Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: October 14, 2005

Director: Tony Scott
Keira Knightley
Mickey Rourke
Edgar Ramirez
Riz Abbasi
Delroy Lindo
Mo'Nique Imes-Jackson
Ian Ziering
Brian Austin Green
Joe Nunez
Macy Gray
Shondrella Avery
Dabney Coleman
Peter Jacobson
Kel O'Neill
Lucy Liu
Domino Harvey
Ed Mosbey
Claremont Williams
Lateesha Rodriguez
Raul Chavez
Lashindra Davis
Lashandra Davis
Drake Bishop
Burke Beckett
Taryn Miles
Dimino poster
Domino begins with this quote, "Based on a true story... Sort of". You know you are in trouble when you read this. However, Domino is a surprising movie. What stands out the most is Kiera Knightley's acting and Tony Scott's direction. Knightley's continuing narration works very well here to explain the obvious gaps in the story, as the movie spans several years in the life of bounty hunter Domino Harvey, daughter of actor Laurence Harvey. The real Domino Harvey was hired as the technical director and she helps Scott and Knightley get the character right. She has a small appearance during the ending credits.

Domino Harvey is a troubled young woman trying to find her place in the world. She was born into celebrity status but continually fought against that to find her own identity. After her father's death, mother moves them to Hollywood in an attempt to remarry into the Hollywood clique. Domino finds this move infuriating. She rebels against the prep school she is sent to, unwilling to submit to the norm. Not even a successful modeling career can satisfy her urges.

But Domino finally finds herself in the right place at the right time. She stumbles upon a newspaper clipping advertising a seminar on how to become a bounty hunter. The seminar turns out to be a con set up by real-life bounty hunter Ed Moseby and bailbondsman Clarmont Williams. Domino sees through the ruse and confronts Moseby. He finds her directness and her physical skills impressive so he takes her on as an apprentice.

Moseby quickly learns that he has come out on top, despite the objections from his partner, Choco. Domino's beauty is very uncommon in the bounty hunter trade. Combine this with Domino's willingness to do whatevery it takes to get the job done makes the team much better than the sum of its parts. Domino is willing to give a lap dance among a group of gang-bangers just to find the location of a suspect. Celebrity status soon follows in the form of a documentary-type TV show.

Domino begins with a stand-off between the bounty hunters and a distraught mother. They have been assigned to retrieve a cache of stolen money. Quickly into this scene comes a severed arm with the combination to a safe where the money is hidden. This opening sequence only whets the audience's appetite for more, mainly to find out how Domino Harvey ended up in this mixed-up situation.

The main focus of Domino is the resolution of this one sequence in her life. The story is told in a series of quick flash backs depicting Domino's assention into the dark world of bounty hunting. Some would say her decention, but only in bounty hunting is Domino truly happy.

The unfortunate aspect of the movie is the opening quote, "sort of...". The final resolution of the situation with "the arm" is so overblown, being staged for a Hollywod blockbuster rather than real life, that the final question is, "how much of Domino is the truth?" If there really was this shootout in Las Vegas with explosions in a highrise, it would have been front page news. It's a pity that this ambiguity spoils an otherwise very well crafted film.

Knightley makes the film interstting from a personal perspective. She carries the film. Rourke and Edgar Ramirez complete the triangle. As Domino metions:we were a dysfunctional group of people, but we made a great team when working. (Not quite directly quoted)

Tony Scott does a marvelous job of telling this complex story. He uses the flashback technique to optimum effect. Besides Knightley's acting, Scott keeps things interesting by using short cuts, different camera angles and a moving camera to depict a cinema virite style. He also populates his movie with a very well acted supporting cast.

Domino is an exhilerating movie. The bottom line: it is not important what "sort of" means.