Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
When acclaimed Vietnamese director Tran Ahn Hung first announced that he was planning to make a major change of pace with his next film I doubt any of his fans expected that the director of Cyclo and Scent of Green Papaya would come up with something like this. His latest film, the globe trotting, international thriller I Come With The Rain, stars Josh Hartnett alongside huge Korean star Lee Byung Hyun - who will soon be seen in GI Joe, performing here in English for the first time - and seemingly ubiquitous Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue. Part manhunt, part crime thriller, part supernatural charged existential angst, this looks to be incredibly charged stuff and my hope has been that this would finally be the film that gave Hartnett the chance to truly shine, the picture's noir leanings playing perfectly to his strengths as an actor. Here's the official synopsis as a recap:
Kline, an ex-cop in Los Angeles traumatized by slaying a serial killer, is hired by a powerful corporate boss to go to the Philippines and find Shitao, his missing son. Kline’s leads take him to Hong Kong. Torn between good and evil, caught in the crossfire between a mafia drug ring and the police, he tracks down Shitao, who has become a mysterious vagrant.
We posted some stunning - an shockingly bloody - stills from the film back in February and now a five minute sales reel for the film has appeared on a subsite of major Korean media portal Daum. Impressions? Every moment of it is absolutely fantastic. Hartnett looks to be in career best form - yes, I know many of you will say that's faint praise, but I think the guy can be quite good when well matched to the material, which he clearly is here - while both Yue and Lee are quite compelling performing in English, the awkwardness of the language serving to strip off some of their movie star sheen and let the audience see their actual performing abilities. The visual are by turns hypnotic and deeply disturbing, provoking audible reactions from me on a handful of occassions. And, yes, for his legion of female fans, Lee appears topless. And for his legion of male fans he's wielding a hammer in menacing fashion at the time.
Now, the Korean host for this file is painfully slow and so I have loaded it into the ScreenAnarchy Player for easier access. The fact that this turned up on a Daum site says to me that it's been cleared for public viewing but that is a rarity for this type of reel so if that is not the case and this is not meant to be seen the copyright holders can contact me here and I will remove it from the site. You'll find the promo below the break.