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Black Rain (Widescreen)
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Cultures clash (and so, occasionally, do clichés) in this 1989 stylefest from director Ridley Scott. Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia are New York cops who grab a Japanese mobster and take him back to Osaka--only to lose him there. When they're forced to track him down, Douglas's knuckles-and-know-how approach to crime-fighting puts him at odds with his Japanese handlers. Beside eschewing police brutality, their code of honor also induces guilt because Douglas has succumbed to the occasional shifty tendency in the past. Despite some strong action sequences and Scott's trademark look of neon reflected on wet streets, it begins to drag and ends up exactly where you expect it to--with Douglas chin-to-chin with chief bad guy Yusaku Matsuda. No one plays a flawed hero better than Douglas but this one tends to be by the numbers. --Marshall Fine
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For one thing, I like Michael Douglas. I liked him thirty years ago in _The Streets of San Francisco_, I liked him even better after he turned _One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest_ from a great book and a great stage play into a great motion picture, and I've kept right on liking him every time he's gotten himself cast in a stylish, well-scripted film.
And this _is_ a stylish, well-scripted film. It's every bit as dark as you expect from Ridley Scott, and although there's a fairly well-defined villain, the 'heroes' are morally ambiguous. I like that in a movie.
The reviewers who say Michael Douglas's character Nick Conklin is an 'ugly American' are right, but they seem to have missed the fact that this is part of the point. This film is a fairly ambitious, though not terribly deep, attempt to bring off an East-meets-West theme in what looks superficially like just another buddy-cop movie. The 'black rain' of the title is one of the aftereffects of the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and it's the symbolic stand-in for the Western 'decadence' bemoaned by the more traditional Nipponese (even the crime bosses).
But that doesn't mean Japan wins the dramatic argument. On the contrary, the Nipponese cop (played with endearing self-effacement by Ken Takakura) learns a few things from his new cowboy friend 'Nick-san' too. (And the karaoke scene with Takakura and Andy Garcia is priceless.)
Kate Capshaw doesn't really need an excuse to appear in a film, and that's good, because here she doesn't really have one. She's an expatriate American who inexplicably keeps turning up at the center of the action.Read more ›
However, BLACK RAIN has long been a 'closet favorite' of filmgoers worldwide. It is sumptuously photographed, and the action -- while not entirely fulfilling -- is beautifully choreographed. Perhaps its greatest strengths are, as well, its greatest detractors.
I can't help wondering, though, how the film would've played had the two principles (Douglas and Garcia) switched roles. Dramatically, it would've had more effect, and, stylistically, Douglas is looking to old for these kind of roles anyhow.
See it for the guilty pleasure of watching the sumptuous Kate Capshaw as the perfect 'blonde escort' conducting her business for the benefit of Japanese business. She's worth any viewing, or any price, in my little black book.
The acting of Michael Douglas and especially that of Ken Takukura and the main villain is especially excellent as well as the cinematography of Ridley Scott really rounds out the movie.
The interplay between the characters is quite good and brilliant with a very very nice ending to round out the movie.
The commentary is OK and also the interviews of the director and cast is excellent.
Directed by Ridley Scott (Thelma & Louise, 1492:The Conquest of Paradise, White Squall) brings a Stylish Action-Thriller, which is Entertaining and Visual Good-Looking Flick, thanks to Cinematogrpher:Jan De Bont (Cujo, The Hunt for the Red October, Basic Instinct) and Screenplay by Criag Bolotin and Warren Lewis makes this Action Movie Works. Micheal Douglas gives a Solid Performance. This was a Box Office Hit in the Fall of 1989. One of the Top-Best Cops (Action-Thriller) Films of the 1980`s. It was Oscar Nominated for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound. Panavision. Grade:B+.
Most recent customer reviews
Je ne suis même pas capable de le lire au canda, il me faudrait un lecteur européen. S'est complêtement nul!!!Published 9 months ago by Gillo Briere
Very good transfer and HD remastering job. Nice picture and sound quality. The movie itself is one of the better ones in this type of genre. RIP Mr. Takakura.Published 13 months ago by Dr. Z
Un bon suspense! De bons acteurs, un bon film de Ridley Scott mais son meilleur! À regarder tout-de-même sans hésitation!Published on July 23 2013 by Christiane 122
Black Rain may not have some of the epic qualities of other Ridley Scott films, like Blade Runner, Gladiator, or even Black Hawk Down, but it is still a solid cop thrller/fish out... Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by T. Lobascio
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