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Movie: The Stool Pigeon (线人) (2010)

The Stool Pigeon (线人) (2010) is another excellent police action movie from one of Hong Kong's acclaimed director, Dante Lam. Two weeks back, I watched Fire of Conscience (火龙) (2010), also directed by Dante Lam.

Senior Inspector Don Lee (Nick Cheung) works with stool pigeons (informants) in his job to hunt and catch bad guys in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Still haunted by guilt from his past relationships with former stool pigeons, Don is troubled when he needs to work with another new informant, Ghost Jr. (Nicholas Tse) to catch Barbarian (Lu Yi), a notorious armed robber and his gang. Ghost Jr. takes the risk as informant for the sake of money and infiltrates Barbarian's gang to provide Don with information about the gang's movement.

Don, worn out from many years of hard work, haunted by a guilty conscience, and coupled with a tragic past regarding his ex-wife, is unable to act decisively until the final moments.
Alas, it's too late when he finally makes the decision to no longer wants to be part of the web of betrayals upon betrayals...

Nicholas Tse is both vulnerable and volatile as the helpless hoodlum forced to make Faustian deals with both the crooks and the cops - deals he can't realistically hope to see out. He is working both sides for a surprisingly noble cause that goes above and beyond personal sacrifice, only to be manipulated repeatedly by Don, Barbarian and also the story's femme fatale - Barbarian's girlfriend, Dee (Kwai Lun-mei), a Taiwanese actress in Jay Chou's 2007 movie, Secret.

This movie drama hinges on the central dynamic between the two male protagonists, and again here it is the push-pull of co-dependence between Tse and Cheung's emotionally crippled characters that holds our attention throughout the film.


Note: Read more about this movie's review on Twitch.

If you love Hong Kong's police action thrillers with much emphasis on human nature's crippling imperfection and flaws, I'd highly recommend this movie. :)

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