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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/10/2005

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 125 mins

Miscast, poorly written, over-directed and just plain stupid, Domino avoids one-star ignominy because it’s also unintentionally hilarious, making it a must-see bad movie.

The Background
If you’ve seen the trailer for Domino you may already have howled with laughter at the sound of Keira Knightley poshly enunciating the lines, My name is Domino Harvey. I am a bounty hunter. Thankfully, there are far more laughs to come, because, make no mistake, Domino isn’t just bad, it’s gloriously, spectacularly, hilariously bad. So bad, in fact, that it’s actually worth seeing just for its horrendousness.

The Story
Loosely based on a true story (in the sense that she actually existed), Keira Knightley stars as Domino Harvey (who sadly died shortly after filming was completed), daughter of film star Laurence Harvey and model-turned-socialite Sophie Wynn (Jacqueline Bisset).

Frustrated with her life of wealth and privilege (boo hoo), Domino gets thrown out of boarding school and has a brief stint as a model before stumbling into a job seminar and deciding that what she really wants to do is be a bounty hunter.

Domino proves surprisingly adept at the bounty hunting lark and soon comes to see her colleagues (Mickey Rourke as ex-con Ed Mosbey and Edgar Ramirez as Choco) as her extended family. However, thanks to the antics of their employer, Claremont (Delroy Lindo), they find themselves smack in the centre of a complex plot involving a heist, a reality TV show, a casino owner, a mob boss and the FBI.

The Bad
Sadly, the biggest problem with Domino is the casting of Keira Knightley. It’s impossible to believe in her character, true story or no true story. Similarly, the flashback structure of the film means that Keira’s Home Counties voiceover is forced to utter one hilariously bad line after another.

Tony Scott directs with his usual overblown, choppily-edited, throw it at the screen and see if it sticks style, which gets extremely tiresome after a while. Whatever you do, don’t go and see the film if you have a bit of a headache coming on.

The Good
The film is packed with hilariously bad scenes although to be fair, some of the humour is intentional. Christopher Walken is hilarious as the TV producer and there’s an inspired running gag involving Beverly Hills 90210 stars Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering. However, the scene-stealing performance belongs to Lucy Liu as an FBI Agent with a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The Conclusion
In short, Domino suffers from overdirection and a casting gamble that doesn’t pay off but it’s worth seeing for its sheer horrendousness. If you’re an aficionado of bad movies you can go ahead and add an extra star. The script is still a disaster though. It’s hard to believe that it was written by Richard Donnie Darko Kelly. Approach with caution.

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Content updated: 25/02/2020 09:23

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