Columbus Alive | October 13, 2005
In general, there’s nothing less cool than thinking and acting like you’re cool, but when it comes to filmmaking, self-conscious coolness is no oxymoron. It is, however, a hit-or-miss proposition, depending on whether the director can back up his swagger (like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriquez or Steven Soderbergh) or not (your average Tarantino impersonator).

It also depends an awful lot on how forgiving the audience is, if they’re willing to let a filmmaker get away with a lot in exchange for something that can only happen in a totally ridiculous, roughshod movie. Domino is full of such somethings.

Director Tony Scott is doing self-consciously cool here, and his work with Tarantino on True Romance rubbed off more than enough to forgive a lot. The based-on-a-true-story (“sort of,” as the credits admit) of a female bounty hunter is a relentlessly crafted action/heist flick full of the winks, nods and elbows to the audience’s ribs.

Photographed and edited like a cross between a nu-metal music video and a David Fincher flick and boasting a cast that’s almost entirely the result of stunt-casting, Domino does for ’90s trashy pop culture what Tarantino does for the ’70s, all but requiring at least a bit of affection for Beverly Hills 90210. (Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green, playing themselves, are Domino’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.)

Keira Knightley plays the title character as a gutter punk Emma Peel, and her little boy-with-breasts body is on full display throughout—ludicrous lap dances, post-car crash sex scene, even a mechanical bull. She convincingly navigates a rocket-paced evolution from runway model to nunchuck-rocking teen to L.A. bounty hunter with coolness in her genes (she was sired by Frank Sinatra instead of Laurence Harvey—maybe—and raised by Jacqueline Bisset’s desperate housewife).

Domino hooks up with Mickey Rourke and Edgar Ramirez, bounty hunters in the employ of Delroy Lindo, and a gigantic, convoluted plot which may or not make a lick of sense rapidly spiderwebs around them, beginning with her talking into the heavily shadowed eye sockets of Lucy Liu and culminating in the first Mexican standoff involving an Afghan suicide bomber and Dabney Coleman. All this and Christopher Walken too.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
More »
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Market Served: Metropolitan Area
  • Address: 62 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
  • Phone: (614) 221-2449