Mary Poppins Returns
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By the time we get to the centerpiece bloody climax, too much air has gone out of the film for it to be revived.
While watching this again, i realised its not as good. Like when its in the drama its exceeptional, but the characters are too dark and pretty much everyone who gets harmend in film almost deserves it and when its in the action...well i cant even call it action, just violence thats rough, brutal and harsh and dosent deliver a great deal that you would hope or want, it dosent work as well as Donnie Brasco or is as powerful as Infernal Affairs. Almost o waste of time if it wasnt for some of the performances and the craft from its director.
Surprisingly good movie, granted it probably could've been much better. But I wasn't really expecting much from this movie and I was pleasantly surprised with what was, mostly, a character driven affair. Granted, it's not like this is the epitome of character development, but all the subplots did an admirable job of carrying most of the load, and Nick Cheung's performance which, in certain scenes, was really strong. The problem is, these subplots just do the bare minimum that is required. There was this idea that Nick's character is haunted by destroying the life of one of his informants to the point that he fucks a hooker and gets a venereal disease which he then passes on to his wife (I think?). His wife then proceeds to have an accident that causes her to have amnesia. I think the wife subplot was probably the worst part of the movie as it just doesn't seem to mix all that well with the rest of the movie. And there's also the fact that the Ghost character is fighting to save his sister from being pimped out, and this is sort of muddled with everything else the movie wants to get over. Thankfully the action at the end is strong enough that it takes an average movie and makes it, as mentioned, surprisingly good.
Stool Pigeon is a good film, but not a great film. The reason is simple, it lacks the same amount of intensive tension of its predecessor and relies much on the acting of Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung to take the film to the end. Tse is great and almost carries the film on his shoulders.
Dante Lam is a capable director and he is at his best, when the characters in his films are allowed to express their truest potential or perhaps when they go crazy.
The film itself is not too memorable either. Instead what we got delivered to us is a film that entertains, some interesting chases, fine acting and positive direction.
The Hong Kong crime thrillers continue from Dante Lam and this time The Stool Pigeon is served up.
Aside from the main storyline, this film has subplots which enables a bulk of this picture to be character driven. The first portion of the somewhat lengthy 1 hour 50 minutes focuses a lot on story buildup as well as working through these multiple subplots, before letting loose for the finale. The side stories do take time away from the principal story, yet the results are important factors when all is said and done.
The focus of the action is not the gun play, but rather the intense force of altercations and brawls. Ultimately, this movie lacks the finesse of bullets flying and ends up violently brutal instead.
Both Nick Cheung and Nicolas Tse work well together as they fit nicely into their leading and mature roles. Lunmei Kwai is notable for standing out in the second half and Kai Chi Liu ends up with a prominent character.
The Stool Pigeon contains both the action and the character drama, but it is the latter that makes this a solid film worth checking out.
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