Cast: Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Edgar
Ramirez, Rizwan Abbasi, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Christopher
Walker, Mena Suvari, Jacqueline Bisset, Lucy Liu, Delroy Lindo,
Mo’Nique, Macy Gray
Domino is disappointing for what might have been. Based
on the life of Domino Harvey, one would think the
true story alone would have been ripe fodder for any director worth
his or her mettle. But Tony Scott manages to somehow
take gold and spin it back into straw.
The true stuff: Domino Harvey was born into British high society.
Her father was Lawrence Harvey, whose many film
credits included a role in the original The Manchurian Candidate
with Frank Sinatra. Tragically Domino’s father
died suddenly of a heart attack when she was just four years old.
Her mother relocated the family to Los Angeles after remarrying
Peter Horton, who would go on to found the Hard
Rock Café restaurant chain.
Lucky girl. But Domino never seemed to fit into the lifestyle of
privilege and wealth. She rejected the constraining atmosphere of
private boarding schools and after a series of unsatisfying jobs
she seemed to find her life’s calling: working as a bounty
hunter for Celes King Bail Bonds. It was here she found excitement
and danger—the one thing her safe, comfortable upbringing
could never deliver. As if her day job weren’t enough, Domino
moonlighted as a high-fashion runway model and struggled habitually
with a wicked drug addiction.
This is not only true stuff, it’s good stuff… lots
of potential to explore—the psychological underpinnings of
a woman addicted to living on the edge. Instead Scott abandons all
this and focuses on high-speed action, blazing guns, and worse,
a Mickey Mouse feel-good ending. Though Scott’s had some experience
with big Hollywood hits (notably the action flicks Top Gun,
Days Of Thunder, and The Last Boy Scout) Domino has
all the substance of an MTV video. The tinted lenses and rapid-fire
action sequences leave what could have been some interesting character
development in the dust.
Every shot Scott has at creating a meaningful film is squandered.
Though Domino’s father’s death is peripherally touched
upon, we only get a feel for her loss by watching as Domino resolves
never to grow too attached to any one or thing again. She says this
as she symbolically flushes her dead goldfish down the toilet. An
exploration of her relationship with her sidekick bounty hunters,
Ed and Choco (Rourke and Ramirez),
is also side-stepped in favor of condensed voice-over narration.
Domino Harvey died earlier this year of a drug overdose, but claiming
he wanted to keep it upbeat, Scott neglects to mention this and
simply dedicates his film to her memory before the credits role.
Once again a meaningful biopic is sabotaged in favor of superficial
The one bright spot is the mesmerizing performance of Keira
Knightley. A gun-toting woman tarted up in raccoon eye
make-up and patent leather pants who saves the film can’t
be all bad. It’s the one thing that separates this from other
Hollywood forgettables, meriting this film two stars.
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...