Yuuji, a yakuza who makes his living carrying out assassinations for a local crime boss in Taiwan, is barely scraping by when a woman from his past shows up with some unexpected baggage: his son. But does Yuuji have it in him to be a father?
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RAINY DOG, appearing early on in Miike's sudden, surprising career as artist of note, is intriguing in that it demonstrates a certain fidelity to the world and mindset of conventional noir. It is distinguished especially by being a fish-out-of-water story wresting a fascinating kind of grimy exoticism from its Taipei locations. Also makes intriguing use of the central LONE WOLF AND CUB conceit. Serious genre cinema.
Rainy Dog is a neo-noir masterpiece and backs up any of Takashi Miike's critics that he isn't one of the greatest filmmakers alive and working today. Also, Tarantino wishes he could be as gifted as Miike and will never come close to his heights.
The first film in Miike's Black Society Trilogy, Shinjuku Triad Society, had enough intensity, good ideas, and interesting undercurrents that the over-the-top elements (violence/dark humor) off balanced its smarts. Ironically, Rainy Dog sadly takes itself too seriously despite its typicality, and is too lethargic to be entertaining. Only its shift of viewpoint to the hitman victims' family member feels special.
Don't you hate it when you're barely making ends meet as a hitman for the mob, and then some one-night stand from nine years ago suddenly dumps a son on you that you didn't know you had? And then you get involved with a prostitute, and that makes your otherwise barely-interesting existence just drag on and on and on, so you want to blow your brains out because it's all so boring? Yeah. Hate that.
The bloody ganster redeemed by the unpolluted innocence of a child, a perennial theme now treated in indie fashion. Nothing seems to stand out in this early Miike's pretty average take and perhaps the most remarkable feature is the somehow anti-climatic end, a convoluted and fairly preposterous wrapping-it-all-up with a fluke.