An ex-cop haunted by his past, mixing it up with ruthless gangsters in Hong Kong as he searches for a billionaire’s missing son. In the hands of a director such as Michael Bay you can already imagine the gunplay and posturing, the car chases and street fights, and the general explosive carnage.
In the hands of Anh Hung Tran, the director of The Scent Of Green Papaya and Cyclo, however, it’s an altogether different proposition... That’s not to say I Come With The Rain doesn’t contain elements you’d associate with the genre, though, as Josh Hartnett’s LA cop teams up with a Hong Kong plod (Shawn Yue) to butt heads with a brutal crime lord.
However, when you mix the contract hits and junkie girlfriends with a large dollop of religious and other symbolism (sex and death, God and man), then the result is altogether more self-consciously arty. On the plus side, Hartnett makes a decent stab at the moody cop failing to come to terms with his close connection to a murderer (“in the end I think I got a little contaminated”).
His encounter with a flesh-bending serial killer Alien artist HR Giger would have nightmares about runs through as a parallel tale, the ex-cop- turned-Pi plummeting so quickly into madness the viewer begins to wonder what’s real and what isn’t. It’s here that the film loses traction. In an unconventional move, the symbolism bleeds into reality as the religious overtones are suddenly hammered home and the promise of an intriguing first half is lost.
The music too, from the likes of Radiohead and Godspeed you black emperor, is too obvious in its melancholy, spoiling the intended effect. It’s clear the cast are doing their best to convey the passion of a highly original script, but the film’s increasingly odd shift turns this into something of a mess. The same can be said of the Making Of featurette, which blends behind-the-scenes footage with tiny sound bites and very little structure.
An interesting attempt to make an artistic thriller, but this is an ultimately flawed cop drama.