| A pair New York Citys finest travel to
Osaka, Japan to turn over a Yakuza prisoner to Japanese authorities only they lose him
before the exchange is made. Great concept turned into great entertainment under the slick
baton of director Ridley Scott.
Clash of cultures and values is explored as an important textural
element in Black Rain. New York cops look at graft and corruption as the norm while
the Tokyo counterparts are appalled by it. Even the local Yakuza chief finds that American
values have corrupted Japanese society. The formal rhythms of a Japanese police inspection
are contrasted against the impulsive New York cops Working against the grain on unfamiliar
An Osaka cityscape reminiscent of Blade
Black Rain explodes with
action and takes the time to develop character. Its a rare combination. Even the
cityscape of Osaka is given a chance at developing its own identity. Its easy
to dismiss Black Rain as an exercise is slick movie making, but its really a very
layered film that offers content between the raindrops.
Michael Douglas plays rough well in Wall Street suit or blue
collar. Douglas lets five oclock shadow cast a worn look over his continence. His
diction is edged with a harshness that effectively captures the pragmatic cop Nick
Conklin. Andy Garcia is given a wonderful opportunity to shine in the role of Nicks
partner Charlie Vincent . This is one of the only times I have seen Garcia let go with an
exuberance that seems totally natural on screen. He lost that innocent glow as the
importance of the roles grew. Too bad Andy. Ken Takakura is commendably stoic as Matsumoto
lending perfect balance to Douglas and Garcia. And dig that thick delivery of Tomisaburo
Wakayama as Sugai, one of the Oyabuns or family heads of the Japanese Mafia. Its
reminiscent of Brando in The Godfather. Sugai is one dangerous dude.
Yes, Scott does know his way around those night time skylines.
The exquisite glitz that defined Blade Runner is alive and well in Black Rain.
This widescreen DVD delivers the varied lighting schemes of Black Rain for maximum
effect. The grit versus the glitz of New York City and Osaka is replicated admirably. The
image is consistently sharp with few enhancement artifacts disturbing the grand vision. Black
Rain has an excellent score by Hans Zimmer which sounds terrific on this Dolby Digital
5:1 DVD. Surround information is not aggressive, but ambiance is maintained meticulously.