Black Rain - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Black Rain Reviews

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½ April 27, 2016
A cop must escort a Japanese criminal back to his homeland. Director Ridley Scott has fun with the scenery but it's not enough to distract the audience from its thin plot and choppy action sequences.
April 20, 2016
I think Black Rain could have been a sharper modern (at the time) crime noir where Western and Eastern sense of justice clash if Michael Douglas' Nick Conklin was written less of an insufferable and rather xenophobic prick throughout most of the film. Doesn't help that the film is clearly on the side of the maverick, "off the cuff" and "screw protocol" New York cops, that it looks upon Japanese law enforcement (and by broad association, Japanese culture) through egregiously cynical lens. The endearing Masamoto, the Japanese officer that tags along both Douglas and Garcia's New York "off the cuff" cops (and his lukewarm respect for Garcia's character being one of the few "human" elements of the story), doesn't nearly get the time to shine.

Still, Ridley Scott's direction and Jan de Bont's serviceable cinematography of Osaka Japan really fit the noir tone like a glove.
½ February 5, 2016
I gave this another look on DVD recently and I have to say that I was very curious how it would hold up, as it's a film I recall seeing only once before, theatrically during my teens. It was one of the first more 'adult' films I saw with a friend, and I remembered liking it but had never revisited until recently. It's a decent enough cop drama, with Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia having fun chewing scenery and being mildly racist while in Japan.

Worth a look, give it a rental.
½ December 15, 2015
An entertaining action thriller about crime and vengeance.
½ December 5, 2015
Did remember this as a good older movie seen maybe 4 times in the 80's and 90's ...26 years later still enjoyed it . Bad Japanese guys are there enough i guese , don't like them....SOMDVD
November 9, 2015
Looks great for the most part, but the script is so stupid, with Douglas's character such an absurd walking cliché of a renegade "badass" cop that the whole thing regularly resembles more of a parody than a straight thriller. My favourite part was probably Matsuda's deranged, bug-eyed performance, but even that was under-utilised.
October 30, 2015
An Ok cop film with its own charm and style to it, but the film seems empty and very dull in its own way of telling its story by putting to much action and not enough convincing for the viewer to understand the film for the action and cop method of catching a come lord in Japan/China and the next wave of the cop genera it will bring to the screen and for the most part the acting wasn't really that great. Scenery wise the film might be worth the look but otherwise its terrible and I just found that this is the kind of film after being watched you wished had been better and there are many better and more unique stylish films that can beat this right out of the park. "Thumbs Down",
October 14, 2015
A fantastic crime flick! Michael Douglas has never been better. Story is great...not a flaw in this movie.
September 13, 2015
A pretty decent action/drama with a good
performance from Michael Douglas. Underrated to a degree!
September 3, 2015
Your usual 80s gritty cop action flick made a bit more watchable by good performances, unusual setting and great cinematography. Not one of Ridley Scott's best though.
½ August 7, 2015
Michael Douglas appearing as a dick, as always. Hammy and unconvincing as a tough-guy cop but the narcissism feels authentic. His performance is the flaw that dates an otherwise well-directed, stylish, neo-noir Japanese crime flick.
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2015
Ridley Scott's filmography up to this point was pretty diverse. A historical drama set in the late 18th century/early 19th century Europe, a futuristic space set alien horror, a futuristic neo-noir detective thriller and a pure swords n sorcery, wizards and demons, fantasy flick. 1989 saw his first foray into the more mainstream action thriller genre, although typically with Scott this production was a much more glossy and well made action thriller than your average offering.

The story is centred around Japan and the Yakuza. Conklin (Michael Douglas) is your standard gruff, rebellious cop with family issues, who also has no time for little things like rules and regulations. His partner Charlie Vincent (Andy Garcia), is his opposite and much more down to earth, calmer and generally more approachable, he tends to keep Conklin in check. The duo witness a murder by Yakuza gangsters and manage to capture their leader, its now up to this polar opposite duo to escort their prisoner back to Japan and hand him over to the authorities there. Naturally once they arrive the bad guy escapes via a blunder by the American duo and now they have to track him down through the Japanese neon lit underworld.

OK so first off its very clear that Ridley carried on with his 'Blade Runner' vision in this movie, heck this could even be a sequel of sorts, visually. Everything looks very familiar in this thriller, the streets of Osaka are dark (often at night), always neon lit and often rain soaked. There always seems to be plumes of smoke swirling around as the two officers run around, every shot inside a building seems to have silhouettes of blinds against a blue night sky, shadows of ceiling fans (lots of shadows in general), lots of reflections on glass, street steam or smoke, lots of discreet blue-collar eating establishments and of course loads of various neon lighting. This whole movie seems to set in a very murky, sodden Japan where the sun never shines and every building interior is a dimly lit office, with flashing neon signs being the only view through the venetian blinded windows. That's not a bad thing of course, hell no, its a Ridley movie and its all looks as slick as an oil spill. The problem is we saw all that in his replicant chase movie, plus that whole noir angle isn't exactly original, but I guess Ridley set the bar with the genre so...

