STOOL PIGEON, THE
Dante Lam / Hong Kong / 2010 / 113 min / Cantonese, Mandarin with English subtitles / color / digitalTweet
Official selection, Forum, Berlin International Film Festival, 2011
Dante Lam’s been on a roll since the explosive kidnap thriller Beast Stalker (SDAFF ’09) finally paid off on the promise he displayed as co-director of the modern classic Beast Cops ten years prior. And with THE STOOL PIGEON, which reunites Lam with the writer and actors of Beast Stalker, the bang-‘em-up-in-style director claims the title as contemporary Hong Kong action’s brightest light outside of the Milkyway Studio.
This time out, Nick Cheung plays a cop with a knack for manipulating his police informants at whatever cost. Thing is, he’s also a romantic – the kind of guy who takes dance lessons and whose conscience keeps him from endangering sad-sack ex-cons like Ghost Jr. (Nicholar Tse), who wants nothing more than to get himself and his prostitute sister out of the underworld. Conscience may be a powerful thing, but in the end, is it more powerful than the cold lawlessness of the Hong Kong streets?
THE STOOL PIGEON has everything you want from a Chinese crime film: crushing action, lonely moles, mean-looking men, robberies, distraught girlfriends, and of course, bawdy sentimentalism. This is a classic "trapped between good and evil" Hong Kong action film, the sort that John Woo used to excel in and which Infernal Affairs resurrected. But Lam has a style all his own, a kind of mean, no-nonsense cool that leaves the audience as bruised and battered as the characters. –Brian Hu
- Director: Dante Lam
- Cast: Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung, Kwai Lun-mei