Friday, December 09, 2005


DOMINO (Tony Scott, 2005)

The true story of a model turned bounty hunter gets told, sort of, in DOMINO. Keira Knightley stars as Domino Harvey, the daughter of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE actor Laurence Harvey. Although raised in a life of luxury, Domino prefers the thrill of capturing bail jumpers and other miscreants.

Domino’s slender frame and photogenic looks belie her abilities to bust heads. Upon proving her mettle to Ed Mosbey, a rough and tumble bounty hunter played by Mickey Rourke, she joins his team and quickly rises in her chosen field.

In DOMINO director Tony Scott utilizes a collage technique that has style to burn. He scuttles using one shot when he can do it with five, ideally with lots of cranked up sound effects to complement the acid-washed images. DOMINO looks like what an Avid might vomit up after partially digesting the digitized footage. It’s flashy as hell, but the amphetamine-fueled method is compensating for a distinct lack of substance. The screenplay, penned by DONNIE DARKO director Richard Kelly, jazzes up what should be an absorbing story with postmodern revisionism. As best I can tell, the true part of DOMINO is that Laurence Harvey’s daughter became a bounty hunter, and the rest of the film is mostly fiction.

DOMINO is more about the storytellers than the subject. Scott and Kelly have altered the timeline of events by a decade or so, a move that more easily jibes with their superficial commentary on reality television and the nature of truth. The real Domino Harvey may have been an enigma, but that’s what makes her an interesting character for a film. Her cinematic representation does her no justice. Cast in the glamorous light of nihilism, Domino the character affects the posture of coolness and toughness, a pose that the real woman wouldn't need to fake.

Grade: D+

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