Rainy Dog ★★★

First Miike, and yeah this seems about right from what I've heard; crisp action, simple narrative economy, and an inevitable collapse into shocking violence. Still, for quite a while this remains very restrained and tranquil, the pitter-patter of the perennial rain rendering every interior as a shelter from the dangers of the streets. Even though the melancholy feels like a put-on once the brutality comes rolling around, it remains a great mood piece to just soak in. Very vaporwave, which is a fucking stupid but unfortunately truthful observation. Miike also has a nice eye for props and set dressing, using the sparseness of both to explore the quotidian qualities of these characters' poverty; the bong fashioned out of a Yakult bottle that the two lovers take hits from colors their scant pillow talk with further despondence. Narrative begins to suffer from its flimsiness about halfway through, with the ending playing out as a predictive superlative (how can we maximize the emotional trauma this kid goes through?). But sometimes I'm easy to please; it's probably impossible for me to not like a movie where it never stops raining. And oops, this is part of a trilogy??

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