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Drama - Gangland

Black Rain (1989)

Duration2h 5m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R, Spain 13
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorRidley Scott
Writers/ScriptCraig Bolotin, Warren Lewis
StarringMichael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw, Luis Guzmán, Yusaku Matsuda,
RatingsIMDb: 6.7 by 49,018 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 50% by 22 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: Nick Conklin and Charlie Vincent are a couple of detectives drinking at midday in an LA bar when they witness a gangland killing by a Japanese duo. They give chase and capture the leader who they have to escort back to Japan but hand him over to the villains disguised as police at Osaka. Therafter they assist a Japanese detective in the hunt for the murderer, becoming more and more embroiled in the Yazuka control of the city. Charlie is killed in a trap set by their quarry and Nick, with the assistance of Joyce, an American nightclub hostess, tracks their man to a final confrontation at a Yazuka meeting in a vineyard in the Japanese countryside.

Content: There is no sex or nudity, even in the nightclub scenes but quite a bit of drinking in the same venues. There is much violence extending to the implied beheading of one character, and a lot of stumbling about in the dark in the Osaka underworld. Nick rides a motorcycle in the opening sequence which sets up the finale where he chases the villain across the vineyard.  There are numerous set pieces where the neon and the detritus of the city occupy centre stage.

A View:  If you want to get a view of this movie beyond what is written here try Roger Ebert’s wonderful critique. He says that the scenery overwhelmed the characters, which it did. I feel that one street featured in a video game of “Blade Runner” which I used to play back in the day (Don’t know how I found the time). Now, thirty years later, Nick seems to be a bit of a blunt instrument in Japan as he steamrollers over both the police and the Yazuka ways of doing things. It seems that his way is the American way. Was this intentional? So this is a movie with faults and plot holes which you might allow to play for nothing while doing something else. 

Additional Info: Ridley Scott’s visa ran out before the filming was completed so the final confrontation actually took place in the Napa Valley.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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