Domino starts off with so much in its favor. Firstly, the rather astonishing true background story of Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley, in a nice bit of work), the daughter of actor Lawrence Harvey and onetime model who left the savory confines of Beverly Hills for the life of a bounty hunter. From this ripe canvas, director Tony Scott and writer Richard Kelley do find several scenes of visual pizzazz and dialogue pop. The possibilities seem endless with characters like Alf the Afghani, who once "ate a cat"; Ed Mosbey (a sharp Mickey Rourke), who "lost a toe in a prison riot"; and an opening tease where a mans forcibly detached arm emblazoned with a tattooed code must be used to open a safe.
Which, in turn, makes the utter disappointment all the more excruciating.
Thematically, the film is a mess of countless bits and pieces of Americana pop-culture,
badass violence and, inexplicably, religious faith. Nowhere, but nowhere, should
a single film contain two ex-"Beverly Hills 90120" stars, a sequence
from "Jerry Springer," and the metaphysical life or death musings of
moral relativism, with a dash of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary thrown in for
Technically, several genuinely excellent and innovative moments (the opening credit sequence is standout) are thrown asunder by a horrific onslaught of quick-cut, overexposed and sepia-stained flashes, rendering any dramatic thrust impotent and aggravating in an already overlong running time. And someone might want to tell Scott that for all of his technical wizardry, putting moody love music beneath a scene does not make that scene romantic especially after a brutal shootout and mescaline trip in the middle of the rancid Nevada desert.
Here is a movie so ripe with choices that it becomes tangled in itself. There are at least 10 different stories here, all worthy, but together they strangle an already overblown spectacle into a scattered circus of half-baked horror.