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The ZONE - genre nonfiction
Soundchecks - music reviews
Rotary Action - helicopter movies
cast: Josh Hartnett, Shawn Yue, Tran Nu Y�n-Kh�, Takuya Kimura, and Elias Koteas
director: Anh Hung Tran
110 minutes (18) 2008
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Trinity DVD Region 2
review by Ian Sales
I Come With The Rain
Kline (Josh Hartnett) invalided out of the Los Angeles police department after identifying somewhat too closely with a serial killer (Elias Koteas).
Now he's a private detective, tasked with finding Shitao (Takuya Kimura), the son of an ultra-rich industrialist. Shitao disappeared while engaged
in charitable work on the Philippine island of Mindanao. Kline travels there, but eyewitnesses tell him they saw Shitao shot and killed in the jungle
by bandits. Other clues, however, suggest this may not be the case and that Shitao is now in Hong Kong. And so Kline travels there. He hooks up with
ex-colleague Meng Zi (Shawn Yue), now a detective in the Hong Kong police. But Meng is obsessed with the gangster Su Dongpo (Byung-hun Lee) and his
drug-addict girlfriend Lili (Tran Nu Y�n-Kh�). Kline, meanwhile, must use his powers of identification to discover the location of Shitao - except
the last time he did that, he ended up in a padded cell.
I Come With The Rain is what happens when a director is too in love with their vision. Anh Hung Tran wanted to make a metaphysical thriller,
a Far East story for our times. All he has in fact made is a glacially-paced two-hour-long music video. Shitao, we learn, is Christ. He did indeed
die on Mindanao, but then he was resurrected. In Hong Kong, he heals the sick, but the act wounds him. One such victim is Lili, who stumbles across
him after being 'kidnapped' by a drugged-up friend of Su Dongpo. Shitao cures her of her addiction. When Su Dongpo learns of this, he mistakenly
believes Lili is in love with her saviour, and so has him crucified.
While this is happening, Kline is staring at forensic photographs of Shitao's wounds, having nightmares of his run-in with the serial killer, and
running around Hong Kong at night (often to tracks performed by Radiohead) trying to find Shitao. There are many long moments in this film in which
no one speaks, or very little actually happens. Much is made of the photography - which is often very good - but too much at the expense of a coherent
narrative. The Christ-parallels are interesting and, while it's not necessary they be explained, the film's story is simply too unfocussed to carry
them. I Come With The Rain should have been either about Kline losing his mind as he looks for Shitao, or about Shitao's story. Su Dongpo's
story-arc complicates matters further, but does not provide a link between Kiline and Shitao.
This is one of those films which looks pretty, and it's the sort of movie you expect to find playing in the background on a large flat-screen television
at a chic wine-bar or night-club. Beautiful people in designer-label garments will studiously ignore it, conscious all the while of the artistically-framed
moving pictures on the screens behind them. The story is immaterial, the dialogue is unheard. There is no resolution; no beginning, no middle and
no end; the movie is looped. But that doesn't matter, because to the consciously hip it's little more than animated wallpaper. And to the alert
viewer, its story has about as much momentum as wallpaper. I Come With The Rain is disappointing.