What movie was that...?

11 March 2010

Domino

directed by Tony Scott

Muse is Radiohead. That is, Muse is Radiohead in a parallel universe if Radiohead didn’t care so much about acing every test and just wanted to party on Friday night. Well, Tony Scott, similarly, is his brother, Ridley. That is, Tony Scott is just like his brother if, in that same parallel universe, his brother just wanted to rock and roll all night, get into bar fights, and generally wyle out, making gonzo-great films in the process. Tony Scott is the Mick Jagger of the film world, the too cool for school, glam bitch rockstar responsible for bringing sexy back to movies. True Romance, Beat the Devil and Domino represent Tony Scott at his most reckless and best, but it’s in Domino where all the four elements of Scott’s signature style coalesce like gangbusters. I’m talking about blatant, almost indulgently blatant filmic moves, excellent acting, ragged edged and amazing soundtracks and saturated cinematography. Absolutely none of these elements are a slight or insult, by the way. Pour example, I simply loath the bottom feeding wasteland of the Crank 2 plotline, but I have to admit that, from a technical standpoint, that film is one of the best things I have seen in recent years (and remember, of course that Crank and Crank 2 came after Domino. Remember that, kiddies, for it is tres important). But back to the matter at hand: T Scott’s Domino is as obviously cool as they come, steeped in the “I don’t give a shit about your rules and your stereotypes” ethos of all things ahead of the curve. From the uberhip subtitles to the aggravatingly rad opening credits to the amazing performances to the aggravatingly stellar closing credits, Scott’s (Tony, not Ridley) film is an excellent testament to all things sweet. Kiera Knightley is Domino Harvey in all the right ways, flipping society the bird with one hand and socking faces with the other, the jaded at birth offspring of upper class who wants to sink her teeth into the meat of life. Helping her do just that is Ed wonderfully played by Mickey Rourke (you can do no wrong in my eyes, Mr. R), bounty hunter extraordinaire who takes her under his dysfunctional wing and shows her the ropes. After that, the story takes on a life of its own, including a reality television show, a multi-million dollar armored truck heist, a possible mob killing and the story of a daughter’s place in the universe. Loosely based on Domino’s real life and written by genius Richard Kelly (did you see Donnie Darko?, Good, but don’t ever see Southland Tales if you want to keep the Kelly mystique alive.), the film covers the short span of time from which Domino joins forces with Ed to the time she finds herself talking to an FBI agent (an incredible Lucy Liu). Just sit back and enjoy the ride. I could write pages about why Tony Scott rules, and if you find that Domino doesn’t illustrate every aspect of his genius, then you need to find another hobby, because appreciating film is clearly not on your list of “things I love”.  Tony Scott, My wish for you is that you never get serious and boring. Stay Roadhouse forever.

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