Domino rapidly topples each component consecutively with an unspectacular finish. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. If you had told me that the same De Palma who directed such classics like ‘Scarface’, ‘Carrie’ and ‘The Untouchables’, was at the helm of this feature too. Well, I would’ve slapped you on the face, forced you to walk down the bustling high street naked whilst casual shoppers ring golden bells and shout “shame!”. I guess the only real question that this film proposes is: how? How could an auteur sink so low in creating the most basic, generic and fundamentally forgettable “thriller” of the year? It baffles the mind, it really does. A CIA agent (atleast I think he was? No idea) is tasked in hunting down an ISIS target who brutally murdered his colleague, before further carnage is ensued.
Modern terrorism, more specifically the methods to which Islamic Radicalists use social media to ensnare fear and incite more followers, is not an unknown subject. The area has been explored several times. So already, De Palma has a series of obstacles to overcome whilst assembling his line of dominos. He needed to differentiate the film. To further the topical premise. To become the new ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. Heck, I’ll even settle for the next ‘Blackhat’. Nope. Not even remotely close.
Domino is an unfocused, unfinished and unnecessary feature that literally has no purpose. It doesn’t entertain. It doesn’t inform. It doesn’t even function from a technical perspective. It just yearns for budget. No seriously! The overbearing production and financing issues were noticeable right from that immediate casual Sunday drive. The dreadfully outdated score that bolstered a procedural police vibe found in 70s shows. The clinical direction. The woeful acting, although Coster-Waldau deserves any and all awards for giving it his best shot. The derivative plot that never once captivated me in its minuscule runtime. There is a scene where a terrorist is massacring innocent civilians at a film premiere, whilst stylistically “FaceTiming” the entire ordeal as if she was channeling her inner Steven Soderbergh. The budget couldn’t even stretch to proper iPhones, it was the most standard noticeable HDR camera on the market. IMAX. 3D. Christopher Nolan.
Half of the film is edited to be in slow motion, as if De Palma wasn’t able to substantiate 89 minutes worth of plot already! The entire conclusive drone situation was in slow motion. The entire...thing. Why? What does it all mean? Are we all just waiting for our early demise? Will drones destroy our lives equipped with rotors so sharp that they slice off our hands? Social media perhaps? Am I a domino? Why was Pearce in this? Why was everything so voyeuristic? Ehhh. I’m done.
Domino is the worst film this year by far, and if it wasn’t for Coster-Waldau’s commendable performance, this would be one of the worst. Period. No story. No excitement. No nothing. Wait for the next sequel...’Checkers’. No wait! ‘Mahjong’...