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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Domino 2019 * * 1/2 Stars

DominoDirector: Brian De Palma
Year: 2019
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Guy Pearce, Nicolas Bro

"It's rare to find this kind of talent". Brian De Palma would agree. He himself is pretty talented. After a seven-year hiatus in the movie biz, De Palma is back with 2019's Domino. It's my latest review.

Anyway, Domino gives us one of Brian De Palma's quintessential, over-dramatic film scores. He didn't write the music mind you but the notes are well known here. Italian Pino Donaggio is Domino's composer and if you've seen De Palma's Carrie, his Blowout, or his 1980 razor flick Dressed to Kill, you'll know it's the exact same dude. Every scene and even every tuneful moment is punctuated with pseudo-suspense, malaise, and uneasiness. For a film showcasing 78-year-old De Palma on straight-to-video holiday, Domino could have been a whole lot worse.

Image result for Domino 2019 movie scenesIn Domino, all the De Palma trademarks are slightly evident. The Hitchcock mentoring, the split-screens, the security cameras, the dire violence, the slow-motion build-ups. It's in there Prego-style. Now is it as elaborate or serpentine as what Brian De Palma was doing in the 1970's or 80's? Not quite. Is it still sort of fun to watch? Yeah, sure it is.

Shot in Denmark, Italy, and Spain (the European locales are more than adequate), Domino's story involves Copenhagen cop, Christian (played by Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Christian's partner gets killed by a member of ISIS and he seeks justice for the guy that did it. The only problem is that same guy is working as a double agent for a member of the CIA (Joe Martin played by an excellent Guy Pearce).

Image result for Domino 2019 movie scenesAll in all, Domino feels abrupt and unfinished at 89 minutes. Heck, I'm not even sure De Palma had any say over final cut (he should though because he's been around for over six decades). Still, Brian's cast is game and like an aging veteran who's a little past his prime, Alfred's faithful protege still has a few cinematic tricks up his sleeve. Domino "falls" but not too far. It gets a rating of 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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