Movie Details


They are known as the "sparrows" or Hong Kong`s street slang for "pickpockets". They work in group, lifting wallets from unsuspected tourists, until one day an irresistible woman of unknown origin appears before them, requesting the gang to steal a key for her. The set-up begins to unravel itself when the mission completes. The pickpockets realise that this exotic beauty has been slowly leading them onto a path of no return.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 26 Jun 2008
Genre: Action
Running Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Cast: Simon Yam
Format: NA


Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
Effects: NA

Watch this if you liked: "Ming Ming", The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg", "Confidence"

Milky Way movies always have some sort of charm to them - same goes for Johnnie To movies. While "Sparrow" is more style than substance, To's delightful camerawork make it worth the while, even if it's just for the aesthetics.

Diverting from the usual crime genre, "Sparrow" goes for the musical feel. Its central characters, a band of pickpockets who comb the streets of Hong Kong, are always floating about, adjusting their hair and looking ever so likely to break into song at any moment. The jazzy score confirms the direction. The leader played by Simon Yam heads Gordon Lam, Law Wing Cheong and Kenneth Cheung, as they go about in leisure to further their criminal enterprise. However, they seem more interested in riding bicycles, eating fried rice and photographing landscapes more than anything else.

So do not be fooled - this is not an action movie. By the time Kelly Lin waltzes into Simon Yam's viewfinder, the story gets more romantic. She prances about exuding false mystery, while we get semi-sucked into a lot of background about some tycoon mobster she's whored herself to.

Dreamy and very fleeting, "Sparrow" is a date movie for couples skipping work on a weekday. For more serious cineastes, its intended lack of depth might irk a few. It's also strange to see so much of Kelly Lin these days. Malaysians seem to get a hold of many of her recent movies like "Mad Detective" and "Triangle". It can be a case of miscasting because Lin's screen persona does not measure up to the star appeal needed for some of her roles. She could pull off being the triad moll in "Boarding Gate" alongside Asia Argento but in "Sparrow", it seems unlikely that her demure looks can get a rise out of so many men, let alone fool them into doing her bidding.

Much like her, the movie itself isn't a head-turner. "Sparrow" makes good home cinema viewing for lazy Sunday afternoons. No conventional romance in this here heist - just some excellent photography of birds and bicycles.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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