Inspector Don Lee relies heavily on the information provided
by stool pigeons in his job. Barbarian is a painstakingly
meticulous armed robber. Don needs an informant to infiltrate
his gang and recruits street-racer Guy. Guy delivers but Don
is unable to effectively act on the information until the
final moment. Since Barbarian has not left any evidence, Don
is pressured to convince Guy to become a witness for the prosecution
and promises him a new identity in another country; Guy barely
escapes with his life. A disillusioned Don is left wondering
if his quest for justice is worth the price that often has
to be paid.
After watching "The Stool Pigeon", perhaps it will give you a better picture between an undercover and an informant. Director Dante Lam, Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung reunite after their award-winning collaboration, “The Beast Stalker” in yet another gritty tale detailing the world of crime and passion.
Tse and Cheung switched roles this time round with the former playing a newly recruited informant aka stool pigeon named Ghost Jr with a mission to redeem his sister who is being forced into prostitution to repay their late father’s debt. Cheung plays his direct superior Inspector Don Lee who is being assigned to crack a robbery ring. Don wants Ghost Jr to infiltrate the robbery gang led by Barbarian and in turn promises a lump sum of money from the police as a form of reward if Ghost Jr manages to come up with information that could led to the arrest of Barbarian and accomplices.
Adopting a less flashy approach as compared to his recent "The Sniper" and "Fire of Conscience", Lam and his usual partner-in-crime, writer Jack Ng is more focused in carving the story and bringing a much deeper look into the struggles of the various protagonists. Though Ghost Jr and Don are from different sides of the law, both had an uncanny sad turnout in their fates. The script presented is definitely a tighter one compared to Lam’s last effort, "Fire of Conscience".
With the exception of a short car chase and a footchase in a market alley, “The Stool Pigeon” lacks a substantial amount of action to please the Lam’s fanbase, to make up for it, Lam and Ng concentrate on giving audience a character-driven movie that in fact for most of the time never fails to hold your attention.
Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun Mei (Secret) sheds off her usual demure on-screen self to portray Barbarian’s girlfriend Dee, a gutsy girl who unwittingly fell in love with Ghost Jr. Veteran actor Liu Kai Chi (Protégé, Beast Stalker) once again shines in his role as Jabber, an ex-Lee’s informant who went berserks after a mission went awry. The two main leads, Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung impresses with their low-key powerhouse performances. The latter especially brought a tinge of sadness to a character that battles hard with his conscious and duty, not to mention a mistake that destroyed his marital life.
"The Stool Pigeon" is surprisingly a worthy follow-up to "The Beast Stalker" not just in terms of the cast members’ performance but a crime drama that proven the maturity of Dante Lam as a filmmaker over the years.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
There is only a photo gallery and trailers for the extra features.
Visual transfer is acceptable throughout but the lack of a Cantonese soundtrack option makes this DVD a bit disappointing.
by Linus Tee
Posted on 6 October 2010