Film review by: Witney Seibold


            Let’s see if I can make this clear and concise: Keira Knightley plays Domino Harvey, a spoiled rich brat/fashionmodel turned bountyhunter. The film follows her quick dramatic move from British upper-crust to streets-of-L.A., not pausing too much to explain. She catches criminals for bail bondsman/scam artist Claremont Williams (Delroy Lindo), and is partnered with Ed and Choco (Mickey Rourke, growling a lot and doing a good job, and Edgar Ramirez). When Claremont’s 28-year-old mistress (Mo’Nique), needs $300K for her granddaughter’s (yes granddaughter’s) operation, he starts an armored truck company, and sets it up to be robbed, only to hire his own bounty hunters to stop the robbery and collect a bogus “finder’s fee.” The money belongs to a casino owner (Dabney Coleman). The hired thieves (set up through a group of wily DMV workers) are a handful of mob-related college kids. Following me?

            O.k., so Domino and the bountyhunters, meanwhile, are hired by a TV producer (Christopher Walken, whom I am convinced is somewhere in every movie) to be stars of their own reality show, moderated by Beverly Hills 90210 cast members Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering playing themselves (and doing a good job, I might add).     Shootouts, explosions, and MTV-style editing ensue.

            This film is bookended by an FBI interrogator (Lucy Liu) grilling Domino. There is also, along the way: an arm severing, an appearance on Jerry Springer (in which Mo’Nique invents new minority subgroups like blacktino and Chinegro), an appearance by hip-hopper Macy Gray, a bomb-crazed Afghani bus driver (Rizwan Abbasi), a lap dance given by Domino, a mescaline drugging, an underwater security phone, a desert sex scene, and, in a very Tarantino moment, Tom Waits wandering into the desert as a prophet. All this in 130 minutes. Oh, and Domino Harvey, by the way, was a real person, who really did turn from a model into a bounty hunter, but who died from a painkiller overdose back in July. The film was written by Donnie Darko guru Richard Kelly and directed by action junkman Tony Scott.

            So it’s a cluttered film with too much information. All this mess could have been fun, if it was a little more earnest in its style (thus ensuring a brilliant confusing trash-fest along the lines of Dreamcatcher or Showgirls). However its style is something akin to physical assault. The editing is so rapid, the sound so overlappingly mushmouthed, the colors so oversaturated (everything looks like a poorly-tuned television set), the acting so over-the-top, the action so lurid, that the audience can only sit there in wide-eyed angst waiting for it to end. Don’t see Domino. Don’t make the same mistake I did. If you think you can chuckle your way through the grandiosity of its disparate story elements, then by all means, be my guest.

October 14th, New Line Cinema

Published in: on August 7, 2008 at 8:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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