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Domino - Review

Keira Knightley in Domino

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: I Am A Bounty Hunter Domino Harvey’s Life With Optional Commentary By Richard Kelly; Domino Harvey Bounty Hunting On Acid: Evolution Of A Visual Style; Deleted Scenes; Theatrical Trailer; Teaser Trailer.

TONY Scott introduces Domino with the phrase ‘based on a true story… sort of’. What follows probably has very little to do with fact.

The film is very loosely based on the life of model-turned-bounty hunter, Domino Harvey, the daughter of respected actor Lawrence Harvey and another model turned socialite, Sophie Wynn.

But it is such a wild and preposterous ride, fuelled by Scott’s own breathless directorial style, that you simply cannot take it seriously.

Keira Knightley plays the eponymous heroine as a bored rich girl who finds herself irresistibly drawn to the seedier side of life as well as the thrill of bounty hunting.

After teaming up with Ed Mosbey (Mickey Rourke), the best hunter in the business, and his partner, Choco (Edgar Ramirez), the trio quickly become celebrities and are exploited by a reality TV crew fronted by madcap producer, Mark Heiss (Christopher Walken), who gives them their own show.

But just when life seems to be going perfectly, the trio are given a job by their employer and bail bondsman Claremont Williams III (Delroy Lindo) which places them on a collision course with the Mob and inevitably puts their lives in danger.

The ensuing tale is told in flashback as Domino recounts the story of her life to a criminal psychologist (Lucy Liu), while also piecing together the bloody mess that represents the aftermath of the Mob job.

For the most part, Domino is a head-spinning experience that thrives on excess.

It’s built around a suitably twisting script from Donnie Darko’s Richard Kelly and positively throbs to the sound of its near-constant soundtrack, lacking much coherence as it bounces from one episode to the next.

But it remains a guilty pleasure thanks to some fantastic set pieces and some spirited supporting performances.

Walken, especially, seems to be having a blast as the edgy TV producer, while both Rourke and Ramirez make a fine bounty-hunting double act courtesy of their ‘lived-in’ looks and edgy personas (you never know what they’re capable of next).

Knightley, however, looks a little too fragile to be entirely believable and occasionally gets drowned out by the visual pyrotechnics employed by Scott, while her accent seems misplaced.

Scott, too, could be accused of over-employing the visual flourishes especially since the latter part of the film plays like a greatest hits compendium of his own back catalogue (with Man on Fire and True Romance featuring prominently).

Indeed, film-goers who have previously written off Scott’s style as hopeless had best stay away completely for this will do nothing to sway them.

Scott fans will, however, get a kick out of the whole overblown affair, no matter how over the top he takes it.

The real Domino Harvey tragically died while the film was in post-production but she remained a ‘surrogate daughter’ to Scott until the very end.

As a lasting tribute to someone who, by her own admission, referred to storming through doors with a shotgun in her hand as ‘the biggest adrenaline rush she’d ever had’, the film does indeed provide a cinematic rush of its own.

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