I often put on Film 4 knowing that there will be a decent film showing, whether it be a romantic comedy or a thriller, a modern flick or a timeless classic. Sometimes though, the film playing doesn’t hold my attention, and I eventually fall asleep. Even great films which I know I should watch, like Ice Cold In Alex, or Beverly Hills Cop. Or Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day is great isn’t it? Okay, I’ve never fallen asleep during Groundhog Day. But recently I put on Film 4 and found that the movie which was playing was truly great. And there was no way I was going to fall asleep whilst it was on. Black Rain.
Black Rain is a 1989 American action-thriller, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Douglas as a New York City cop. The film revolves around Michael Douglas’ character, Detective Nick Conklin, as he tries to solve what appears as a simple murder case, but which turns out to be the doings of a far deeper criminal organisation, the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza.
The story sees Conklin and his NYPD partner Charlie Vincent, played by Andy Garcia, journey to Osaka, Japan, where they find themselves in a complex and foreign land. The main antagonist of the film, Koji Sato, played by the late Yusaku Matsuda, escapes the custody of the two New York cops, and a deadly game ensues, as Conklin seeks to bring him to justice. The film is a great mix of action and symbolism, and the acting of Douglas, Garcia and Matsuda is realistic and human.
The film is fantastically shot by acclaimed director Ridley Scott, and features further acting talents in Ken Takakura and Kate Capshaw. The soundtrack, filled with tension, completes the film, and is delivered by maestro Hans Zimmer. The film captures the confusion and desperation of two foreign police detectives, as they struggle to operate in the unfamiliar surroundings of Japan. The aesthetic realisation of the industrial Osaka setting is both mesmerising and haunting, as the film deals with the themes of death, justice and honour.
Overall, Black Rain is the perfect cop movie, and here are 5 ways it achieves such appraisal….
This article was first posted on November 27, 2013