Domino - DVD Review

'the problem is, with this being a Tony Scott film, you can’t tell the difference between the drug trip montage and the rest of the movie'

There’s a moment in Domino where several of the main characters are served coffee spiked with drugs. What follows is the expected blurry, jump-cut montage, meant to represent characters who are seeing the world through the hazy vision of hallucinogenics. Which is fine. The problem is, with this being a Tony Scott film, you can’t tell the difference between the drug trip montage and the rest of the movie.

We last saw this style in The Taking Of Pelham 123 and at that point I remember thinking that I’d had enough, even though I thought the film was an entertaining-enough thriller. The style worked in Man On Fire, was kind of successful in Spy Game but went a step to far in Pelham and Deja Vu. Not content enough here with treating us to his usual blurry fast-cuts and intentionally shaky camera work, Scott adds another string to his bow: repetition. Character’s lines are inexplicably repeated immediately after they said them the first time while Scott cranks his camera around three or four marginally different angles of the same shot. I assume he thinks this is visually interesting. I was on the verge of feeling nauseous.

It’s not as if he’s getting his characters to do this because he’s so proud of the script. Richard Kelly’s effort is flat and lifeless to a fault and never misses a chance to trot out a stereotypical action line which inevitably falls on its head. In the lead role here, Keira Knightley seems particularly, obviously, out of place, but when she speaks Kelly’s ridiculous lines she graduates from out of place to genuinely awful.

It’s left then to Mickey Rourke to save the day. He gets little help from bit part player Edgar Ramierez, who simply does a passable impression of the silent hero and none from the miss cast Knightley who can’t pull off Tom-Boy no matter how hard she tries, but somehow, his grizzled presence just about pulls the film up to somewhere hovering above being a disaster.

Scott needs to learn when he can get away with this style of his and when he needs to present things with a bit more subtlety. General guide: Denzel Washington running around murdering bad guys, sure give us some flashy cutting; convoluted story featuring the mafia, some bounty hunters and Lucy Liu, lets have a little more presentational frankness, lest we end up having to watch this sort of assaulting dross again.

Look further...

'Domino is so over-plotted that it's borderline incomprehensible' - The LA Times (Kenneth Turan)


  1. As much as I love Keira Knightley this one is a real stinker, I think I gave it a 1/10. Simply a mess of a film.

  2. I guiltlessly enjoyed Scott's Man on Fire, but the guy seems to be losing his knack for tension which made his 90's films so enjoyable.

    These days he seems like the meth addict in the corner of the room. Going from calm, careful, tension films, to OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG BOOOOOOOM!

    :) Hopefully the bombtastic crap that was his Pelham 123 remake will calm him down.

  3. TheAnswer - It came extremely close to a one but the basic premise, bit of added intrigue to the plot and Rourke saved it for me from being a complete abomination. Certainly don't hold your one against you though.

    Uni - Yes, absolutely agree with Man On Fire. More than that actually; I own it, I've watched it several times and I think it's very very good indeed. Time will tell with Scott but to be honest, right now, I can't say I'm eagerly awaiting his next.

  4. The whole point of POV drug scenes is to juxtapose with the rest of the film...otherwise, makes no sense.

  5. And Simon this... makes no sense!