Black Rain (1989)

“Black Rain” (1989)

IMDb

(en)vision, and prejudice

There are several things here, that make this a not so interesting film, but yet one that underlines characteristic features of the time it was made, and some of the participants that are in it:

.80’s action: i’ve been watching a good dose of the so called “action films” from the 80’s. I grew up with them, my first model of what action meant was deriving between the hard heroes films (siegel, stallone, van damme, schwarzenegger) and the fantasy adventures of the Spielberg streak (which includes Zemeckis). Rewatching them, i sometimes have to redefine what action means. Mostly because in many of them, we have a couple of actual physical action, and a huge dose of funny dialogues. So, in the 80’s, action and comedy are a suitable mix. Not so much here, of course, but this is still a sub product of the influences audiences were still accepting in those days.

.following the above, it is fundamental to notice how everything is bent to the vision of Ridley Scott. The man is great and envisioning things, at the largest scale the film allows, taking care of the bigger arc that every film should have. Even today, no one working now does this better than him. Here i think he tried to embed the film in a Blade Runner driven decadence. Of course it’s another context, and definitely another script! But watch how every shot is carefully frame, not to be worth (only) on its own as, say, Bertolucci might do. Every sequence is chained to all the others. That’s the big form. That’s the best in this film.

.Douglas is not particularly interesting as an actor, but he is a character in real life, and eventually he could sometimes pass that to his film characters. Garcia’s over the top terrible performance (partially compensated by Scott, who doesn’t allow actors to look so bad) highlights the Douglas’ character, on screen. Well, it’s a limited pleasure to watch, but it goes with what is intended.

.Hollywood, and how their perspective over ethnic or cultural groups outside the American mainstream: i’m glad that, at least to me, this film sounds terribly racist and absolutely uninterested in moving any bit away from common clichés. At least this means that i have moved forward and frankly, i think this is no longer done today. We have other clichés, other preconceptions, which probably i’ll be detecting 20 years from now. But what we have here is sad. So, the bad guys are the Japanese, those from the Yakuza are plain evil, the other well intentioned guys are plain incompetent. So the 2 American buddies have to go there, break every Japanese convention, and show them how to be fair and just. That’s it right? “It’s just a film”, some will say, It reflects dark corners of human stupidity, says i.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb

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