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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Keira Knightley
Ian Ziering
Christopher Walken
Mickey Rourke
Mena Suvari
Macy Gray
Jacqueline Bisset
Shondrella Avery.
Directors
Tony Scott.
Screenwriters
Richard Kelly.
Running Time
TBC minutes

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Domino
Bonkers biopic of the bounty hunting babe


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Plot
A "biopic" of Brit ex-pat Domino Harvey who, bored with her life as a model, became a bounty hunter. She and her two co-workers pursue their prey while being followed by reality TV cameras. When an associate tries to pull a fast one to raise emergency cash, she ends up in an interrogation room, recounting her tale.


Review
Domino

Nobody shoots and cuts quite like Tony Scott. Now in his 60s, the man has enough panache to burn off any of Hollywood’s new top guns. So long as he’s armed with a strong narrative, you’re guaranteed a good time, regardless of how over-the-top he goes. In theory then, the pairing of Scott and Donnie Darko scribe Richard Kelly should make for an intriguing soundclash, but in practice, once you pile Scott’s visual jazz on top of Kelly’s post-modern pop culture riffs, the end product is too often simply noise.

On the upside, the details work well. Individual sequences are all impeccably assembled, Rourke’s grizzled vet chips in some memorable deadpan dialogue and there’s a scene involving a shoulder joint that might just qualify as the “holy shit!” moment of the year. But like the playing pieces of the title, these sequences are balanced precariously — close but never exactly strung together by the script — and it only requires one of them to fall to send all of the others crashing down.

Fair enough, from the get-go Scott backs away from asserting that this is anything like an honest biopic, which should leave us free to enjoy the ride, but the scattershot screenplay also makes life very tough for Knightley (hot but not hard) in the title role. The assorted veterans fare better in supporting parts — Mickey Rourke wears bounty-hunting boss Ed Moseby like a comfortable leather jacket, and Delroy Lindo makes the most of his limited screen time as a shonky bail bondsman. The standout, though, is Walken, who waltzes into the entertaining second act as a “reality TV producer” and single-handedly makes us forget we were half-way through a “sort of” biopic.

Alas, Walken’s thin plot-thread soon unravels, and for her third act Domino — both the woman and the movie — morphs again, into a metaphysical morality tale with delusions of grandeur. Scott tries to snatch our attention back with a big gun battle, but bizarrely it’s just a photocopy of True Romance’s climax. Ultimately, nothing here bring us any closer to Domino, and you begin to wonder if Scott would have been a better choice for a standard treatment of the same subject.


Verdict
Always best when stretching a tight-fit script, Scott never looks comfy in a baggy screenplay that has too many ideas and not enough discipline. Messy, then, but still fitful fun.


Reviewed by Sam Toy

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Domino
Empire Star Rating

Ha ha ! Awesome !

I came away from this thinking that I didn't know whether I liked it or not. Apparantly this is Scott's favorite of his own films, yes? Well it's certainly divided you lot! Marmite movie anyone ? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danielthompson99 at 21:42, 23 August 2012 | Report This Post


Domino Review

The life story of model-turned- bounty-hunter Domino Harvey struggles to get out of this overwrought and excessive biopic. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 10:08, 16 February 2012 | Report This Post


Just watched this again for the upteenth time. Love it. Always feel a bit sad that Tony gave in and felt the need to apologise for it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by UTB at 22:25, 30 June 2011 | Report This Post


Absolutely Amazing Film

There are going to be people that think the film is contrived and messy and a waste of time, because the first time you see it, it seems to be a lot of slapdash scenes held together by a clunky narrative. On repeat viewing, however, when you have the chance to piece the scenes together and into the right order, you realise just how much of an original and sharp story this is. Superb acting goes alongside a killer soundtrack and exciting setpieces to create a clever little action thriller that en... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 19:10, 21 November 2010 | Report This Post


annoying!

this was not that good at all...the script was stupid, the camera work and lighting was seriously annoying me, i dont mind Keira Knightly and she can be a very good actress...but in this movie she was irritating as hell ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Coyleone at 12:37, 25 November 2008 | Report This Post


. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nc_jj at 21:31, 31 March 2008 | Report This Post


aweful

This is the most annoying film I've ever seen. I'd rather watch a musical. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jhill25 at 12:40, 28 July 2007 | Report This Post


... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 18:23, 24 March 2007 | Report This Post


Lots of guns, funs and it looks amazing.

I watched Domino in the cinema and afterwards wasn't quite sure what to make of it to be honest. There were moments I really enjoyed, the reality TV bounty hunting idea I love and the cast is an army of talent from Keira Knightley to Mickey Rourke to Christipher Walken to Mena Suvari to Delroy Lindow to Lucy Liu and a very welcome apperarance from Tom Waits. I think Keira Knightley and Mickey Rourke are great as the bounty hunters. It's a new type of Role for Keira Knightley, and a really great ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rich Empire at 12:44, 13 November 2006 | Report This Post


Excellent! Brilliant Film

When I first saw the trailer for this film I couldn't wait to watch it. Now (controversial I know) I think Keira Knightley is brilliant, I have loved all of her films (well, except Bend it Like Beckham or the Hole, but come on, she was young!) and the idea of her playing a bounty hunter, a character with some real attitude, was exciting. I must confess I do not know much about the real Domino Harvey or her life so am not basing any of my view on this (especially as the film starts of by sayin... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vikingvampireparrot at 15:20, 25 August 2006 | Report This Post


Excellent! Brilliant Film

When I first saw the trailer for this film I couldn't wait to watch it. Now (controversial I know) I think Keira Knightley is brilliant, I have loved all of her films (well, except Bend it Like Beckham or the Hole, but come on, she was young!) and the idea of her playing a bounty hunter, a character with some real attitude, was exciting. I must confess I do not know much about the real Domino Harvey or her life so am not basing any of my view on this (especially as the film starts of by sayin... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vikingvampireparrot at 15:20, 25 August 2006 | Report This Post


I want to slap Knightly...

