Domino

on October 14, 2005 by Annlee Ellingson
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There's a moment in Tony Scott's "Domino" in which Brian Austin Green -- yes, from "90210," and he's playing himself (more on that later) -- confronts titular badass Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley): "This is all an act, isn't it? This whole tough chick thing." He pays dearly for his impudence, but, by the time he makes the accusation amid a hallucinatory visual style, convoluted structure, nearly indecipherable plot involving bail bondsmen, the mob and reality TV and "Donnie Darko" screenwriter Richard Kelly's erudite ideas on the DMV, HMOs and Afghanistan, the audience is asking itself the same thing.

What's so fascinating about the film's real-life muse is not that the daughter of matinee idol Lawrence Harvey and model-cum-socialite Sophie Wynn turns out to be a bounty hunter, but how she got that way. Aside from a couple of scenes in which Domino behaves rather naughtily for a proper English girl, the film largely glosses over this aspect of the character -- as well as the drug use that allegedly ended her life at age 35 this past summer. We know she's got a bad attitude and mad combat skills, but where did she get them? As a result, "Domino's" weakest link is Knightley. As the lens caresses her limbs, one can't help but hope she'll soon give it a rest with the nunchucks.

She's surrounded, though, by a supporting cast that's as intriguing as she should have been, including grizzled Mickey Rourke as her mentor and virile Edgar Ramirez as her colleague-with-a-crush. But, remarkably, it's Green and his "90210" co-star Ian Ziering who are the highlight of the film with self-mocking turns as versions of themselves hosting the WB reality television show that follows Domino and her crew around before becoming "celebrity hostages." Starring Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez and Delroy Lindo. Directed by Tony Scott. Written by Richard Kelly. Produced by Samuel Hadida and Tony Scott. A New Line release. Action/Adventure. Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexual content/nudity and drug use. Running time: 128 min

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