Stylish Hong Kong Thriller (Johnny To Fans Should Not Miss T
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 05/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who loves respected Hong Kong director Johnny To's intense and emotional thrillers should not miss "Eye in the Sky." The film has a simple but strong story, a stylish photography, talent players (veterans and a newcomer) and most of all gripping actions that do not rely on hectic car chase or loud shoot-outs.
The story follows a surveillance unit of the Hong Kong police, who has to find the hideout of the criminals responsible for the recent jewelry shop robbery. The only clue they got is "Fat Man" (Lam Suet) and together with a handful of well-trained members of the unit, a veteran officer Sergeant Wong Man Chin (Simon Yam) and a new recruit Constable Ho Ka Po (Kate Tsui) team up to spot the suspect in the street, using every gadget and trick conceivable.
Admittedly the film's premise itself is not new, but with the capable cast and crew the result is more than satisfactory. From the opening sequence the film keeps its good pace and high tension, never letting up. This is a cop thriller, but the film is more about the interesting characters (both police officers and criminals) the great cast play.
The acting is unanimously great. Always reliable Simon Yam, one of the most talented and versatile actors in HK film industry, shows his unexpectedly tender and humorous side in "Dog Head," a mentor-like sergeant. He teaches the arts of surveillance to the newly recruited "Piggy" played by Kate Tsui (this is her feature film debut). Tony Leung is the leader of the robbers, who hides his sadistic personality under his placid smiling face.
Writer-turned-director Nai-Hoi Yau, who is known for his screenplays for Johnny To films (including "Election") has made an impressive debut here. "Eye in the Sky" is a clever thriller with the surveillance theme effectively used, and it should be recommended to any film fans."