I do love the character of Conklin though, or at least his look. I've never been a huge fan of Douglas because he kinds looks like a narrow eyed, slimy creep to me, but here he nails the role. The movies poster says it all really, it almost looks like a manga comic cover, it has a very strong graphic novel vibe about it if you ask me, really striking. The pose, the shades, the colour palette and the blurry Japanese neon signed street image behind Douglas, it all looks very bold, very sleek, imaginative and ultimately, oddly futuristic. This Conklin guy is a typical 80's badass, the stereotypical unshaven, trench coat wearing, unkempt anti-hero. He doesn't give a shit about procedure, he'll bend the rules to get his man and he's clearly a bit of a male chauvinist. On the flip side Garcia simply hams up his Italian American heritage by playing the most corny Italian American ever, and he's virtually done the same thing his whole career.

It interesting to see how hero/anti-hero characters have changed over the years. These days its all muscles and martial arts, who's the most buff, who's got the biggest biceps etc...its all very vain and disgustingly wholesome. Back in the day these characters were more mean and moody, dirty, they smoked, they swore, they drank, they had wiry frames, and maybe slapped the odd female around for good luck (not saying that's good). They were just more gritty realistic badasses, God how I miss them!

The Japanese cast are of course epic as Japanese actors normally are, there are many familiar faces here from the chiefs to the henchmen (Al Leong anyone), and they are all perfect in their roles. Sure we've seen Yakuza and gangsters portrayed on screen a gazillion times before, but the Japanese actors are so disciplined and scarily realistic in their performances, they nail it every time. In all honesty though, despite the great performances, stunning location work and Ridley's eye for artistic detail, the movie is actually quite dull to be honest. It really does play out very much like 'Blade Runner' with Conklin meandering around various well lit locations tracking down his prey. He has lots of angry conversations with his fellow Japanese officers in various locales (he's an angry kinda guy), he munches on noodle meals in smokey neon lit locales with his fellow Japanese officers (well mainly Ken Takakura), he talks to blonde dames in dark moody neon lit locations (Kate Capshaw), and he drives around the city...at night...with lost of reflections of neon signs everywhere.

Things only tend to get exciting when Conkers finds his way into a steel foundry (which literately gave Ridley carte blanche to go nuts with lots of shiny, glossy, steam soaked imagery) and there's a shootout and chase. Then the big finale sees two Yakuza gangs and Conkers n co all going ballistic with an even bigger shootout. These days its nothing spectacular lets be honest, back in the day these final showdowns in quirky places were the bread n butter of action flicks. Every action thriller had a big final shootout somewhere unusual with lots of henchmen getting nailed and then finally the main boss getting nailed by the hero (see 'Beverly Hills Cop'). And in all honesty this isn't even a great final action sequence, the motorbike chase was pretty cool and the way Conklin looks like he's gonna kill the main villain but doesn't is a nice little twist, but they ruin it with the cringeworthy vomit-inducing award ceremony.

Its an odd beast this, a pretty standard action cop thriller but made with Ridley Scott's exquisite attention to detail and lavish visuals. Its too much like Ridley's previous works really, we know about the visuals but even the musical score has eerily similar elements to 'Alien' at times, not to mention the steel foundry sequence which felt like a combined scene from 'Alien' and 'Alien 3' (curious huh). It is a solid movie but at the same time it feels too self-indulgent, Ridley clearly couldn't stop himself from doing more 'Blade Runner' stuff which just feels too much of the same thing. End of the day its just a simple action thriller, it didn't really need all the sheen and polish because we can all see its just a simple action thriller underneath all that gloss. Kudos to Ridley for going the extra mile and really making another visual gem, but I don't think this is his best genre.
½ April 26, 2015
It does seem like a campy action-thriller but this film is a smart ultraviolent crime film with a gritty performance by Michael Douglas and a villain that's chilling and believable. The violence is a little stylized and the final action sequence is a little campy but it makes for fine entertainment. Ridley Scott's underrated classic. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
April 16, 2015
Douglas got into the tough cop schtick after it had been done to death and he a added nothing new.Forgettable action thriller.
April 15, 2015
Una de películas policiacas favoritas que mezcla elementos de las buddy movies y el cine negro, y casi una continuación espiritual de Yakuza.

Uno de los elementos que más me apasionan de Black Rain es la fotografía con esos tonos grises y oscuros y los juegos de sombras que contrastan con lo colorido de las ciudades japonesas. Adoro especialmente un plano descriptivo que cambia momentáneamente la escala de grises por un intenso rojo de atardecer. Pura poesía visual.

Por otro tenemos las interpretaciones, que aunque tenemos a dos histriónicos Andy García y Michael Douglas, la contrapartida del gran Ken Takakura es suficiente para sostener la película. Además sus personalidades son intencionales: una forma de reflejar lo diferente de estas dos culturas.

Sin duda una joya de los ochenta.
February 24, 2015
great director, great cast.
February 7, 2015
There's nothing outstanding about it, but Black Rain is an efficiently done B-movie with its own style. Solid performances, competent direction, and the very 80s soundtrack all mash up together, and surprisingly, it works! Not bad, not bad at all.
January 21, 2015
Estilizada e interesante cinta de acción tiene la marca de Ridley Scott
½ January 20, 2015
a traditionally linear, often flavourless neo-noir that's consistently stylish. The experience of watching Black Rain stirs up an uneven, confusing sensation; in one scene I am drawn and fascinated by the smoky, extreme neon lighting, and am bored out by the film school, by-the-book narrative storytelling the scene right after. Atmospherically, Black Rain is able to satisfy as a neo-noir film; plot and story wise, not so much.
½ January 2, 2015
A dark cop movie, with good dialogue and acting. Ridley Scott does a good job on this film.
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