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驚天動地 (1999)
Red Rain

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 04/20/2007
Summary: bogged down

1999 was a good year! April 2007 - Looking back at Red Rain (1999), I feel that writer and director James Yuen Sai-Sang has done better work. Previously, I’d seen his Rumble Ages and Your Place or Mine! from 1998 and enjoyed them immensely. Red Rain is bogged down in a sort of genre de-construction that achieves mixed results. The film is saved by Alex Fong Chung-San who gives the director a compelling performance.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Rab99bit
Date: 05/26/2001
Summary: Good for a rainy day

Watch this movie on a rainy day when you have nothing more important to attend to. It's about cops and syndicates and their morals and conscience, or the lack of. Alex Fong's facial expressions are as good to watch as before he sported the present beard & moustache. There isn't much room to demonstrate acting talent as the movie is rather fast paced with a lot of bang-bang. James Yuen, the scriptwriter tries hard, but fails, to humanise his main characters by fatherly phone calls to a daughter; by brief, irrelevant & unrealistic references to a love relationship that develops on a motorcycle; and by incongruous sympathy for a fatherless kid by a potential killer, who would think nothing of killing a father and daughter for their money.
Surprisingly, Taiwanese Chan Yiu-Fu puts in a good portrayal of the undercover ex-cop "Ah Chong". I also like the visual comparison of water spurting from a drum and blood spurting from the chest of .....who? Watch the movie.

Reviewed by: nsbr1
Date: 12/25/1999

The director and writer James Yuen - well known for his UFO scripts - tries his hand with an action/drama film here that has potential - but it never fullfills that potential. Alex Fong and his cop partner from HK go to Taiwan to locate a fellow who stole a huge amount of money fom the evidence room. They need the money to win the case - and they have only a few days to find it. A lot of other parties are also looking for the money - and the configurations looked like it would get intriguing - but Yuen just doesn't follow through and the film ends not with a bang - but a whimper

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 11/21/1999
Summary: Red Rain (1999)

James YUEN Sai-sang, who started his film business as a script writer, is a director who specialises in romantic comedies like 'The Wedding Days' (1997) and 'Your Place Or Mine' (1998). This time James faces a new challenge as he directs an action movie 'Red Rain'. The movie is set mainly in Taiwan which is where actors CHAN Yiu-fu and actress LEE Ting- yee are from. Can James handle the challenge of action movies?

'Red Rain' commences with the disappearance of money being used as evidence of the illegal sale of military weapons. The money is stolen by an evidence room officer LI Ping and he subsequently flees to Taiwan. Hong Kong Police Force sends LAW Wai-shun (Alex FONG Chung-shun) and TAM Kwok-man (CHAN Chi-chung) to arrest LI Ping. This must be achieved within 60 hours or the case will lapse due to lack of evidence. The officers come to Taiwan and meet the undercover cop LIN Chi-chong (CHAN Yiu-fu). They would like to capture Ping's daughter LI Man (LI Ting-yee) who has also fled to Taiwan. The Taiwan triads are also trying to catch LI Man for the stolen money. The two parties meet in the bar and Man is rescued by Kwok-man. However, Kwok-man and LAW's actions were discovered by Taiwan Police who ask them to stop their activities. LI Man says that her Dad would arrive on the anniversary of her mom's death. All parties would like to catch LI Man to get Ping's money ......

While action and bullets are not the main elements of action movies they are key factors. James YUEN attempts to present his 'Red Rain' with humour and romance. He establishes LAW as a kind and sympathetic character by showing his response to seeing a little girl helping her mom wash plates James also inserts a sub-plot of the love between LI Man and Kwok-man. He tries to insert these favourite themes into 'Red Rain'.

James' makes a good attempt at a new style of action movie. The non-action pieces were used to make the movie more involving as well as to act as a tool to make the whole movie more exciting. James is better able to handle this in the latter half of the movie.

For the first half of the movie, James is still learning how to control the production of an action movie, some of the tone switches are too jarring. For example, while Kwok-man and LI Man are trying to escape from the triads and cops, they can still manage to stop at the beach and kiss each other. This sub-plot seems disconnected from the rest of the movie. This makes audience hard to get involved in the movie.

The script is good and the latter half of the movie is able to exceed audience expectation. In the first half, the background of the Chi-chong is a bit weak and unconvincing. Maybe they should have included some elaboration on his time in Taiwan.

Another character that James YUEN could make better use of is Chi-chong's girlfriend. In 'Red Rain' she is an ignorant girl. Her role is to relax the exciting atmosphere. She could be used to create some humour to entertain the audience.

In short, James YUEN's first action direction 'Red Rain' is a story set in Taiwan. The latter half of the movie is able to successfully fuse all the dramatic elements. However, the first half of the movie is quite unsuccessful. James YUEN has made a very good attempt at an action movie.