Eye In The Sky

"Excellent"

Eye In The Sky Review


They say the Hong Kong film industry has lost a lot of steam in recent years, and I tend to agree. Lately it seems that all the movies being released there are either dim-witted comedies about shopping and/or breast implants or by-the-numbers police procedurals with rogue cops using forbidden tactics to go after evil triad bosses. Cue the shoot-out in the floating Chinese restaurant. Yawn.

This sad reality makes Eye in the Sky a really welcome breath of fresh air. Yes, it's a police procedural, but it has none of the usual trappings. We simply follow along as a rough-and-tumble undercover surveillance unit uses a mix of old-fashioned street smarts and modern technology to try to catch a group of brazen jewelry store thieves whose well-planned midday assaults are terrorizing the city.

The lead undercover cop, Sergeant Wong (Simon Yam), goes by the nickname "Dog Head." We first meet him in a brisk and intricate undercover training exercise as he scurries around the city monitoring the efforts of his newest rookie, the eager "Piggy" (Kate Tsui). Assigned to the jewelry store case, they're confounded by the expertise of the thieves, who are led by the enigmatic Shan (Tony Leung Ka-fai), a cool customer who is capable of sudden fits of horrific violence. He's the lookout, standing on a nearby rooftop to coordinate each heist via cell phone.

But all is not well within his gang. Greedy underlings want a bigger slice of the loot (an idea Shan dismisses with a casual act of violence over a group barbecue), and he himself is looking for a bigger slice from his own boss, an evil old lady who controls a vast crime syndicate.

As Piggy and Dog Head bond over their all-night stakeouts, we learn a lot about undercover police tactics and cheer them along as they make small discoveries and shadow suspects covertly all around Hong Kong. There is none of the usual Hong Kong bang-bang, just one surprising shootout notable for its sudden cruelty. This is street-level cat-and-mouse police work, and the movie races ahead with excellent pacing, the good guys and bad guys crossing paths constantly as they move toward the eventual final showdown.

Yam and Leung are hard-working Hong Kong regulars with close to 250 movies between them. It's always a pleasure to see them, no matter how mediocre the movie, and in this case they really get to shine, Yam as the burned-out cop slouching his way to retirement, and Leung as the sadistic criminal behind the sunglasses. The Hong Kong film industry may be stumbling these days, but it's good to know it can still produce something as tight and entertaining as this.

Aka Gun Chung.



Eye In The Sky

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 21st June 2007

Distributed by: NetFlix

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Yau Nai-Hoi

Producer: , Sui Ming Tsui

Starring: Kate Tsui as Peggy / Piggy / Constable Ho Ka Po, as Capt. Wong Man Chin / Dog Head, as Peggy / Piggy / Constable Ho Ka Po, Maggie Shiu as Madam Fong, Lam Suet as Ng Tung / Fatman, Eddie Cheung Siu-Fai as Snr Insp. Chan, Wong Wa-Wo as Wo, IB cop, Law Chung-Him as Snakie, SU agent

Also starring:

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