If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Recently paroled street racer Ghost Jr. (Nicholas Tse) is tapped by Detective Don Lee (Nick Cheung) to help bring down the known thief Barbarian (Yi Lu) during his next heist.
Director Dante Lam has got the style of a Chinese crime thriller down, but he's still a bit rough when it comes to the material. 'The Stool Pigeon' is meant to be an examination of the relationship between an informant and his police officer, which is part extortion and part trust. And while it's important for the film to deviate into the personal lives of the two main characters, it does lose the focus on a couple occasions. As a result, the real meat of the drama doesn't show up until the last twenty minutes. Much of everything else feels like the film is spinning it's wheels. There's a tragic romance story for Don that could've been completely dropped and the actual heist was built up in the wrong places. The script could've used a great deal of tightening and reinforcement. The focus of the story should've been on the soured relationship Don had with his former informant juxtaposed against the tentative relationship with Ghost Jr. That was what the film wanted to examine, but it was unwilling to dedicate the time to it without watering it down with other elements.
There are a couple decent car chases and a dramatic fight sequence at the end, but that's about all you get. Still it keeps the movie exciting and moving along at a quick pace.
The Stool Pigeon is ultimately a decent but forgettable crime thriller that suffers from not being willing to break from formulaic storytelling to establish its message.
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