Directed by Tony Scott

Written by Richard Kelly

Starring Keira Knightly, Mickey Rourke



Here's an interesting idea for a movie: Domino Harvey, the daughter of the British actor Laurence Harvey (the brainwashed soldier in "The Manchurian Candidate") grows up beautiful, becomes a model, then leaves to become - what? - a bounty hunter in Los Angeles? How come? Why did she do it? What kind of life does she lead? (we only remember "Midnight Run" when we look for help here). Sounds great; let's go get a script and a director and do the film.

Oh, but wait: she died this summer. In fact it looks like suicide; bummer. So let's not bother with uncomfortable facts, let's do what we can and paper over the problems. Sign Hot-flash Tony Scott to direct, hire Keira Knightly as Domino, bring on rough-and-tumble Mickey Rourke as her boss/mentor and go with what we have.

What we have, unfortunately, is a story that ends about one-third of the way through the film, and even that is stretching things. There are more crosses and double-crosses in "Domino" than in a dozen games of tic-tac-toe, but they all pretty much relate to a confusing plot by, if I got it right, a Las Vegas casino owner to rob his own armored-car delivery of ten million dollars and blame it on the Mafia, or something, or maybe it was the other way round. But in the course of the day and night in which Domino and her bounty-hunter group are brought in to catch the miscreants and return the money, transfers are made of money and hostages in Needles, California; at Hoover Dam; and for all I know in Disneyland - no, scratch that.

Tony Scott has filled the screen with every editing device known to film: single, double, triple-frame quick cuts, repositioning and reshooting individual frames that overlap each other, overlays of other shots, double and triple exposures, drawn lines and titles over the live shots, and probably about a dozen other techniques I didn't even get. And he ends the film with the death and destruction of a 100-story-high circular casino tower, in a shootout that seems to have everybody in the tower standing around the perimeter and shooting toward everybody else. I happen to believe that would be a self-destructive thing to do, but then I'm not good on weapons of mass destruction.

Keira Knightly actually manages to create a little character for herself as Domino, as does Mickey Rourke - but you have to feel badly for Lucy Liu, Christopher Walken, Delroy Lindo, Jacqueline Bisset and Dabney Coleman, who all should be on the lookout for better agents at this point. Only Mo'Nique, as a grandmother working in the Department of Motor Vehicles who takes a little money from crooks wanting fake identifications, seems at all believable. Life in "Domino" is nasty, brutish and short, as I believe someone once said, but it's also not very interesting.