Story: Christian (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is a cop with vengeance on his mind, after a domestic disturbance call took a tragic, violent turn. His partner Lars (Soren Malling) and he responded to the distress call, only to discover there was more to the situation than either expected, with Christian forced to make a tough decision. With the suspect in custody, but evidence of more going on, Christian borrows Lars’ firearm, since his own was left behind by accident. This proves to be a fatal mistake, as Lars is killed by the criminal and when he is finally caught, Christian is unable to act, since the suspect is a valued informant for the government. But the suspect is used to follow an even bigger criminal fish, Christian remains out for revenge, and he isn’t the only one.
Entertainment Value: Domino was a troubled project, with production delays, budget cuts, and then being shelved for a couple years, which lowered my expectations, but with Brian De Palma at the helm, I still had to give this one a chance. The end results bears more than a few signs of those production woes, but De Palma’s direction is able to salvage the picture, though without his hand on the wheel, I think Domino would have tanked. De Palma is able to work his signature brand of cinematic magic at times, giving the movie some scenes that are so effective, it is worth sitting through the rest, a true testament to his skill. Now De Palma can’t work miracles, so the lackluster script does drag down the experience and serves as an albatross of sorts. The writing is mediocre and often downright bad, which is a shame, as the premise is sound and De Palma was on point when he could be with the material. The action scenes prove to be the reason to come here and while not all of them are good, the ones that shine are remarkable and really stand out. I wanted to like Domino and I think it does have bright spots, but not enough to earn it more than a light recommendation for De Palma devotees.
While De Palma’s direction is what will likely be the main lure here, Domino does have some good talent involved in front of the camera as well. Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has the lead and while he does what he can with the character, the material gives him little to work with. I think he does well all things considered and the only reason the main character is sometimes effective is due to the performance, certainly not the script. His fans will still find this to be a worthwhile endeavor though, as he does rise to the challenge, despite the writing flaws that hinder his talents. The same can be said for Carice van Houten, who again does more with the material than it deserves and turns in a more than solid effort here. It is a shame that with capable talent and a still potent director, Domino’s script had to hamstring the entire production. The cast also includes Guy Pearce, Soren Malling, Paprika Steen, and Thomas W. Gabrielsson.