Tells the story of a Danish police officer that goes rogue to pursue a terror suspect in the wake of his partner’s untimely death. He is joined by an office and they both later uncover that they’re hot on the trail of an ISIS cell.
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A test: how many virtues can a film lack and still have an "auteur stamp" draw you in? Domino is by no means good. The cast looks undirected, the lead needs more charisma, the story has holes punched out, the staging is awkward, the political context feels tacky. But it doesn't deserve knives out, but an analysis of a De Palma staple—technocratic control over what you see—and glimmers that show what might have been.
Detractors and the fans are both right about “Domino”. It's in turns weird (dialogue delivery), wild (the climax), bad (scenes seem to go nowhere) and wonderful (De Palma doing guerrilla filmmaking 50 years later).
"Domino" is full of the BRIAN DE PALMA like split diopter, Hitchcockian oblique and vehemently syrupy orchestra. But in this ostensibly cheesey and ludicrous film, its dextrousity is acuminated to the magnificence of B-Movies in 40's Hollywood like Joseph H. Lewis (I want to see this in monochrome). My faith for de Palma was challanged tremulously, but I survived, galvanized with harder faith. You're the God.
It’s unclear what exactly went wrong, but I’d say it’s in the ballpark of everything. Even considering DePalma’s well documented woes, there isn’t much in Domino to suggest there was a good film to begin with. It feels very ameuturish, with a completely unappealing plot, inexistent character development, and, worse, incompetent direction. I hope we get the behind-the-scenes documentary we deserve.
It's clear that De Palma's best days are behind him, but to be fair I think that that's also a consequence of smaller/diffuse budgets (his case is similar to late Argento). It's a shame because his obsession with the various means of surveillance lends itself well to things like to drones, smartphones, internet -which his earlier films obviously couldn't exploit...and this film is at its best when it does that.
Am I being too much an apologist to read the severe milquetoast quality of Coster-Waldau and Van Houten's scenes together as a critique of their intent in the face of a much grander conspiracy? I think it could have been improved by making it 2015 instead of 2020, but this is chock-full of devilish digs at technology and politics that I don't need to worry more about the film that might have been.
I was so excited when I heard that Christina Hendricks was gonna be in the movie - but now that Carice van Houten has been cast instead, I'm kinda meh about the movie. EDIT: just watched the trailer. Ouch is all I can say! Looks really terrible. I think that the lovely Christina Hendricks dodged a bullet with this one!