A 2010 Hong Kong crime drama "Stool Pigeon" follows the story of a police detective Don Lee (Nick Cheung) and his newly recruited informant, an ex-convict Ghost (Nicholas Tse). Don wants to bring down the criminal gang led by notorious Barbarian (Lu Yi) who has returned from Taiwan, and to do so the detective uses Ghost, who infiltrates the criminal gang as a getaway driver.
Things get complicated when Ghost gets involved with Ah Di (Kwai Lun-mei), Barbarian's lover. And the detective, who strictly orders younger officers not to be emotionally attached to the informants, has some past he has to deal with.
If you are looking for big shoot-outs and car chases, perhaps you will be disappointed with "Stool Pigeon," which is, like critically acclaimed "Infernal Affairs," about the characters torn between the conflicting values. Yes, there are action scenes and they are competently done, but they rather serve to show how these characters, trying to run away from the past, get driven into corners. Sorry for my vague descriptions, but in short, this is a Hong Kong noir, where there is no easy way out.
Despite the several lulls, director Dante Lam keeps the tension throughout, with the excellent acting from Nick Cheung and Nicholas Tse. My complaint is that the film has too many subplots and flashbacks. Kwai Lun-mei's character needs more depth. The sentimental dancing class episodes are pretty incredible, even by the standards of crime suspense. With a simpler plotline "Stool Pigeon" could have been more thrilling and involving.