" Domino " has been widely condemned on this site for its frenetic editing style and " sickening " photography. It's detractors cite its superficiality and criticize its deployment of " style over substance" I couldn't disagree more. I believe that " Domino " represents the absolute height of Tony Scott's film-making career.
After having created the dominant Hollywood action movie style throughout the late eighties and early nineties Tony Scott has moved progressively closer to a more subjective style of cinema. As early as "Crimson Tide" Scott used his stylistic talent to portray the inner worlds of his characters- the claustrophobia and drama inherent in the conflict on board a nuclear submarine was embodied in the excellent use of long lenses combined with dutched-angle framing. This was then carried through to " Enemy Of The State" and "Spy Game" which visually represented the worlds of surveillance and espionage respectively.
" Man On Fire" was an extreme departure , a move into an expressionist more painterly aesthetic. Here Scott used an antiquated hand cranked camera and flash frames to express his character's explosive rage . Although not entirely successful it introduced the techniques which were to find their full expression in " Domino"
Couched in the framing device of an FBI interrogation " Domino" presents the life of the infamous bounty hunter via her narrated disjointed fragments of memory. She grasps at memories as we all do- in fragments, flashes and brief snatches. As Domino relays her story verbally Scott relays it visually illustrating not only the events which she describes but also the point of view which guides them. She does have " traces of mescaline" in her system but her individual vision is anyway Unusual -that of an woman who eschewed the life of luxury for bounty hunting.
It is when Domino begins to relate the events which lead to her captivity that Scott really lets rip. Together with Cinematographer Dan Mindel and composer Harry-Gregson Williams Scott orchestrates a postmodern canvas of contemporary Americana. Gradually we begin to realize that unusual though she may be Domino is no more disjointed than the "90210" culture she has rejected. As she wades through this cultural melange Scott makes his viewer more aware of the innocence which it destroys through the underprivileged children which the narrative introduces. Ultimately Scott portrays their salvation as the only escape we have from this surreal trip.
To criticize this movie for being overly stylized is akin to criticizing a Picasso or a Pollock for not representing that which is recognizably human. Like any great painting the meaning in " Domino" is in the surface and the surface is everything.
I am not in any way associated with Scott Free but have always been and will continue to be a huge admirer of Tony Scott's work
Action / Biography
Action / Biography
The daughter of an actor father and a social-climber mother, Domino Harvey, bored with her life, decides to join the team of Ed Moseby and becomes a bounty hunter. But she gets in trouble when the Mafia's money is stolen from an armored truck, while Moseby and his crew are participating in a reality show produced by Mark Heiss. The situation gets out of control when the sons of a rival mobster are kidnapped while the FBI is monitoring two gangs of mobsters.
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November 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm