In the comedy “Domino: Battle of the Bones”, the sports heroes of Compton, Calif., Are not Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, Kings or Angels. The neighborhood stars here are bone players – a game better known as dominoes. Their championship comes with a plastic trophy and a grand prize of $ 10,000. The film has the daunting task of making the dominoes seem action-packed, and it overcompensates by stacking its hand on over-the-top plays.
At the center of the circus is Gerald (Lou Beatty Jr.), a rude old man who plans to fight his way to the Domino World Championship title with the help of his prodigy step-grandson, Andy (Nathan Dana). Gerald’s longtime rival is Tenspeed (Anthony McKinley), a roller skating and bone-snorting cocaine master. Goth Camila (Valeria Vallejos) wants to prove her domino sense to her family of domineering misogynists and playing dominoes. The championship is organized by Walter (David Arquette). The film’s director, former professional basketball player Baron Davis, even makes an appearance as a knife-wielding pastor who rents event space from Walter.
With its deep ensemble, the film has no shortage of colorful characters, and Davis keeps its cast loose, unvarnished, and wild. But the film lacks focus as it moves between its larger-than-life plots. Rather than creating a dynamic, the montage tends to favor a highlighting approach. Each scene plunges straight into chaos, then spins off to a new character in a new puzzle as soon as the last crash is over. The film’s tendency to seek thrills makes it a narratively dispersed viewing experience. Each character shows flashes of potential, but the movie doesn’t have the long game to tie the team together.
Domino: the battle of the bones
Rated R for drug use, sexual references, brief violence, and language. Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes. In theaters.