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January 28th, 2002 Issue #93

Hong Kong Digital is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- associate editor / film reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author of The Hong Kong Filmography.

Red Rain
(1999; Skylark Film Production Co. / Jia-Chia Entertainment Co.)

Cover art courtesy Winson.

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Ging tin dung dei
Mandarin: Jing tian dong di
English: Startle Heaven Shake Earth


HK cops Lo (Alex Fong Chung-sun) and Tam (Convoy Chan Chi-chung) go on an unsanctioned trip to Taipei to find Lee Pin, a security guard who stole $HK30 million dollars from the evidence room. Unless the money is found and returned to HK within 48 hours, the prosecution's case against arms dealer Hao falls apart and he will walk out of court a free man. The pair locate Lee's daughter, singer Min (MR. NICE GUY's Micki Li Ting-yi), but are separated when some triads attack them. Min and Tam (who is a dead ringer for Min's dead boyfriend) set out to find her father, while the local police captain (Jack Gao Jie) apprehends Lo and intends to keep him on ice. Lo manages to escape custody but Hao's hitmen (led by Mark Cheng Ho-nam) have already arrived in Taiwan and Lo's undercover contact (Chen Yao-hu) is re-evaluating his loyalties.

Alex Fong Chung-sun. Image courtesy Winson.

RED RAIN gets off to a routine start but director James Yuen Sai-sang (THE WEDDING DAYS, MY LOVING TROUBLE 7) works a few laudable components into the second half (the climactic gun battle plays out in a messy and chaotic fashion that is closer to the truth than one usually sees). Ultimately, though, the central conflict is never more than mildly interesting and the script's attempts to develop and (in the case of Lo) humanize the characters are perfunctory. Fong gives a solid performance that netted him the Best Actor prize at The Taipei Film Festival, though he has done equally good work elsewhere. BULLETS OVER SUMMER's Lam Mei-ching (as Chen Yao-hu's amusingly clueless girlfriend) and co-producer Henry Fong Ping have supporting roles.

DVD Specs:

Winson #WDV 3022R
Dolby Digital 2.0
Dubbed Cantonese/Mandarin and Dubbed All-Mandarin Language Tracks
Optional Subtitles In English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)
9 Chapters Illustrated In the Menu With Stills
Letterboxed (1.74:1)
Coded for ALL Regions
93 Minutes
Contains moderate violence and brief nudity

DVD menu courtesy Winson.

Film Board Ratings and Consumer Advice

Hong Kong: IIB
Singapore: PG [Passed With Cuts]


The image is somewhat soft and bland, with variable contrasts and blacks. A bigger problem, however, is the harsh and occasionally distorted audio on both tracks. The English subtitle translation is below average and will no doubt confuse some viewers by the way in which it alternates between the Cantonese and Mandarin versions of some characters' names. There are no supplementary materials.

RED RAIN is available at Poker Industries.

Click here for more information about The Hong Kong Filmography

Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2002. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com

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