A few months before the release of Domino, Domino Harvey, the film's namesake, died of an accidental overdose. To say that the real Harvey lead an interesting life is a gross understatement. She was the daughter of a famous actor who grew up to be a model. Then her life took a bizarre turn and she became a bounty hunter, and a good one at that. Domino, an explosive failure of a film, zips through her early years and focuses on her adventures as a bounty hunter. It's not much a tribute to her. Instead, it is the next step for director Tony Scott (Man on Fire, Spy Game). Scott has an eye for visuals, and frequently uses rapid editing, loud music, and whiz-bang special effects to give his films a kinetic feel to them. He goes on overkill here with Domino, never slowing down for an instant. The intended effect was to make this a bold, exciting film, but the actual effect was to create a loud jumble of junk.
Harvey (Keira Knightley, The Jacket, Pure) is the narrator of Domino, recounting her own life to the Taryn Miles (Lucy Liu, Kill Bill Vol. I, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle). By her own admission, the line between fact and fiction blurs, typically to make the story itself more exciting. The colors switch from normal to washed out, Scott and screenwriters Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) and Steve Barancik (The House on Turk Street, The Last Seduction) let a plot thread go forward, then backtrack to correct something. There are titles flashing across the screen, freeze frames, odd angles, and a loud soundtrack that is two-thirds techno and one-third rap. There is simply too much going on here, turning Domino into a two-hour music video. This would work if there were more of a compelling story to the film.
Instead, Harvey goes to work for bounty hunter Ed Moseby (Mickey Rourke, Sin City, Man on Fire) and Choco (Edgar Ramirez, Punto y Raya, El Don). Harvey looks like an angel, but has the heart of a hardened criminal, and this quickly earns her the respect of her peers. Domino follows the trio on some basic hunts before their boss, Claremont Williams (Delroy Lindo, Sahara, The Core), tells them to find four people and deliver them to a police station in Needles. Harvey is automatically suspicious, since she cannot find any warrants for them in the system and Needles seems like a bizarre place to make a delivery.
The plot kicks into high gear, and gets pretty convoluted. Television producer Mark Heiss (Christopher Walken, Wedding Crashers, Around the Bend) and a camera crew are following the trio around for a reality television show. It turns out that the four people they delivered were accused of robbing an armored car that Williams owned. The money belongs to the mob, who are understandably annoyed and want their money back. Unfortunately, there are other machinations happening at the same time, and Harvey and her crew are caught in the middle of all of them. To the credit of the filmmakers, it is pretty difficult to see how exactly things will play out, but even with all of the action and violence on screen, it's hard to care.
|Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.|
|2 hours, Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexua content/nudity, and drug use.|
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