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I Come with the Rain - Movie Poster
Original Title:
I Come with the Rain

France, Hong Kong 2009

Crime, Drama

Anh Hung Tran

Josh Hartnett
Takuya Kimura
Lee Byung-Hun
Tran Nu Yen-Khe
Shawn Yue
Elias Koteas
Simon Andreu
Eusebio Poncela

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I Come with the Rain

I Come with the Rain - Film Screenshot 1

Story: Kline (Josh Hartnett) is approached by the boss of the world's biggest pharmaceutical company to find his son Shitao (Takuya Kimura). On the Philippines Kline finds out that Shitao is said to have been killed. At the same time there is also a piece of information that points at him probably being in Hong Kong. When the private eye arrives in Hong Kong he asks his friend detective Meng Zi (Shawn Yue) for help. The detective is currently having serious problems with thug Soo Dong-Po (Lee Byung-Hun). When suddenly the gangster's girlfriend, Lili (Tran Nu Yen-Khe), is kidnapped Dong-Po is doing everything in his power to find her. In fact, it's Shitao who kidnapped her since he wants to help her by making her go cold turkey. Shitao has the supernatural ability to take the suffering of others upon himself and heal people this way. Kline faces a mystery in Shitao. He doesn't know who this man is and where he can find him, especially since he lives on the streets as a homeless guy. Therefore, he tries to put himself in the position of Shitao. However, this exact approach cost him his job as a police detective. When years ago he chased after the serial killer Hasford (Elias Koteas) he identified himself so much with the killer that he himself became a case for psychiatric evaluation. Now, the old demons return...

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I Come with the Rain - Film Screenshot 4

Review: It's impossible to recommend a movie like "I Come with the Rain". The story is presented in a manner that is too illogical to follow, you will look for some sort of structure to no avail and despite all willingness to interpret things, there is no profound message here. The Jesus analogy is forced upon us in such a way that you can just sneer about the lack of sensibility. Apart from that the movie also comes along with some pretty bad dialogue. The protagonists remain shallow as well. Furthermore, many actors aren't convincing since they are obviously overburdened with the English dialogue. Why exactly there is English used even among fellow countrymen is also one of those points where you need to scratch your head. At least, the movie offers a fascinating atmosphere which still can make you quite depressive, too.

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It's best if you don't try to find a deeper meaning in this flick. At first, this isn't even possible. We simply lack the necessary information and even though we actually may get it later on this doesn't really help us to make a coherent whole out of every piece. This is simply not possible and from a certain point in the story onwards we realize that the different pieces make no sense either. It's rather that you start to get angry at the story when you realize that Shitao, only played convincingly by Takuya Kimura ("Love and Honor") when being in pain, is supposed to be Jesus and the story is of a supernatural kind. To follow the plot turns out to be quite difficult since there are no links between the individual parts. Thus, frustration soon sets in.

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What direction the movie wants to head to isn't clear for quite a while either, and even though towards the end you start to make out that director Anh Hung Tran ("The Scent of Green Papaya") at least had a rough idea about it, this doesn't make the story any smarter. We constantly get to see flashbacks whereas the ones around the serial killer Hasford are the most interesting ones. In fact, it would have been a lot nicer to watch a crime movie revolving around him than the incoherent pseudo-philosophical work around suffering we get here. Since the spotlight is put on suffering you also shouldn't be surprised to hear that "I Come with the Rain" isn't for the faint-of-heart. The serial killer's installation art of different body parts put together are frighteningly enough fascinating to look at and attest director Ahn's good eye for details. In other respects, the movie can be quite brutal, too.

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Surprisingly, Josh Hartnett doesn't deliver a bad performance. His private eye plagued by inner demons manages to make the film's prevailing mood even a bit grittier and more abyssal. Only his relationship with the detective played by Shawn Yue ("Helios"), which was aimed at being buddylike, is everything but convincing. But maybe the badly written dialogues are to blame that you seldomly can call the acting well done. A good example for how you do it right is Lee Byung-hun ("Inside Men", "Masquerade") who despite his good English has only little dialogue, but manages with his body language and gestures to almost embody a three-dimensional villain whose love for strung-out Lili stands as one of the movie's most interesting aspects.

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The bad story, which will only make inexperienced festival-goers believe that we get contemplative art house cinema here, is carried by nice pictures, though. If you want to call the grittily captured Hong Kong nice to look at, that is. The mood is oppressive and director Anh has taken the theme of suffering very seriously since the viewer is taken down a spiral of depression as well, last but not least thanks to a soundtrack by Radiohead and Gustavo Santaolalla - latter one also being responsible for the score to "Brokeback Mountain" or the video game "The Last of Us", which desperate prevailing mood has also been added to exponentially by Santaolalla. In the end, "I Come with the Rain" is simply a bad movie, the screenplay leaves no doubt about that, but the mood, albeit energy-sapping, is fascinating and may be reason enough for some people to check the movie out anyway.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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