Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Review: Rain Man

I can't believe I haven't seen…

Rain Man Poster

Rain Man (1988)
Cert: 15 / 128 mins / Dir. Barry Levinson / Trailer
WoB Rating: 5/7

Well as road-movies go, this can be a slow journey at times, and occasionally quite a patronising one (to the audience, not the characters). But director Barry Levinson has the map memorised and both hands on the wheel, and Rain Man is meticulously executed.

By this point in time, it goes without saying (although it'd be remiss of me to omit it) that Dustin Hoffman is quietly brilliant, here. Young Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is more of a mixed bag. Cocky and abrasive as the script requires in the first act and patient and empathic as needed by the second, he stumbles slightly where the real emotion's required and didn't quite gain the sympathy from me that he was meant to. In the intervening years, Cruise has grown to embrace his faintly wooden emoting, but it's an ill-fit for his younger self. That didn't spoil the film of course, although Hans Zimmer's autopilot soundtrack irked me more.

An enjoyable enough film with plenty to love, I wasn't left the blubbering wreck that the Rain Man reveal scene suggested I would.

I'd like to see a more delicate version/remake of the film (ie one without Tom), but I'm fairly sure it would descend into mawkishness in no time at all, a trap which Levinson's movie avoids with skill…

Have you really never seen this before?
Really, never.

So are you glad you've finally have?
I am, but not to the point where it's overwhelmed me.

And would you recommend it, now?
With caveats, yes.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Well, Rain Man stars Dustin Hoffman, who's been keeping himself busy recently slagging off other people's films and complaining about the soulless homogenisation of Hollywood, despite having starred himself in two Meet The Parents sequels (but not the original) and loaned his voice to three Kung-Fu Panda movies. He also, however, starred in a little-known film called The Graduate (he'll probably mention that, if you find yourself talking to him), which featured an uncredited cameo from Donald F. Glut, the author of the 1980 The Empire Strikes Back novelisation.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
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