Since this is a Ridley Scott film, Black Rain is about 90% atmosphere and 10% story. But what atmosphere! This gripping crime thriller about hardboiled NY cop Michael Douglas tracking a yakuza hood in Osaka, Japan, boasts magnificent lensing and powerfully baroque production design.
Douglas is utterly believable as a reckless and scummy homicide detective who takes kickbacks from drug dealers and resorts to the most brutal methods to capture escaped counterfeiter Yusaka Matsuda.
First collaring Matsuda after a shocking outbreak of violence in a NY restaurant, Douglas is sent with him to Osaka, where he promptly loses him to the yakuza and watches helplessly as his partner Andy Garcia is murdered. Coming into conflict with the Japanese police, Douglas turns to the criminal underground to help bring in his prey.
Script fascinatingly depicts the growing influence of Ken Takakura’s higher concepts of honour and loyalty on Douglas, who in turn causes some of his expedient lack of morality to rub off on the Japanese police inspector.
1989: Best Sound.
Nomination: Best Sound Effects Editing