Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Film Review: The Stool Pigeon (2010)

The Stool Pigeon (Review)
China/2010
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"Think of it as a fantastic blend of Infernal Affairs, Heat, and The Fast And The Furious (the good ones)."

After his informant's cover is blown during bust, police detective Don Lee (Nick Cheung) struggles with his guilty conscience. A year later, Lee recruits Ghost (Nicholas Tse), who's fresh out of prison and in need of money to save his sister, as a stool pigeon...

The Stool Pigeon continues as Ghost begins to infiltrate the crew of a notorious and elusive robber, Barbarian (Lu Yi), under the instruction of Lee. Ghost becomes the driver for Barbarian's crew, and they begin to plan a high-stakes robbery. The tension rises and Ghost tries to keep his identity as an informant secret, and as Lee attempts to keep Ghost safe. The Stool Pigeon leads to a thrilling third act and a devastating ending -- a daring yet grounded in reality ending that is impressively effective.

The Stool Pigeon is a crime thriller working on many levels. For one, it's incredibly entertaining as it moves at a brisk pace without filler -- all of the content is interesting and relevant. Also, the film delves into themes such morality and honesty with great subtly; the character struggles help build a sense of life on screen. If you're looking for drama, action, or thrills, this film has all of the above. Fans of crime films won't be disappointed, either, as the film has authentic police work; the informant and surveillance scenes are spot on, for example. I was especially impressed in the film's ability to built up great suspense, intensity, and immersion -- from beginning to end, I was hooked.

Nick Cheung and Nicholas Tse are very impressive as the lead roles. Both have great versatility and really shine during the most tense moments. The entire cast match the leads with believable performances, as well. The music is well-fitted for the themes and settings, as well as a great aid in building tension and suspense. The film is shot beautifully with great camerawork and cinematography. Dante Lam's direction is superb, great consistency, immersion, and suspense; he also captures the action sequences with great precision and style.

Overall, The Stool Pigeon is a superbly raw and gritty crime thriller. It's pure entertainment and adrenaline injected straight into your veins. Think of it as a fantastic blend of Infernal Affairs, Heat, and The Fast And The Furious (the good ones). I highly recommend The Stool Pigeon for fans of the genre no, fans of film in general have to watch this masterpiece.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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