cast: Josh Hartnett, Shawn Yue, Tran Nu Yên-Khê, 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 Yên-Khê). 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.
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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.