March 23rd ~ Movie Monday

This week Phil’s Thursday night movie is Domino, (2005) directed by Tony Scott, and starring Keira Knightly and Micky Rourke. The movie is based on a true story, as Domino was a real person, the English daughter of actor Laurence Harvey who was famous back in the day. The film follows her life as a bounty hunter in America, and having read the wiki page for the real Domino, the movie did pretty well. Tony Scott heard about Domino from a Daily Mail article about her, got in touch with her and they became friends, he even followed her about on some Bounty jobs.

The plot is a bit haphazzard and convoluted in places, at one point we had to look up the wiki version to find out what was going on, and it’s filmed like a bad art-house movie, but it was a fun watch.

The film starts out with Domino being questioned by an FBI agent (Lucy Liu being brilliantly inscrutible as always) over a heist of $10 million taken from an armoured truck. Domino tells her the full story and we see how it played out in a series of flash backs. Domino becomes a bounty hunter working for Claremont Williams III (Delroy Lindo) a bail bondsman, and she is put with a team of two guys, Ed Moseby (Rourke) and Choco (Edgar Ramirez).

Clarement has a mistress, Leteesha (played by Mo’nique) who is running a counterfeit driver’s license racket at the Dept of Motor Vehicles, issuing fake licences to teenagers. One of the teens, Frances, needs 4 licences and is a mob boss’s son who is under surveillance by the FBI, so they know what Leteesha is up to. Leteesha also has a grandaughter in need of an expensive operation to save her life, but doesn’t have the dosh. So Claremont, who also runs an armoured car company, arranges for Leteesha and her pals to rob the armoured truck with the $10 mil in it, and blame it on the teenagers. Are you still with me? 🙂 Once Claremont finds out Francis is the mob boss’s son, he calls it off mid-heist, the money is left with the driver, and he then sends in Domino and the team to retrieve the money. There’s lots of crossed wires with who’s dead, who’s not, who did this and who did that so I’m not going any further, watch the movie! 🙂

It bombed with the critics, and even Tony Scott who said it was his favourite movie that he’d made also said :“I didn’t let the movie breathe enough. The script was great—Richard Kelly wrote a great script—and I got overcome by the insanity of the world I was touching. I think I fucked up on that one.”

The real Domino collaborated with Scott, contributed to the soundtrack and also attended the movie’s wrap party in December 2004. Harvey herself appears at the very end of the cast credits of the film. She did not live to see it released because she died of a drug overdose.

Well we enjoyed it anyway, lots of shoot’em ups, and a fair amount of funny. Keira Knightly did a good job of being a sexy rock chick hardass, and Edgar Ramirez looked very nice taking his clothes off in the laundrette hah! Actually all the acting was good, Jaqueline Bisset plays Domino’s Mum, Macy Grey one of Leteesha’s heist pals, Christopher Walken has a part being a TV channel manager who has Domino’s team followed around as a reality TV program, Mena Suvari his assistant.

All in all a great fun movie, just read the plot on wiki first 🤣

Our Saturday night movie was the reboot of Tombraider (2018) directed by Raur Uthaug and starring Alicia Vikander as the Lara Croft character. I had really enjoyed the earlier Tombraider movies with Angelina Jolie in the lead role so was interested to see how this one compared. The storyline itself is of a similar nature, Lara’s Dad is a sort of Indiana Jones type who went off on a quest and never came back. Lara finds his secret den and some clues as to where he went and goes off to Hong Kong, hires a boat and driver, Lu Ren, and after the boat is wrecked they end up on the Island where her Dad was and the baddies, a shadowy group of unknowns called Trinity, have employed a guy to find the tomb of an ancient Japanese sorceress in order to weaponise it. Yes, I know, quite daft.

Alicia has obviously worked out for the part, she looks well fit, and she is such a good actress she makes Lara Croft believable. Daniel Wu plays Lu Ren well, and Kristin Scott Thomas has a small part as Ana, Dad’s business partner, and she does her bit with aplomb. Dominic West plays Lara’s Dad, and he’s never been high on my list as a fab actor, my mind hasn’t changed seeing him in this. Walton Goggins (really??? ) plays Mathias Vogel, the archaeologist employed by Trinity and he is really good at being and looking the part of a baddie. So, daft plot, well acted, but for me this just wasn’t as fun as the originals. Jolie’s Lara was older, had better tits and just totally embodied the Lara Croft of the computer games the movies are based on. She had chutz pah and a sardonic way about her that was fun and missing in Alicia’s version. Also the original Lara would never have got so beaten up as Alicia does in this. As Phil said, she seemed too real. The Tombraider game and films are known for their booby traps and fantastic escapes by Lara, and while there were a couple, they just were so much less fantastic visually. Perhaps it would be better not to have seen the first set of movies.

The cinematography was OK, soundtrack appropriately epic when necessary. The critics are about 50/50, and it made me laugh to read “The exciting surprise of the new Tomb Raider, directed by the Norwegian genre specialist Roar Uthaug, is that it doesn’t tamp down Vikander’s inner flame, or the three-dimensionality of her talent; it doesn’t fold and insert her into an overly gymnastic and CGI-happy thrill ride. The movie is full of vine-swinging, bow-and-arrow-shooting, ancient-spirit-meeting action, but most of it is staged on a convincing human scale, one that’s been expertly tailored to its star’s understated directness.” ~ Owen Gleiberman of Variety ~ to me that was everything wrong with it! I think this review by Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune sums it up better “The Lara Croft reboot Tomb Raider isn’t half bad for an hour. Then there’s another hour. That hour is quite bad. It’s no fun watching your action heroine get shoved, punched and kicked to the sidelines of her own movie, while the menfolk take over and take turns overacting before expiring.”

Domino for the win this week!

9 Comments

  1. I did play Tomb Raider when it first came out, but the films never interested me. Domino sounds bizarre. Just thinking that Laurence Harvey had a daughter who was a bounty hunter does something a bit odd to my brain.

    Liked by 1 person

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