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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.7%
Worth A Look: 7.41%
Pretty Bad: 33.33%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 9 user ratings

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Black Rain
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by Chef ADogg

"Just try to look at it in a certain light."
3 stars

I expected quite a bit from this movie, what with Michael Douglas in the lead and Ridley Scott behind the camera. What I got was a standard genre piece with some really thrilling suspense and action sequences.

Of all widely hailed directorial talents, Ridley Scott's is the most elusive. A hero to fanboys across the country and a technical master, he makes movies that are big and sloppy, yet somehow good--dare I say occasionally brilliant. I can never figure out just what makes his movies impressive, but they do stand out in my mind for one reason or another.

The success of "Black Rain" lies not in the details or structure, which are both sketchy at best. What really works here is the cheap rush you take from the film--the action sequences are so breathless and thrilling that you can't help but get high off them. There's also the GPF (Guilty Pleasure Factor). This movie is eighties--so very, very eighties.

For instance, Michael Douglas's main mode of transportation. What, exactly, does a middle aged cop with graying hair ride to work? A motorcycle, of course! And he rides it like a badass, too--helmet applied carefully so as not to tussle the perfectly coiffed hair, black shitkicker boots, and, of course, a flashy leather jacket. The opening bike-race is one of the funnest, most cornily enjoyable celluloid spectacles I've ever had the pleasure to experience.

The rest of the movie follows in that vein. Rough, devil-may-care cop goes to Japan with schmoove partner (Andy Garcia) to deliver a ruthless Japenesse gangster, only to hastily hand him over to fake police. The whole operation goes utterly apeshit when local cops aren't quick to accomodate their bumbling, crude American guests, which gives Douglas a prime opportunity to flex his vocal cords. Yelling at one's superiors is fucking boss, man.

The plot gets somewhat complicated when it becomes apparent that the Yakuza (Japanese goodfellas, but twice as funny 'cause of their accents) are involved and a counterfeitting war explodes, after which disaster can be averted only by gratuitous exposure of Kate Capshaw's cleavage. It's all entertaining in a brainless, gruesome fashion; if I had to pinpoint Ridley Scott's major accomplishment with this film, I would have to say it's the high level of explicit and creative violence he packs in.

Speaking of Scott, his direction is flawed. He opens loose, as usual, but fails to tighten the screws as the film moves on. The dialogue scenes are somewhat droll, and serve mostly as the Action Scene Express, moving us to the next round of explosions. "Black Rain" is also very, very muddled in it's visual look; Scottah can't seem to to decide just what he wants to achieve with the city of Osaka. He needed to take the visuals in one direction and stay there--as is, the film is all over the place.

Qualms of logic and taste aside, "Black Rain" is an entertaining ride. You may not admit the morning after, but you'll have a darn good time.

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originally posted: 03/01/00 10:21:48
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell pretty good but 2 long 4 stars
4/28/06 Sugarfoot I remember looking forward to this in theaters, I ended up more bored than anything else. 2 stars
4/07/03 Jack Sommersby Good action and performances, but the story is stale and length overlong. 3 stars
3/25/03 Shams Huque The film was pretty cool in my book. Visuals made the film for me. ;-) 5 stars
11/24/02 Charles Tatum Whoopty-freakin'-doo 3 stars
6/04/01 R.W. Welch Poorly titled but interesting cop flick with top drawer cinematography. 4 stars
2/24/01 Manasi Gurram I enjoyed it, but wouln't want to see it again! 3 stars
7/19/00 Naushad Khanji Scott was never a good director.Another Half-hearted attempt. 2 stars
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  02-Sep-1989 (R)
  DVD: 10-Oct-2006



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