Special to Page 3
Dhani Jones is a Renaissance man. Off the field, the Philadelphia Eagles linebacker looks more like an artist and intellect than an athlete. His hobbies include his poetry, music, studying Islam, painting and photography. People magazine rated the pro as one of this year's sexiest bachelors.
And best of all, he's Page 3's resident movie critic, who will review what's currently out on the silver screen.
Beauty, bounty hunting and a whole lot more.
THE GAME PLAN
Most of today's action movies fail to move you -- spending more time on explosions than developing characters with depth and plots that make a statement.
"Domino," the improbable semi-true story of Ford model-turned-bounty hunter Domino Harvey, manages to break the rules while keeping the explosions. In a unique storytelling method, our heroine (Knightley) narrates and guides us through the labyrinth of her life without any regard for chronology. Much like her mind, the movie acts as a game of freeze tag, giving the audience a glimpse of one memory, then flipping to another scene, before revisiting the previous moment. This schizophrenic style of filmmaking leaves the viewer pleasantly off balance and yet invested in the unraveling of the mystery at hand.
Who is Domino Harvey? This is the question at the heart of the film. As a wandering young woman who governs her life by a literal toss of the coin, Domino stumbles upon fate, ultimately discovering that all she ever wanted was to make a stand and be counted.
For the first time this season, I was able to convince one of my teammates to accompany me to a night at the movies. Unfortunately, all he could do was concentrate on the fact that Knightley was "fine as hell." Quarterback Mike McMahon admired Knightley's sexy nature and "don't take nothing from nobody" attitude -- apparently, the type of woman he is looking for.
Upon deeper examination and after a heated debate, we came to a split decision. Mike found the movie to be smartly twisted yet incomplete, littered with slow-blinking moments of hyper-activity and confusion. On the other hand, I tried to seek the truth in Domino and found her to be not unlike most people -- confused and unhappy, yet willing to explore and understand life to the fullest capacity.
Franchise Player: Knightley had already demonstrated a commanding physical presence as the co-star of swashbucklers in "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "King Arthur." In her delicate performance as the broken and tortured Domino, Knightley proves to be a diversely talented actress capable of more than just swordplay.
Player in a Contract Year: It appears more Hollywood movies are stacked with yesterday's A- and B-list actors. With a wild list of names including Christopher Walken, Mickey Rourke and, yes, even the cast of "90210," this film is no different. But it's Walken who shines in a surprise appearance in the middle of the film, playing the neurotic and colorful producer of Domino's reality-TV show.
Benched: Anybody that hasn't been on television since I was in middle school should take a seat and concentrate on other professions. Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green of "90210" fame need not contribute and ought to stick to writing papers and driving fast cars in high school.
GAME BALL Mike and I were split in determining the best overall effort. Mike's Game Ball goes to Knightley, for her beauty and attractiveness, therefore accomplishing all that he expected. My Game Ball goes to director Tony Scott and cinematographer Dan Mindel, who worked together to perfect the camera jumps and screen shifts that give Domino its fuel. It's their fancy camera play and visual innovation that led to this film's touchdown.
THE DE-CLEATER While stranded in the desert, a wandering priest evaluates Domino's life and forces her to reexamine her lifestyle. In this twist, an edgy action film takes a turn toward religion, challenging the audience with a new series of questions. What is Domino's religious background and how does it define who she is? Though the sequence never fully addresses these questions, it succeeds in throwing the audience off-balance.More information about ESPN contributor Dhani Jones can be found at dhani55.com.