DOMINO – Review by Susan Granger

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It’s difficult to review when a director basically disowns his film. Yet that’s what happened when Brian De Palma complained that his newest project was “underfunded” and recalled that shooting it was a “horrible experience,” adding, “It was my first experience in Denmark and most likely my last.”

Set in Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Sardinia, it’s a violent counterterrorism thriller, revolving around a Copenhagen cop tracking a killer who is tied to ISIS.

When Christian (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones) leaves his girlfriend to report to work, he accidentally leaves his service pistol behind in his apartment. Because he’s unarmed, his partner/pal Lars (Soren Malling) is killed, and Christian is suspended from the police force.

Nevertheless, he is determined to capture Ezra Tarzi (Eriq Ebourney), a Libyan immigrant who fled a crime scene, leaving behind the corpse of a collaborator, the grocer who connected jihadists and weapons dealers.

What Christian and fellow detective Alex (Carice van Houton, who played witchy Melisandre on Game of Thrones), who was having an affair with Lars, don’t realize is that Tarzi’s children are being held hostage by the ISIS leader – and Tarzi is being protected by duplicitious American C.I.A. agent Joe Martin (Guy Pearce), who is really after a sheikh who was released from Guantanamo.

Sketchily scripted by Petter Skavlan and running just 89 minutes, it’s a stilted, nonsensical cat-and-mouse game that’s often displayed on a split-screen, perversely culminating with drone shots of a suicide bomber in a bullfighting arena.

Bearing little resemblance to Brian DePalma’s previous works, like Mission Impossible, The Untouchables, Carrie and Scarface, on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Domino is a dull, disappointing 3 – undoubtedly the worst in De Palma’s distinguished filmography.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.