At one point in the late 80’s/early 90’s, actor Michael Douglas was a major box office draw. With movies like Romancing the Stone, Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct and Falling Down and being a producer, Douglas was a force to be reckoned with. The guy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth because his father (Kirk Douglas) was already a successful actor himself.
Now in the middle of these films Michael Douglas made a movie with Andy Garcia and Ridley Scott called Black Rain. First starting out as a sequel to Beverly Hills Cop, where Axel Foley was supposed to teach the Japanese a thing or two about Detroit police work, the plot was rejected by Eddie Murphy because he didn’t want to travel outside of the US so Douglas (who also produced) got his hands on it and reworked it into a more serious police drama.
The movie is about two New York cops (Douglas and Garcia) who have to extradite bad guy Sato (Yusaku Matsuda, who died shortly after the movie was made) back to Japan to answer for his Yakuza crimes. The cops drop off the bad guy but realize they’ve been duped by the Yakuza posing as cops. Now, a cop like Douglas’ character, he’s not going to let it go. He’s going to tear up all of Japan to get this Sato motherfucker, even having to reluctantly team up with local detective, Mas (Ken Takakura) who is very honorable. He plays it straight-up and doesn’t blur the line like Conklin (Douglas).
With it being directed by Ridley Scott, Black Rain doesn’t seem like the kind of movie Ridley would even look twice at. This is more of a Tony Scott type of movie but Ridley does really well with the material and you can see the visual style that the Scott’s are known for. This one has that same dark look he had with the original Blade Runner and with the Japanese setting it feels like he’s on familiar ground.
With Douglas sporting the mullet and motorcycle, (check out the poster, too! Douglas was going for the Cobra look) and the culture clash between Mas and Conklin, it’s straight out of the 80’s and just runs with it. Even the score by Hans Zimmer is fun to listen to as the action speeds along.
If you have a couple of hours to kill, give Black Rain a shot and see what Ridley Scott did before he made shit like Prometheus and Covenant.
(On a personal note that only reflects the views of myself, the movie has a death scenes that involves Andy Garcia that had me standing up and cheering. Thank you, Ridley).