Eye in the Sky (2007 film)

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Eye in the Sky
Directed by Yau Nai-hoi
Written byYau Nai-hoi
Au Kin-yee
Produced by Johnnie To
Tsui Siu-Ming
Starring Simon Yam
Tony Leung Ka-fai
Kate Tsui
CinematographyTony Cheung
Edited byDavid M. Richardson
Music byGuy Zerafa
Dave Klotz
Distributed by Sundream Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 21 June 2007 (2007-06-21)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryHong Kong
Languages Cantonese
Box officeUS$1,792,872 [1]

Eye in the Sky (traditional Chinese :跟蹤; simplified Chinese :跟踪, Literally: Tracing) is a 2007 Hong Kong action thriller film [2] starring Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka-fai and Miss Hong Kong pageant winner Kate Tsui in her film debut. Yam and Tsui play surveillance operatives on the trail of a gang of professional robbers led by Chan Chong-Shan (Leung). The title is derived from the casino surveillance tech "eye in the sky". It marks the directorial debut of Yau Nai-hoi, a long-time screenwriter for films directed by Johnnie To, who co-produced the film with his production company Milkyway Image. Eye in the Sky premiered as an Official Selection at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival, and as an Opening Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. It was released in Hong Kong on 21 June 2007.



The story begins with a group of organised burglars successfully robbing a jewelry store. Wet-behind-the-ears new recruit Piggy (Kate Tsui) is plunged at the deep end in her first surveillance assignment working alongside her mentor, Sergeant Wong (Simon Yam). They work for the Hong Kong Police Force's Criminal Intelligence Bureau. After reviewing the jewelry store surveillance videos recordings, the force attempts to track down one of the robbers by staking out the neighborhood they think he lives in.

Fatman (Lam Suet) is identified and tracked without his knowledge through a combination of tails, surveillance footage, and data-mining, including accessing his Octopus card. The force ambush is established at the scene of the next robbery, but the elusive Hollow Man (Tony Leung Ka-fai) notices the police. As the robbers flee, some are killed by a Police Tactical Unit, but the rest escape. Chan kills a uniformed police officer as he flees, and Piggy stops to give first aid rather than continue the pursuit.

The surveillance unit is then called to another case; a kidnapping. Piggy is staking out a phone booth where the kidnapper may make a call, when she sees Hollow Man go by. She recognises the kidnapper from Fatman's apartment building and allows the police to rescue the kidnap victim, while she pursues Hollow Man. After a tense confrontation in a cafe, where Hollow Man confronts her, she escapes suspicion, but Hollow Man notices Sergeant Wong and stabs him in the neck with a pair of scissors. Wong convinces Piggy to continue to follow Hollow Man as he slowly bleeds to death.

Piggy follows Hollow Man to his hideout and calls for the Police Tactical Unit again. Meanwhile, Wong survives his injury and gets medical attention. In the raid on the hideout, Hollow Man flees down a dock and wounds himself mortally in the neck running past a hanging hook, and the other robbers are captured.



The film received generally favourable reception and was hailed for the plot's authentic and dark atmosphere, and realistic use of surveillance tech to make the story believable. One criticism was that the film was too short and therefore not enough for those looking for something more. [3]

Perry Lam of Muse magazine writes, 'If the ending of the movie is more than a little contrived and predictable, there are enough surprises along the way for us to savor before we get there.' [4]

Festivals and awards

Eye in the Sky premiered as an Official Selection at The 2007 Berlin Film Festival and as an Opening Film at The Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations
27th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Film Eye in the SkyNominated
Best Director Yau Nai-hoi Nominated
Best ScreenplayYau Nai-hoi, Au Kin-yee Nominated
Best Actor Simon Yam Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Maggie Shiu Nominated
Best New Performer Kate Tsui Won
Best New DirectorYau Nai-hoiWon
Best Film EditingDavid M. RichardsonNominated
2nd Asian Film Awards Best Film EditingDavid M. RichardsonNominated
Golden Horse Film Awards Best Director Yau Nai-hoiNominated
Best Supporting ActressMaggie ShiuNominated
Best Original Film ScoreGuy ZerafaNominated
Best Film EditingDavid M. RichardsonNominated
14th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards Best Actor Tony Leung Ka-fai Won
Film of MeritEye in the SkyWon


A South Korean remake titled Cold Eyes starring Sol Kyung-gu, Jung Woo-sung and Han Hyo-joo was released in 2013. [5]

See also

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  1. "Box office by Country: Eye In The Sky Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-04
  2. "Eye in the Sky (2007) - Yau Nai-hoi". AllMovie.
  3. hkcinemagic quick review
  4. Lam, Perry (June 2007). "Eye in the Sky". Muse Magazine (5): 75.
  5. Ji, Yong-jin (8 February 2013). "Police Are Hot in Pursuit of a Kingpin in COLD EYES". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 11 February 2013.