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Domino


Testing the film theory that even pedestrian Brian De Palma movies are better than most thrillers, 2019's DOMINO has a game cast, several suspenseful scenes and an under developed plot.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lanister on Game of Thrones) is Christian, a Copenhagen police officer, paired with his older, sloppy partner Lars (Soren Mailing).

Before you can settle into an odd couple cop story, they are dragged deep into a terrorist plot that crosses several countries.

Carice van Houten (Melisandra on GOT) is a fellow detective with strong ties to the story and Guy Pearce (LA Confidential) brandishes his best Texas accent as a CIA operative whose personal mission directly conflicts with Christian's.

De Palma doesn't shy away from graphic violence, unleashing several be-headings and terrorist bombings.

But he does avoid some of his best visual tools that he loves to employ like complicated camera moves and split screens. This feels like De Palma light.

He had said that producers took control of the film after a very troubled financial shoot in which they were constantly running out of money.

The story does feel half done and could have used a longer running time to flesh out more of the conspiracy and plotting.

The finale in a packed bullfighting ring borders on classic De Palma until its very final moments betray harsh editing and budget cuts. The long, nearly dialogue-free scene is superb for over ten minutes until its lackluster payoff.

Even De Palma's long time music composer Pino Donaggio, who chilled all of us with his music for "Dressed to Kill" and "Carrie" seems to be phoning it in here, with a generic score that's barely memorable after the credits.

Falling somewhere closer to "Snake Eyes" on the De Palma scale than "Blow Out", DOMINO lands with a C-.

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