Reviewed by: Todd Patrick
|Featuring:||Keira Knightley, Mena Suvari, Christopher Walken, Lucy Liu, Mickey Rourke, Macy Gray, Jacqueline Bisset, Dabney Coleman, Delroy Lindo, Edgar Ramirez, Mo’Nique Imes-Jackson, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Tom Waits|
|Producer:||Samuel Hadida, Tony Scott, Lisa Ellzey|
|Distributor:||New Line Cinema|
Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?
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I Am a Bounty Hunter
I can remember when “based on a true story” meant that you were getting a close approximation of something that actually happened. Now “based on a true story” is being replaced by “loosely based on” or, in the case of Tony Scott’s Domino, “based on actual events …sort of.” I’m guessing that the only actual event that this movie is based on is the fact that Domino Harvey was a bounty hunter.
“Domino” is the story of Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley), a wealthy british girl whose father was an actor. After his death, her mother moves the family to Beverly Hills. Domino tries to fit in (sort of), but ends up being the rebel throughout high school and into college (where she is kicked out). She dabbles in modeling, but soon finds just about everything in life boring. Except violence. So she hooks up with Ed (Mickey Rourke) and Choco (Edgar Ramirez), who are bounty hunters in the employ of Claremont Williams (Delroy Lindo). She joins their crew and is soon named Bounty Hunter of the Year.
Christopher Waulken makes yet another minor role come alive (the man is brilliant!) as the producer of a reality show that follows the exploits of Domino and company. All of this leads to the inevitable conflict of mob money being stolen (the mob is always a “safe,” generic bad guy choice) and the bounty hunters caught in the middle of it all. I won’t give anything else away, plot wise.
Now that the synopsis is out of the way, let me say that “Domino” is a terrible movie.
It is part of the new breed of movies, a la Quentin Tarentino, that are all style and little substance. This is a dark, cynical, ultra-violent movie. There was no need to count curse words, there was one in just about every sentence.
Tony Scott has one-upped himself. His “Man on Fire,” which I enjoyed, was also ultra-violent, but had redemption at its core: the redemption of a man who is running from his violent past, but is forced back into it by the kidnapping of a young girl who has just begun to open his heart back to life. “Domino” has none of this. It’s about a world without values, filled with people who have no values. I can’t think of one redeeming person in the whole movie.
I had a similar reaction to “Lord of War”. There was nothing redemptive in that movie, either. I believe that for art to be considered art, it has to say something. It has to touch us in some way. It can touch on darkness and even dwell on darkness, but it can’t just BE darkness. At least, that’s what I believe as a christian. Domino is all darkness. It’s a movie for our attention deficit nation. The camera work is so shaky and chopped that it gave me a headache. Scott has Knightley narrate the movie and thinks it cute to freeze frames on anything new and print an introduction for us on the screen, as Knightley narrates for us. (Like “this is Choco,” then freezing on Choco’s face, then printing the word “Choco” on the screen.) It made the movie feel like a 2 hour advertisement or a bad tv show.
To my horror, halfway through the movie, there is a scene of Rourke watching porn in a hotel room. There were only about 10 people in the theater I was in, but when the picture zoomed in on the woman’s naked breasts, a small child in the theater began to laugh! I can’t BELIEVE anyone would take a child to see this trash. It made this appalling film seem even more appalling.
There is not much sex in “Domino”, but Keira’s sexuality is prominently displayed throughout the entire movie. This includes a lapdance scene in her underwear and also one drug-induced sex scene at the end of the movie. (Plus, random shots of porn on TV screens.)
I feel obligated to list the positives, simply from a film-lover’s standpoint: the script is well-written with some funny moments, the ensemble cast is spectacular, and Scott is very good at creating interesting, though dizzying camera work. As I stated at the beginning of the review, this is the height of style without substance. If you are a christian, I would tell you to avoid Domino. It’s not worth the price of admission and it surely doesn’t dwell on anything Godly or have any kind of message. It doesn’t say much of anything at all. It is simply ultra-violent eye-candy. Just don’t forget to take your Ritalin before the movie begins.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.