The Stool Pigeon (2010 film)

The Stool Pigeon

Chinese film poster for The Stool Pigeon
Directed by Dante Lam
Produced by Albert Lee
Wang Zhonglei
Cheung Hong-tat
Written by Jack Ng
Story by Dante Lam
Starring Nicholas Tse
Nick Cheung
Gwei Lun-mei
Liu Kai-chi
Miao Pu
Lu Yi
Music by Henry Lai
Cinematography Kenny Tse
Edited by Chan Ki-hop
Matthew Hui
Distributed by Emperor Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • August 24, 2010 (2010-08-24) (China)
  • August 26, 2010 (2010-08-26) (Hong Kong)
Running time
112 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese

The Stool Pigeon (simplified Chinese: 线人; traditional Chinese: 綫人; pinyin: Xiàn Rén; Jyutping: Sin3 Jan4) is 2010 Hong Kong-Chinese action film directed by Dante Lam and starring Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung and Gwei Lun-mei. The film is about police detective, Don Lee (Cheung), who uses informants to gain information about gangsters. Lee begins to feel guilty when his informants are caught, but sends out a street racer named Ghost (Tse) as an informant to gain information about a gangster name Barbarian (Lu Yi).

The film was released in China on August 24 and two days later in Hong Kong. The film performed very well in the Hong Kong box office. The film has received mixed reviews.


Don Lee (Nick Cheung), a police detective in Kowloon whose reliance on informants leaves him struggling with a guilty conscience. Lee's previous stool pigeon's cover was blown and was attacked, leading him paranoid and driven from his wife and home. Lee begins to doubt his own methods. Lee recruits a street racer named Ghost (Nicholas Tse) as his latest stool pigeon who is assigned to infiltrate a gang led by the notorious armed robber Barbarian (Lu Yi). Ghost accepts Lee's offer so he can rescue his sister from a life of prostitution as well as help his father's one-million dollar debt. Ghost joins an illegal street race to gain acceptance into Barbarian's gang. Lee also has personal problems of his own, as wife Cher (Miao Pu) who he is separated with tried to commit suicide a few months previously and has since had amnesia. Lee begins to realize how wrong he is by exploiting his informants and desperately tries to right his wrongs before Ghost is in serious trouble. [1][2][3]



Production on The Stool Pigeon began on November 2, 2009.[4] Early during the production of the film, the Chinese film conglomerate Huayi Brothers signed on to take an equity stake and a production credit for the film.[5] Despite having much of the same cast of his previous hit film Beast Stalker, Dante Lam said The Stool Pigeon is not a sequel.[6] Dante stated that he "felt the pressure when I was working on the new movie because The Beast Stalker did so well and received a lot of positive feedback. I did not want the new film to live in its shadow because it is an entirely different movie, except with the same cast."[6] Dante Lam chose the theme of an informant in the film, stating that there is "Hong Kong shoot-out film on this theme yet. It's a good subject for exploring human nature and I have done research with involved people in real life".[7]

Actor Nick Cheung stated that he felt much more relaxed working on Stool Pigeon than he did previously on The Beast Stalker as he had worked with the cast before. Some reports noted that Cheung was unhappy that his screen time is shorter, Cheung denied this saying he was misquoted off his Twitter by the Hong Kong media and paparazzi.[8]


The Stool Pigeon premiere in Jiangsu.

The Stool Pigeon was released in China on August 24, 2010 and in Hong Kong on August 26.[1] The film was shown in Japan at the Tokyo Filmex festival.[9] The film premiered at number two in the Hong Kong box office where on its opening week. It was beaten by The Expendables.[10] The next week it placed at number one on the chart. It has grossed a total of US$1,598,123.[11]


The China Post gave the film three stars out of five stating praising a car race scenes set to the song "White Christmas" while stating that the action scenes are thin. The China Post also noted that there were "a few unnecessary subplots" and that overall "the story is gripping and entertaining throughout."[3] Film Business Asia gave the film a rating of eight out of ten also praised the "White Christmas" race scene. They compared the film to Beast Stalker, stating it was "less dark and claustrophobic than Stalker...But it's more deeply characterised from top to bottom, with much better chemistry between Tse and Cheung than between Leon Lai and Richie Ren in [Fire of Conscience]. Only the subplot of the detective's private life seems pasted into the overall drama."[1] The Hollywood Reporter compared the film negatively to The Beast Stalker, stating that The Stool Pigeon "falls short in tension and stylistic brio if judged as a sister film...The narrative could benefit from more tautness. As if worried about the audience's attention span for drama, action scenes are intermittently inserted throughout but they don't build to one big momentum."[12] Time Out Hong Kong gave the film three stars out of six, finding the film far too similar to Dante Lam's other works.[13]


Ceremony Category Name Outcome
5th Asian Film Awards[14]
Best Cinematography Kenny Tse Nominated
30th Hong Kong Film Awards[15]
Best Film The Stool Pigeon Nominated
Best Director Dante Lam Nominated
Best Screenplay Jack Ng Nominated
Best Actor Nicholas Tse Won
Best Actor Nick Cheung Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Liu Kai-chi Nominated
Best Film Editing Matthew Hui, Chan Ki-hop Nominated
Best Sound Kinson Tsang Nominated
17th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards[16]
Film of Merit The Stool Pigeon Won


  1. 1 2 3 4 Elley, Derek (September 22, 2010). "The Stool Pigeon (線人)". Film Business Asia. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  2. Topley, James (September 13, 2010). "The Stool Pigeon (線人)". The China Post. p. 1. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  3. 1 2 Topley, James (September 13, 2010). "The Stool Pigeon (線人)". The China Post. p. 2. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  4. Frater, Patrick (November 2, 2009). "'Stool Pigeon' starts filming in HK". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  5. Frater, Patrick (November 19, 2009). "Huayi is game for 'Pigeon'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  6. 1 2 "Dante's dramas". The Straight Times. August 24, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  7. "The Stool Pigeon to hit cinemas August 26". July 21, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  8. Wah, Chan Soo (August 27, 2010). "Flight to fame". The Sun Daily. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  9. Schilling, Mark (September 16, 2010). "Tokyo Filmex unveils lineup". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  10. "Hong Kong Box Office: August 26–29, 2010". Box Office Mojo.
  11. "The Stool Pigeon". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  12. Lee, Maggie (September 3, 2010). "The Stool Pigeon -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  13. Lee, Edmund (August 25, 2010). "The Stool Pigeon". Time Out Hong Kong. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  14. "5th AFA Nominees & Winners by Nominees". Asian Film Awards. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  15. "第三十屆香港電影金像獎得獎名單". Hong Kong Film Awards. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  16. "第十七屆香港電影評論學會大獎". Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards. January 10, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/9/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.