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 was "trippy".

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.

The 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 CLICK HERE).

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.

-Robert Berry





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