Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Heads you live. Tails you die. Her name is Domino Harvey. She is a bounty hunter. This unconventional film is based very loosely on the true unconventional life of the daughter of actor Laurence Harvey. Losing her father at an early age, Domino grew up with her mother and lived the good life as a rich girl, becoming a Ford model at one point. But she has always been the aloof social outcast, and tend to loathe the high life (Beverly Hills brat-packers) she has been brought up in. She doesn't mince her words, and packs a wallop of a punch too.

Chancing upon a Bounty Hunter job, she signs up with one of the best in the business, Ed Mosbey (Mickey Rourke) and his partner Choco (Edgar Ramirez). It's a totally different life from one in which she grew up in, but as she explained to Ed, she's in it for the fun and thrills. She's skilled with various weapons like automatic weapons, knives and the Nun-chaks, and fast transforms into an asset to her team, with "bra and panties on". Soon, the trio become famous in the bounty hunting arena (who wouldn't with 2 hunks and a gorgeous babe), as we follow them through their various exploits. They even have their own reality TV show Bounty Squad, which plays an integral part of the story.

The film starts off very intensely and jumps right into the action, before the audience is brought back to the beginning, and chronicles her life from the start. At times, this movie is deliberately filmed in 70-ish television series style, especially the classic opening credits with theme song, character titles, and plenty of images with scenes from the movie. Some in the audience, however, will not appreciate the characteristic MTV styled quick cuts used by director Tony Scott, and I do see him making more films using this style, with his previous films Man on Fire and Spy Game. The soundtrack for this film is vulgarly kinky too.

That aside, there might be many not comfortable with the narrative style used, with constant flashbacks, and even "reversing" what had been shown on screen, making it a tad confusing at times. For those who somehow not manage to stay attentive to the plot, you may get lost halfway through, as it involves many characters with various personal motivations, which culminates in an explosive ending. Satisfying at the end, but only if you're patient with the build up, just like one of Tony Scott's earlier movies (which I shall not mention, as it is similar in narrative structure).

A number of actors make their appearance in this movie, like Christopher Walken as a reality show producer, Mena Suvari as his mousy secretary, Lucy Liu as an FBI interrogator, even singer Macy Gray and veteran Jacqueline Bisset as Domino's mother. Take note however, that major comedic moments are provided in Jerry Springer's Show, and the early 90s TV series Beverly Hills 90210 contributing 2 actors Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green to be has-been parodies of themselves.

Keira Knightley swears a lot in this film. A whole lot, different from when she first burst into the scene with Bend It Like Beckham. What's amazing is her ability to handle a tough-as-nails character, and the expressing of her emotions in totally different scenes, some sentimental, some sarcastic, some totally kicking rear. It's an eye opener too to watch her handle various deadly weapons with ease. She could well be on her way to marquee a film, though I felt in this one, she had the assistance of Mickey Rourke, and a good supporting cast, to carry this film through.

This film is dedicated in memory of the real Domino Harvey, who passed away earlier this year before the movie is released. The real her is seen at the end credits, where they feature the cast, and she makes an appearance as the last character, simply titled "Domino".

Such is the fictional story of an extraordinary life of an unconventional lady.

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