino talk about the past through some weird echo-rattled microphone, key
phrases are repeated 2-3 times for dramatic effect and often displayed on
screen with giant text titles to please the poor 6 year old kids that the
parents too cheap to pay for a baby sitter that were sitting behind me.
The rest of the film plays out like
watching someone play Grand Theft Auto. Sometimes the explosions
look nice, but you have no vested interest in any of the characters.
As cool of an actor Mickey Rourke is, he could get shot at any point in
the film, and you wouldn't be one bit of sad.
We get a weak origin story that weakly
illustrates that the death of Domino's father of natural causes and her
bitchy mom motivate her to become a bounty hunter (yes, its quite a leap).
Even though she weighs a hair under 100 pounds, she earns a chance to join
Rourke's bounty hunting team by throwing a knife into his windshield, and
avoiding bloodshed in a gang banger's den by giving the head banger...a
lap dance! Clearly her ability to make informants ejaculate in their
pants is an invaluable asset, so she makes the grade and joins the team.
As the flashbacks progress, we learn that
Domino wins "Bounty Hunter Of The Year" (from the prestigious North
American Bounty Hunter Association) and her exploits get the attention of
a reality TV producer played by Christopher Walken, who uses his trademark
creaky vocal delivery to deliver crowd pleasing lines like "WOW!" and
"BOOM!". Domino and her fellow bounty hunters end up getting used by
the FBI and suckered into some mob deal gone bad that culminates in a
predictable explosive finish.
Which brings us to the present, back in the
interrogation room, seemingly minutes after the explosion. Since
Domino told the truth and insinuated that Lucy Liu's character was a
lesbian, she's uncuffed and free to walk away with no consequence, even
though she was instrumental in the deaths, amputations, fraud, and the
destruction of millions of dollars of property. Must be the air of
authority that comes with having a British accent.
film is a waste of time for the talented Knightley. Even more sad is
the totally exploitative and surprisingly unexciting sex scene she agrees
to do in the middle of the desert with her crusty co star, Edgar Ramirez.
Apparently there's some sort of romantic tension there, but this is only
illustrated by Ramirez's character "Choco" leering at her for the first
90s minutes of the film, and while under the influence of mescaline, she
decides to have skuzzy desert sex with him.
The real life Domino Harvey (pictured on
the right) was found dead in a bathtub just months ago from an apparent
drug overdose. Of course this film was in the can by the time that
non-fiction epilogue occurred, but one wonders what was going on inside
her life and mind to have pushed her that far.
The paper thin characterizations present in
this film certainly don't offer any clue. (Though Wikipedia has a
nice entry about her which you can read if you
This is definitely a wait for DVD film, if
you truly have to see it. Perhaps then, they'll be some additional
posthumous info about the real Domino Harvey that may prove to be far more
interesting than anything this film showed us.