Tuesday, October 25, 2005



In sharp contrast to Kinky Boots, was Domino, which I saw last night. Domino is a headache of a film - all yellow filters, banging gansta rap, an explosion every 32 seconds and a back-and-forth narrative that would make Tarantino scratch his head. Domino is the story of the daughter of actor Laurence Harvey (he played various 1960s British sleazeballs) and how she became a bounty hunter in Los Angeles. Domino is played by Keira Knightley, who I last saw a million miles away in Pride and Prejudice. The girl has range at least! And she's very nice to look at too. Unfortunately, the real Domino (who we get a glimspe of at the end of the film), looks like David Bowie in drag as a man.

The film has an awful lot to say, and there are so many sub-plots that I lost count. First there are a troupe of sassy blatino (thats black and latino) women who are involved in forging driving licences. One of their number has a sick grandchild who needs money for an operation. She appears on Jerry Springer, to air her theory of racial diversity, complete with a flow-chart. There's a mad Afghan with no eyebrows and lots of bombs. Then there's a heist involving people wearing Jackie Onassis masks, a mafia boss who makes phone calls from a secret bubble chamber at the bottom of his swimming pool, a dysfunctional "family" of bounty hunters, all with their "real" quirks and foibles. Throw in Jaqueline Bissett as a hoity-toity mother and half the cast of Beverly Hills 90201 (playing themselves) who end up being taken as "celebrity hostages" and it all gets very confusing. People are killed and then suddenly the camera goes backwards and they weren't killed after all. About 2/3 of the way in, I literally lost the plot and ended up viewing it in the same way as you view an MTV video.

My favourite bits were the parts were Domino exacts mad violent revenge on some of the more unpleasant characters. At one point, Brian Austin Green (from BH90210) tells Domino that her "tough girl" image is just an act and she's really a scared little girl with Daddy issues. This earns him a broken nose. And early in the film, in one of the many flashbacks, we see Domino's attemps at fitting in when she joins an American college soriety. During an initation "pledge" ceremony, some bitch calls her breasts "mosquito bites". Domino responds again with another broken nose. If only everyone reacted in this way to those nasty pledge ceremonies - it'd put a stop to them overnight.

Ultimately though, it's all too much spectacle and trying-too-hard to be hip. The mad style means that when the characters are given mescalin towards the end of the film, you hardly notice, because the whole thing feels like a drug trip anyway. But Keira Knightley's performance (and cut-glass accent) saves the whole thing. She's my new hero.

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