Raining in The Mountain is quite an enjoyable film to watch. King Hu definitely redeemed himself with this film after The Valiant Ones. What was different about Raining in The Mountain is that there is a lack of fighting sequences especially in comparison to The Valiant Ones. Instead King Hu takes a step more towards the use of suspense and withholding elements of the plot to build a sort of tension that keeps the audience engaged. I remember asking, “What are these two doing?” in the beginning sequences when the two spies began to change and run through the temple. King Hu withheld details of their actions until we got more and more into the story. This was great on King Hu’s part, because it keeps the audience wondering and engaged.
What I found to be especially exciting is that unlike a number of other King Hu films, this one actually had a ending that I felt concluded the film very well. I did not feel cheated of an ending. Although I would not call the ending a happy ending, it was definitely an a powerful ending when we see the female thief being converted to be a nun of the temple. Even though I would consider Raining in The Mountain to be a step back from the fighting sequences typical in King Hu’s films, we are still able to see quite a bit of King Hu elements in this film such as the running on the rooftops, and the elegant, ballerina-like body movements of the spies as they sneak throughout the temple. We also get the monks and the wonderful use of scenery that King Hu is known for. So overall, although there is less fighting, King Hu definitely improved with his story telling skills in this film.