Josh Hartnett stars in a film that really made me open my eyes a bit to his acting ability. After lackluster success in America, it is nice to see him broadening his horizons. I Come with the Rain tells the tale of an ex Los Angeles cop turned private eye who travels to Hong Kong in search of the missing son of a billionaire. Hartnett is better than usual, and proves that most films will live or die on the strength of its cast. At over two hours long the film doesn’t drag once.
There isn’t a single thing about this film that feels organic. I will go out on a limb and even say the plot is very thin. Judging by the screenshot attached, violence runs wild yet they try to remain artsy with it. The shots are passably appealing, but nothing special. I Come with the Rain is really grindhouse fare riding on art house pretensions. For instance, take a scene where Dong-Po could just shoot the victim, but he first shoots his dog instead and beats him with it. Although, great to watch, it does remain unnecessary.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by Lee Byung-Hun, there were moments when I thought there is more to this guy! I had actually liked him in GI Joe. However, by the time the closing credits came around, I was just relieved that it was all over. This makes my list of most painful cinematic experiences due to graphic violence and pacing. Another grip I had was the character Kimura’s English,. I wouldn’t have been so hard on his accent had his character really been a regular guy from Japan. But Shitao had a billionaire for a father — and one who spoke precise, fluent English at that — so it doesn’t make sense for the character to be struggling with English assuming he had the cosmopolitan upbringing implied by the film.
All in all, we have a film that displays strong acting but the presentation just doesn’t hold up. It is undeniably unique but nearly incoherent as a Hong Kong-set thriller. Josh Hartnett gives it his best shot, but his character has lost most of its credibility by the film’s conclusion. I am liking this trend of Western stars crossing over into Asian productions and I hope I get to see more of these films being created. The film competed in the 2009 Pusan International Film Festival, and from what I heard it was well received, so what do I know?