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Domino (2005)
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Review Date: October 12, 2005
Director: Tony Scott
Writer: Richard Kelly
Producers: Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Samuel Hadida
Actors:
Keira Knightley as Domino
Mickey Rourke as Ed
Edgar Ramirez as Choco
Plot:
Just in case you haven’t heard this one yet: the girl’s name is Domino and she apparently hunts bounties for a living. Based on the true life of ex-model Domino Harvey (“sort of…” as the film points out), we get to follow this hottie chick around as she goes from prep school beeyatch to ass-kicking gun-toting beeyatch. Unfortunately, the actual story through which we experience her life is a little too confusing for everyone’s good, involving a reality TV show, the mob, some black chicks from the DMV, the FBI, a redneck and his mom, some real-life actors, well…I’ll stop now. My head’s starting to hurt again.
Critique:
I’m not exactly sure what kind of intoxicants director Tony Scott is trippin’ on these days, but whatever it is, I’m sure it’s in the same family as the shit that director Oliver Stone was smokin’ when he made NATURAL BORN KILLERS back in 1994. I say that because this is not a movie for everyone. No matter if you like the storyline or not (I actually had a problem with the plot myself), the film’s style is what will really slap you across the face, with hints of what you will find within provided in Scott’s last movie, MAN ON FIRE (my #2 movie of 2004). Personally, I enjoy that style for certain movies. It’s fine. Not every movie needs to be shot in the same f*ckin’ way! That said, the biggest difference between that flick and this one is that the former movie actually took the time to massage and present its lead characters to us in a mannered first hour, while this one, well…doesn’t really allow you to really get to know anyone, with about a million characters tossed into the mix, and a plotline as convoluted as my last date’s home address (let’s face it, she lied about where she lived). What’s even more surprising is that the screenplay was written by none other than the Boy Wonder who created the very original Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly, but the only weird thing about this script is that they decided to rip off Scott’s own TRUE ROMANCE conclusion to a f*ckin’ tee, without anybody calling them on it. Also, the film makes a big deal out of this line, so I have to point it out, because it’s so dumb: “There are three kinds of people in the world: the rich, the poor and everyone in between.” Is that supposed to be clever or something? Nice nod to POINT BREAK though…now there’s an awesome movie!

But before I make it sound like I hated the flick, allow me to point out that I was still quite entertained by it all, particularly because of the raggedy style of filmmaking that Scott has now taken to a level that is part music video/part movie production/part video game attention span gimmick. I also really enjoyed the lead threesome played by Knightley, Mickey Rourke (continuing his comeback and doing a great job at it!) and newcomer Edgar Ramirez, who I only wish we could have gotten to know even better. Ultimately, I think that was the film’s biggest problem. It simply didn’t spend enough time with its three main leads (at some point in the film, there was about 10-15 minutes without any scenes featuring the three…I mean, c’mon!!), and spends way too much on extraneous characters including a bunch of black chicks led by Mo’Nique (she actually does a good job) and Macy Gray, and the mob. They could have cut these characters out altogether (as well as all that stuff with Lucy Lui and the flashbacks) and the film would have played much better with a greater emphasis on the leads and a lot less confusion in the film’s overly convoluted plotline. The film also runs a little too long at 130 minutes. That said, the style rocks, the music is a big bag o’ fun, Christopher Walken swings by and plays it up as per his usual kooky style, the whole Beverly Hills 90210 angle was pretty funny (kudos to the two actors for being game enough to make fun of themselves), and the film’s pacing (despite being too long) was always moving at a clip, so you’re never really bored, even though things get too confusing and too many characters are cashing checks.

Oh, and even though Knightley apparently employed the use of an “ass-double” for her lap-dance scene (why would you admit to that?), she pulls a JACKET on us and shows us her boobies in the end anyway. What’s up with that?!? Very odd, and yet oddly enough…greatly appreciated! A decent flick that should have been amazing, but doesn’t make it all the way with a lack of focus on its main characters, a story that goes through too many puzzles and a runtime that outlasts itself. Also, the Tom Waits “cameo” in the end was idiotic and out of place. That said, some good times can still be had inside, so play it by ear and make your own decision on this one. I would definitely recommend you see TRUE ROMANCE over this one though. “Did you just say Blacktino?”
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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