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I Am A Bounty Huntah

by Andrew Green

Today I have one for you an action movie: Domino, starring the always enchanting British actress, Keira Knightley. This picture was a bomb at the box office, and I have no idea why. You'd think the idea of a 100 pound English rose beating up 290 pound felons would attract viewers by droves!

Domino (2005)

Netflix description:
"Tony Scott pilots an intriguing action thriller based on the life of Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley), the offspring of actor Laurence Harvey and model Pauline Stone. Blessed with her mother's beautiful face, Domino eschews a career in the fashion industry for a life as a bounty hunter. The film's all-star supporting cast includes Mena Suvari, Lucy Liu, Christopher Walken, Macy Gray, Dabney Coleman and Brian Austin Green."

OK, so Domino is about this rich girl who becomes a bounty hunter in Los Angeles. She goes on to get a reality show and take part in a huge drug deal that brings down a high rolling crime boss. As the film opens, we're told that Domino is "a true story...sort of." Nonsense. The character of Domino Harvey may have been real, but the rest of this movie is obviously pure fiction. And you don't need to dial up the boys at Wikipedia to figure that out, either -- the plot here gets far too ridiculous to be true. Casinos are blown up, Keira Knightley intimidates gang bangers, and Ian Ziering has work. In short, the whole story is way, waaaaaay over-the-top.

And so is the production. This movie can be hard to follow, with extremely fast cutting, shaky camera views with multiple filters, and trippy flashbacks and overdubs on a near constant basis. Domino was clearly intended to be a sort of experiment by director Tony Scott to find out just how far he could go with the genre (if you've seen Scott's Man on Fire, imagine that multiplied by ten). This film feels like it was directed and edited by a schizophrenic on psychedelic mushrooms.

As the plot (and everything else) gets more ridiculous, we start to wonder if Domino is supposed to be an action film or a comedy. I mean, I love Ms. Knightley, but seeing such a dainty lass acting like a street thug is a bit silly. She throws herself into the part, which is admirable, but it's all just too hard to swallow. Scott could have corrected this by cutting down on the voice-overs, and maybe throwing in just a little slapstickish humor, but he didn't. Instead, he seems determined to push this concept to its outermost limits with no compromises, and the whole thing is just...too darn extreme.

Still, this is undeniably a UNIQUE production -- a bright, near-brilliant, experiment in the next level of action filmmaking. Keira is hot, Mickey Rourke is cool, and there are some laughs. You'll walk away feeling a little drunk...but once the trauma wears off, you'll probably remember this one for a long time. Domino isn't good, but it's worth watching.

3 out of 5.