Domino

I went to see Domino (IMDB) last night primarily out of curiosity to see what Donnie Darko writer-director Richard Kelly had done with the screenplay. And Tony Scott’s hyperkinetic direction can sometimes be fun. But as I was watching, I felt like I’d seen this film at least twice before, first when it was called Natural Born Killers and later when it was called True Romance.

Kelly’s script, very loosely based on the story of Domino Harvey, the daughter of actor Laurence Harvey who became a bounty hunter, had some potential, especially as a satire of the culture industry’s production of celebrity. This notion of celebrity and fantasy is perhaps best explored through the COPS-style reality TV series that follows the three lead bounty hunters on their quests. The reality series is hosted by former Beverly Hills 90210 stars Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green, both playing themselves, and Tom Waits’ cameo late in the film also contributes to this notion of celebrity (the real Domino Harvey, who died of a drug overdose while the film was in production also cameos). The muddled, Tarantinoesque timelines actually fit the character’s somewhat addled mental state. So there are some interesting elements here, and I’ll be interested to see how it fits within Kelly’s future work.

However, I found Scott’s direction a bit too heavy-handed, especially in the choppy editing. I barely remember a single shot lasting more than 3 seconds, and the fact that I was bored enough to start counting shot lengths gives you some indication of how exciting I found this film (I wasn’t the only audience member who was bored–at least 4-5 other people actually left before the film was over).

2 Comments »

  1. dvd Said,

    October 23, 2005 @ 6:04 pm

    This and Elizabethtown are the worst films I’ve seen this year, in my opinion. I thought Kelly’s script was pretty bad, itself, and Scott’s direction did it no favors; I thought that, with last year’s Man On Fire, he was elevating action filmmaking to a new level, but here he drives it right back down again to MTV-inspired inanity.

  2. Chuck Said,

    October 23, 2005 @ 6:27 pm

    I probably gave Kelly’s script a little too much credit, but the overall film was certainly disappointing, just a bunch of noise to no interesting effect. It may be the worst film I’ve seen this year, certainly far worse than Wedding Crashers.

    I’ve been taking the critics at their word on the suckiness of Elizabethtown and will almost certainly skip it.

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