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Capsule Reviews

Eye In The Sky    (2006)
Forget about the intriguing posters for this one. For those expecting a sophisticated updating of Enemy of the State or some such paranoid-conspiracy theory number, much disappointment lies ahead. And it didnít even take Big Brother to stamp out any creativity in the project. Seems like Eye in the Sky fell victim to its own hushed and brief proviso, amounting to one of the most perplexingly short and underwhelming releases so far this year.

Expectations run high as Tony Leung Ka Fai and Simon Yam saddle up to what by all rights could have been so much more. Opening sequences do bring with them fleeting glances of the delightful hi-tech, surveillance-rich spy mood the movieís promotional material sort of wanted you to buy into, but thatís the extent of titillation they managed here.

We soon realize Eye in the Sky is nothing more than yet another cops and robbers affair, and not even remotely one of the more poignant youíve never seen. It does come across that director Yau Nai Hoi previously worked with Johnnie To and his crew on stuff like The Mission and Expect the Unexpected, but apparently on his own he canít match those classics.

Instead, we get a minimal story, paper tiger villains who crumble all too soon and a fatherly good cop character that seemingly canít die. That last one really pooped the party, which sounds mean, but after building up the melodrama in an almost-touching scene having the guy come back from the dead is simply awkward.

So both Simon Yam and good old Tony Leung fail to make a lasting impression here, but what about the supporting cast? Well, a mixed bag as usual. Kate Tsui is Little Piggy, a new recruit to the HKPDís surveillance unit (SU), a gathering of people with the knack to be anyone, anywhere and anyhow. They even know where you buy your saltines and soda. That aside, Tsui is OK for some scenes, but overall thereís no raving about her output in this film.

Likable soap opera Wayne Lai does his best and is impressive, but gets about ten seconds on screen so what can you do? Likewise, Maggie Siu (PTU) is cool as a constantly-cussing commanding madam, albeit doesnít get explored much beyond. To its credit, Eye in the Sky does have numerous instances of the beloved F word, and finally a classic shootout-with-vans-on-a-deserted-Hong Kong-overpass type of deal between the crooks and bemasked tactical unit cops. Not bad that one!

Sadly that last exclamation does not apply to the rest of the movie. Eye in the Sky is simply not worth getting excited over nor keeping your peepers peeled for.

Rating: 6/10
Lee Alon 6/28/2007 - top

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 6/28/2007 Lee Alon

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