Tony Scott, a pioneer of ADD-filmmaking who was making movies that felt like feature-length music videos before almost anyone else, here unleashes his flashiest and most aggressively discombobulated movie.
Domino is loosely based on the fascinating and very brief life of Domino Harvey — Hollywood royalty (daughter of movie star Lawrence Harvey) turned fashion model turned bounty hunter — but Scott manages to transform a potentially great story into a barrage of pointless, hyperbolic style. We learn virtually nothing about the characters or why they do the things they do, but the film is constantly, relentlessly in motion — from the cameras convulsing over, under and around the on-screen action, to the ever-changing film stocks and speeds, to the strident, headache-inducing shock-cut editing. It's all undeniably attention-grabbing, but none of it is particularly original (Scott borrows shamelessly from Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, as well as from Tarantino and Guy Ritchie), and the film eventually throws any semblance of plot out the window.
Although style is clearly what passes for substance in Domino, the film eventually drifts into meta-territory when the heroine and her crew become media stars of a reality TV show — and though some of this is amusing enough, it's not anywhere near as "deep" as it wants us to believe. By the time the faux-cosmic finale rolls around and Tom Waits appears out in the desert babbling about destiny and what have you, it's hard to care. Stars Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez, Christopher Walken and Lucy Liu.
Domino (R) opens Oct. 14 at local theaters. 1.5 stars