Here is the inherent problem with Domino: As a slick, uber-stylized action flick with no basis in reality, it’s actually kind of fun. Sure, it’s outlandish and over the top, but some of the best action flicks are. However…
Domino was marketed as and is supposed to be the life story of Domino Harvey, a bounter hunter from Los Angeles that stood out because she was female and because she was the daughter of Laurence Harvey and a fashion model. Domino the movie is a souped-up, ultra-stylish version of Harvey’s life on PCP.
You can ask viewers to suspend a lot of disbelief, but asking them to suspend this much disbelief (multiple shootouts, a climax ending in massive explosions, lots of dead bodies and a twisty-turny plot, as well as Keira Knightley as a badass) is almost criminal. Domino Harvey led what was in essence a very different life and she did not even make it to see the finished product, dying of a drug overdose before the movie was completed.
If you regard Domino as standard action fare, then it is not a disappointing waste of time; Tony Scott actually makes the film look very cool with the way he shot and processed it. The ridiculous aspects of the film are humorous, but typical, and they can be enjoyable.
The problem lies in asking a viewer to believe that this life story is based in any sort of fact beyond the basic outline of Domino’s life, especially when she met a tragic end shortly before the film’s release. Tiresome are the life philosophies of Film Domino and it’s regretful that the Real Domino never had a chance to appropriately comment on her thoughts on the film.
Aside from the fact that Keira Knightly looks like a shotgun recoil would break her shoulder blade clean in two and she looks awfully out of place as a no-nonsense, tough as nails kind of girl, it is a fun movie – as long as you can fully distance it from the real life person with the admittedly, probably more interesting story that could have been told. It is a film that takes enormous liberties with its subject matter and should be treated as such.
That being said, compared to shit like Gigli, this stuff looks like it could’ve won an Academy Award, and I’ll take Knightley looking as though she’s just sucked lemons as an attempt to come off as a grimacing, tough bounty hunter any day over Lopez as a lesbian gangster.