A deep contrast with the films we have had lately, Tony Scott’s Domino and Mark Develdine’s Gamer are two typical examples of sensationalized Hollywood blockbusters. Domino is loosely based on the real life of bounty hunter Domino Harvey, whose story of ‘poor-little-English-rich-girl-turned-gun- toting-LA-bounty-hunter’ captured the voracious imagination of the film industry. On researching the film I discovered that Miss Harvey was in fact very opposed to the final script and the hyperbolic depiction of her character in general. In the end, Domino Harvey ends up transformed into Lara Croft let loose in Los Angeles. This idea of Croft transitions well into the subject of Gamer, as both characters in the films are perpetuated by the fact that the former was based on a video game and the latter is in fact the story of a man who is in a video game. In this way, the protagonists of Domino and Gamer exhibit the almost super-human qualities of the stereotypical action figure of popular culture; with their Hollywood looks and personalities and ‘take no shit’ attitude they embody the personification of the video game hero in contemporary culture has taken the world by storm.
The concept of the real-life video game is one that I personally find incredibly interesting. As technology has developed in warfare we have seen how popular video games such as ‘Call of Duty’ have shaped the psyche of the American teenager, as seen in Gamer with the player, and his controller. Nowadays this crossover from the digital world into the real world has branched into warfare through drones and even the military utilizing video games for their personnel training to simulate combat situations. Modern warfare with unmanned drones controlled miles away have transformed the hand-to-hand violence that has dominated war for centuries, and thus has altered the way in which one perceives the act of killing and violent combat. In the same way that Gamer places the viewer in the place of the character in the video game, the editing style of Domino with its rapid-fire cross cutting of scenes and shots has the effect of making the protagonist a character in the video game of her life. I feel that Scott’s experience with music videos and commercials adds a definite tone to the film that allows for this crossover, as the audience feels the hyperbolized character of Domino as a superwoman bounty-hunter ‘badass’.
In the end, both films are tributes to the transforming way in which violence is perceived. If we are to relate them to Apocalypto and The New World, we can see the incredible difference in the human aspect of killing and violent action. There is an element of removal from the character, the gamer, and the player, which alters the psychological impact of the kill, and what it means.