Sparrow - movie review


 Sparrow - movie review

 I once owned this on a DVD, but I managed to get this on a Blu Ray disc whilst I was in Hong Kong not too long ago and I decided to re-visit this movie.

When you think of Johnnie To's works, this might not spring to mind, and indeed when you compare it to one of his more sophisticated works, this seems like a distraction, but make no mistake, it is a worthwhile distraction and a definitely solid way to spend an evening viewing. 

My usual practice is to have a short take on the plot, but let's get to the money... Kelly Lin is one very good reason to watch this movie... she is one hot babe and in this movie, she sulks, smokes and just plays a sultry and yet pitiful lady who entices, pleads and cajoles Simon Yam's motley band of 'Sparrows' aka pickpockets to assist her in getting her passport from this old man so she can be reunited with her loved one.

The catch, well, the old man with her passport is no ordinary old man, but a master
'Sparrow' himself. And the finale of the movie sees him pit his skills against the newly recruited bunch led by Simon Yam. 

The plot takes a while to build up, and it's a pleasure seeing Kelly running around the streets of Hong Kong in her lovely shoes and other finery.

This also gives the sound technicians in this movie a chance to re-create a lovely soundfield. If you are looking for big booms, bombs and bangs, you will be disappointed, but this 7.1 channel Blu Ray disc will give your system a fine work out. There is plenty of jazz music with decent bass, and the sounds of Hong Kong will envelop you and caress you as you are immersed in the ambiance, and feel emphatically for the four who helpless fall for the charms of Kelly Lin. 

Did I mention that she is hot? This smoldering beauty is one reason the plot works, adding a touch of sadness to her red hot seductress image. One great camera work scene is how she shares a cigarette with Simon and stains the white filer with her bright red lipstick and time slows down as she returns the stained cigarette to Simon, who relishes the next draw on the cigarette, which he fully realises will have his lips wrapped around the lipstick stained filter tip. If there a greater demonstration of how to use a cigarette to make love, I know not of it...

Of course, a damsel in distress needs a hero or heroes to rescue her and it all leads to the final showdown, where the four protagonists, led by Simon pit their wits and skills against the old man in order to see who can steal her passport and grant her freedom or will the old man keep her passport and also get to chop off Simon's hand. This showdown reminds me of the ancient swordsmen, as they face off with one another, and here, small concealed razor blades replace swords as the weapon of choice as the men seek to outwit and outsteal one another.


This finale goes into style overdrive, using a combination of slow camera work, rain and the charm of Simon Yam and his ability to convey so much emotion with just a little grimace or smile. In fact the cinematography used seems to make Hong Kong look like Paris, and the music along with Simon Yam’s well tailored suits, certainly help. The supporting cast also add to the simple plot, and the solid chemistry amongst the actors that Johnnie To often uses make a big difference. They really show how comfortable they are with one another and that they are truly having fun making this show.

And that’s how it is, with plenty of style, a really hot babe and some deft camera work , along with a very nice soundfield, make this a good rental and probably a keeper if you are a fan of Johnnie To’s work and don’t mind some very serious eye candy in the form of a smoldering hot Kelly Lin..


Now did I mention that she is so hot?




I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

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