In the modern film landscape, Brian De Palma is a legend. He has (or at least had) a varitable body of work. Stellar crime thrillers, cult musicals, genre homages to Hitchcock. Then since 2002, he has been very much miss. THE BLACK DAHLIA was an exception to this rule but not by much. In the first twenty minutes of his latest offering, DOMINO reveals that he might have rediscovered, Brian De Palma. Rediscovered him via the guise of his idol, Sir Alfred Hitchcock. For this is a marriage of the great masters works. Though now past his prime, he is still able to swagger when he decides to.  However after that DOMINO becomes a mixture of American anxiety about Islamic terrorism, CIA conspiracy thriller and western European jaunt. I am not saying that the film is terrible. No that has been said universally. I am actually saying that De Palma deserves to be heard out. He deserves our attention for a little longer.

2020, Copenhagan. A police officer Christian Toft (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is involved in the death of his partner Lars Hansen (Søren Malling). Lars had apprehended a suspected ISIS agent, Ezra Tarzi (Eriq Ebouaney). Toft left his apartment, forgetting to take his gun with him. Borrowing Lars, he left him unarmed against Tarzi. Then has his throat cut. Failing to stop this, he gives chase. Falls from a roof onto the floor with Tarzi. Then something strange happens. CIA agent Joe Martin (Guy Pearce) turns up and takes Tarzi away. We are told that he is a double agent but that doesn’t make sense. Toft wants to find him. However his boss takes him off the case. Alex (Carice van Houten), another police officer who had been having a relationship with Lars for years, agrees to help Toft seek justice for the murder of Lars.

If you have seen De Palma then you know of the multiple screens of simultaneous events, long takes, blurred focus, defused images on two shots, slow pans, tracking shots, slow motion, even colour washes for certain scenes…you know. Well thats all here. However what I am beginning to see here is that the review media (and even his loyal fans), forgot to see his love for Hitchcock. Thsi is literally his homage to Hitchcocks three great man on the run films. THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, FORIEGN CORRESPONDANT and NORTH BY NORTHWEST. Dont see it? Well study a master and you will see the student. This is why we should not give up on the once and former glorious student of the great Hitchcock. He has made a film that is poorly performed yes. However film form is in ascent here. De Palma is toying with it. Playing with it. He wants it to be better. More interesting and like his fellow New Wave film protension lord,Paul Schrader, might be about to make something stunning.



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