Domino (2005) movie poster

(2005) dir. Tony Scott
viewed: 10/10/06

This movie “based on actual events” uses a modifier like “sort of” to tell you the real lack of truth as a bio-pic of Domino Harvey, a girl from a rich Beverly Hills family who ditched that life to become a bounty hunter, “before it became trendy”.  Actually, in terms of adaptation, it seems like one of those classic Hollywood takes on “real” events, packing in more sex and explosions and stuff than who knows how it all really was.  It’s like the ending of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) where Pee-Wee’s story is sold to Hollywood and retold with lots of campy spicing up.

That said, the lack of any real need to emulate any kind of reality actually makes this film kind of fun.  With the weird addition of Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering (of Beverly Hills 90210 fame) both playing themselves and taking the piss out of themselves to quite funny extent, this film has some really odd and funny moments.  The other strange thing is that it actually features some pretty good performances too.  Mickey Rourke and Edgar Ramirez are good as the oddball bounty hunter kings who take Domino under their wings.  And Christopher Walken, a national treasure, has a hilarious scene as a television producer who follows the bounty hunters around.  When he is screaming on the phone about how someone “changed the font” on a poster or something, I just totally cracked up.

That said, Keira Knightley is typically annoying and bad, but not bad enough to really matter.

The thing that is bad, downright awful, horrendous is the cinematography by Daniel Mindel and the direction by Tony Scott.  I guess that he thinks that badly lit, overly jumpy visual representation is the way to make a movie.  It’s a signature style that has annoyed me in the past and annoys me today.  It’s a lot of “style” that is simply clutter and noise.  It deters from the narrative and the acting and everything about this film, but not in what I would assume is an “intentional” way of distancing the viewer by constantly drawing attention to the film’s production.  I think it’s just plain terrible.  Fucking Uwe Boll could probably do a better job.

The script was written by Richard Kelly, the director behind the cult film Donnie Darko (2001) and while the campy, over-the-top Hollywoodization of Harvey’s life struck me as strange and yet fun, there actually were quite a few funny scenes in there.  I hear that his new film, Southland Tales (2006) is supposed to be awful.  Who knows?

In the end, it’s slightly better than I expected though I think that they should take away Tony Scott’s union card.

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