...only joking. Maybe not actually. This film is one of the most annoying films I've ever seen. Keira Knightly trying to play a badass thrill seeker was like having a little brat who won't shut up sitting near you on a train. The script sucked, so I guess that's why the makers tried to compensate by including loads of fast editing and nifty camera work. But that's just like trying to make a sandwhich with the best fillings to try and hide the fact that the bread's stale. Terrible film. The ar... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Blind Spectator at 00:20, 12 July 2006 | Report This Post


DomiNOOOOO!!!

What a loud, obnoxious mess. I want my old Tony Scott back. You know, "The Hunger, True Romance Tony Scott". Maybe even "Crimson Tide Tony Scott", but this? Jesus, what an exercise in tolerance. I didn't even get all the way through it. It is a rare occasion where I shut off a film before the end. The flashy cut-paste photography got unbearably annoying VERY early and didn't let up. I also realized upon watching a chunk of this film that I just don't like Kiera Knightley. Her... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by losbastardos at 02:44, 01 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

I watched only bits of the film, had a quick look and thought that it was a tiresome attempt at a possibly exciting concept. ... More

Posted by KnightofZyryab at 17:55, 25 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

L: Marky_Mark **SPOILERS** What an odd film. Utterly over-stylised and miscast! A film with so many A-listers should have been much better. Am I the only one who had the problem with a) the Afghanistan guy blowing himself up..? WTF? b) the Afghan children at the end being sent American dollar bills....what use was that?!? c) Domino was let off at the end...why?! SO many other things to comment on, but this film isn't worth any more ranting. Had I not seen a couple... More

Posted by Benjamin Dover at 21:35, 24 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

**SPOILERS**   What an odd film. Utterly over-stylised and miscast! A film with so many A-listers should have been much better.   Am I the only one who had the problem with a) the Afghanistan guy blowing himself up..? WTF? b) the Afghan children at the end being sent American dollar bills....what use was that?!? c) Domino was let off at the end...why?!   SO many other things to comment on, but this film isn't worth any more ranting. Had I not seen a couple ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Marky_Mark at 16:51, 23 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

Not good, as pointless a low alcohol lager and equally tasteless. ... More

Posted by Cux at 19:20, 19 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

Damn, there's two of us.....   Oh, there's several songs they play repeatedly, they just sound very similar.. (I think Tony had just gotten his hands on that Xzibit cd.... ... More

Posted by Benjamin Dover at 17:55, 19 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

t things first, I'm not going to slag off Keira Knightley in this review. I'd like to think that its for these reasons; firstly, I think she pulls off the role as best she could, the fact that we saw her in Pride and Prejudice (which was her better performance) shows how diverse she is. Secondly, as soon as someone is thrown into the limelight and really excels as something special, it becomes fashionable to slag them off. She made a name for herself with Bend It Like Beckham (which sucked, but... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Da Big Cheese at 17:44, 19 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

Domino was terrible as was the direction, the worst film of 2005,  and in my opinion Keira Knightly gave the worst performances of 2005 and as usual she pouts through the whole film like she always does   My rating 2/10 ... More

Posted by jackassfan at 13:18, 29 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

I had a bad idea of this film from the beginning with all the slated reviews etc. Yet I was pleasantly surprised with the storyline. It was fake, meaningless, it had Mickey Rourke's incredible presence and just a hint of Walken... It ain't all ] bad.   Sure, I wouldn't purchase it, or exclaim my like from the top of a mountain, but it was bearable... despite the absurdity of getting out of a fight via a lap-dance... Hm, I'll have to keep that in mind ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jessica_ca_ca_ca at 12:06, 29 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Dumbino

Watched this last night and didn't think much of it.   It had the look and feel of The Devils Rejects which was utter shite.  I just couldn't take Keira Knightley seriously in this role...it was just laughable at times. Mickey Rourke saved this movie from being crap and average. ... More

Posted by Newander at 11:16, 29 March 2006 | Report This Post


Dumbino

Really disappointing, like so many others I wanted to like this film but I just couldnt! Just seems like an attempt to raise Knightley's new "bad girl" appearance and all that flickery camera wizardy was just too much... its cool in small doses but this film has far too much so as to make it cringe worthy. Not impressed! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jonnypatterson at 23:43, 02 March 2006 | Report This Post


Domino

I thought Man on Fire was great and so was the Last Boy Scout so I expected this to be at least decent. But the plot was virtually non-existent, the action seen before and why is Domino quite so depressing. Honestly, say a bad word about her, she breaks your nose, this would be okay if only she said domething cool afterwards but oh well. Anyway you might enjoy this if you want a semi-decent action flick, just beware the stupid flickery camera-work. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by cluesy at 18:18, 20 February 2006 | Report This Post


what a shame

I really wanted to like this film. There's just something about Knghtley that gets me going, but in this film it certainly took a while. At first i found her annoying but as the movie ran on i got used to her, (similar to Charlie Hunnam in Green Street). Mickey Rourke is the films saviour and adds a sense of cohesion and surreal calmness. Think i may have to watch this film a few more times before i can fully understand it on other levels - or is there only one! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by young flannigan at 22:12, 16 February 2006 | Report This Post


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