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“Domino” Out for Blood





Review by John Delia Sr

If you are in the mood for a fast moving story that has a lot of action, then Domino should be a good choice. Now it’s the story that really makes it worth the theatrical experience, but even though it has all the elements of an action thriller, the background soundtrack takes a good measure of the energy out of the film.

Late one night Christian Toft (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a cop for the Copenhagen police, gets a call from his partner Lars Hansen (Soren Malling). They have been assigned to track down Ezra Tarzi (Eriq Ebouaney) and bring him to headquarters for questioning. During a skirmish at Tarzi’s residence Lars gets stabbed by him and in pursuit Christian falls from the roof.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Christian, Eriq Ebouaney as Ezra Tarzi and Søren Malling as Lars Hansen in the thriller DOMINO. Photo courtesy of Saban Films

Because the arrest had gone wrong, Detective Alexandra Boe (Carice van Houten) questions Christian as to why the case was botched. With Tarzi still on the run, CIA Agent Joe Martin (Guy Pearce) puts his a team in action to catch up with him. His connection with Tarzi is that he may know where Salah Al-Din (Mohammed Azaay), a former prisoner at Guantanamo, is hiding. Al-din is wanted for killing five of Martin’s CIA agents.

Both units, not aware they are working on the same case, are about to collide while in pursuit of Tarzi. Director Brian De Palma (Mission: Impossible) moves his film along at a fast pace introducing all the main characters then setting off chases by both the Amsterdam police and the American CIA. He uses his actors well putting their characters in death defying situations while tracking down the same foe.

Guy Pearce as Joe Martin and Eriq Ebouaney as Ezra Tarzi in the thriller DOMINO. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau known for his acting as Jamie Lannister in “Game of Thrones”, gives a good performance as the Amsterdam cop who’s out for blood. His partner lies in the hospital with his life hanging on a thread. Feeling it was his fault that Lars was stabbed, he tries not to make the same mistake in taking Tarzi down. I like Nikolaj’s intensity in this film and look forward to some of his future efforts.

Guy Pierce also shows big here as with revenge in mind he takes a lot of chances. But, it gets the best of him when he makes a few mistakes. He even becomes a little devious putting other lives in jeopardy just so he can take down Salah Al-Din. I also like his performance as The Reverend in Brimstone. Check that film out if you can find a video copy.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Christian and Carice van Houten as Alex Boe in the thriller DOMINO. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.

De Palma does a very good job with the storyline, but what could have been a more exciting film, becomes a droning unsettling movie due to the awful musical score. The background music for this action crime thriller no way fits the story with the repetitious orchestra music that should have been attached to a 1960’s dramatic love story. What was De Palma thinking when he scored Domino, probably his suspense movies Blowout or Body Double that had similar scores? Domino should have had the drive of his Mission: Impossible with an energetic brass and percussion driven composition.

Domino has been rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, some language and brief nudity. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have many bloody and violent scenes that are inappropriate for youngsters.

FINAL ANALYSIS: An watchable film in spite of its musical score. (2.5 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Carice van Houten, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Guy Pearce, Mohammed Azaay
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Genre: Crime, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, some language and brief nudity
Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min.
Opening Date: May 31, 2019
Distributed by: Saban Films
Released in: Standard Color

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