Loyalty. Honor. Betrayal.
Chan Wing Yan, a young police officer, has been sent undercover as a mole in the local mafia. Lau Kin Ming, a young mafia member, infiltrates the police force. Years later, their older counterparts, Chen Wing Yan and Inspector Lau Kin Ming, respectively, race against time to expose the mole within their midst.
I always intended on revisiting Infernal Affairs. I remember loving it the first time, a few years ago, and being quite solidly in "the remake sucks" camp. That hasn't changed. But I must confess that this rewatch had nothing to do with wanting to revisit the film per se, and everything to do with my husband pointing out that Tony Leung was in it. Tony Leung, whom I only discovered through Wong Kar-Wai films, Tony Leung who has become my go-to guy. Tony Leung who is my husband's official competition.
I wasn't familiar with Leung when I first watched Infernal Affairs so this viewing was met with typical fan-boy giddiness with a slight splash of deconstructing everything about his looks,…
People actually think this is better than The Departed?
Nowadays known more for being the blueprint for Scorsese's soulless remake The Departed, this little Hong Kong cinema gem is a thrill ride that once it gets going refuses to stop. It has a sharp and succinct script, brisk pacing, and is directed with irresistible flair – it's easy to see why Scorsese wanted to make his own version of it. Despite still remembering most of the important plot points from years and years ago this proved to be some of the more entertaining two hours of 21st century cinema. It's a breath of fresh air in an at the time fairly stale genre with twists coming out of nowhere like a slap in the face and an exciting cat-and-mouse…
I can now see why people call The Departed a "soulless" ripoff of Infernal Affairs. After watching Infernal Affairs, it's amazing to see how many scenes Scorsese pretty much copied from this. It would have been one thing if The Departed was supposed to be a remake, but Scorsese only claims that Infernal Affairs "inspired" The Departed. This is CLEARLY not the case.
Despite the fact The Departed is a shameless rip off, I do think The Departed is better for a number of reasons. Better cast, dialogue, and Scorsese is just a fantastic director. Also The Departed is a more fleshed out film. The pacing in Infernal Affair feels very rushed in comparison. BUT, I do have much more…
Infernal Affairs was my first taste of serious Hong Kong cinema. I had always associated Hong Kong with the martial arts / action films I’d seen in my youth. This was different. Very different.
What I appreciated most about Infernal Affairs was the symmetry. Superintendent Wong is our police protagonist. Hon Sam, our underworld Triad protagonist. Each has a pawn that has infiltrated the other side. Wong has Chan Wing-yan, a mole planted more than a decade ago into Han’s triad. Hon has Lau Kin-ming, an officer in Wong’s squad, also with a decade of experience. Both the masters are the only ones who know about their respective moles identity. This power controls their lives, and both have an almost…
I was thrilled when Scorsese decided to make The Departed, but I am disappointed the only discussion on this film seems to be whether it is superior/inferior to its Hollywood 'remake'. To me the two are vastly different and culturally specific, the only things in common are the skeleton of the plot, and that they are great films.
The original film title 無間道 (literally 'boundless way') came from the idea of Avici (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avici) in Buddhism, which means the lowest level of hell, where people who have committed the most awful sins are made to suffer "boundlessly". So the two main characters in the story find themselves trapped, with no hope of redemption. They both want to be "good", a rebirth…
The Departed is almost an exact copy even in details!
Honestly, after seen this is hard to have The Departed in such high regard as before. Aside from cultural adaptations and a few small changes, they're exactly the same movie, even the soundtrack and sense of humor are similar, Martin Scorsese added nothing to it, and to realize his movie is one of those pointless remakes like the new Oldboy, is really saddening, I just think he could have done better.
Infernal Affairs have a more downbeating resolution though, being that the only remarkable difference from Scorsese's copy, I mean version. Comparisons asunder, Infernal Affairs, the second chinese crime thriller I've seen this year, reinforced my intention of watching other movies from the same batch.
This is my second rewatch and I must say this has always been one of my favorite movies. This movie is obviously getting compared with ‘the remake’ (as the inspiration for) The Departed. I’m one of the lucky people that saw this movie twice before The Departed even came out.
Both movies have a lot of similarities of course but Infernal Affairs will always be my favorite even though The Departed is a better movie. Martin Scorcese did an excellent job by taking out all the flaws (mostly the excessive use of flashbacks (that’s a little bit Hong-Kong-ish though not a flaw)), he also took more time to actually tell the story and also he extended all the memorable scenes…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I found the Departed curiously forgettable, and while this is pretty taut, it also didn't make the big impression I was expecting. It also batters you around the head with flashbacks which made me groan.
Salīdzinot ar 2006. gada Martina Skorsēzes rimeiku The Departed, Infernal Affairs ir daudz vienkāršāks un nav visai rafinēts. Taču šī Honkongas filma ir ārkārtīgi labi nofilmēta. Kameras darbība šo filmu padara dinamisku un tumšu. Stunda un četrdesmit minūtes pagājā ļoti ātri.
This is the ultimate cat-and-mouse game. A member of a Korean organized crime is a mole in the police force, while a police officer is a mole in the very same crime syndicate. Each side knows that there is a mole, they just don't who it is.
The stakes are high. The scenes are tense. The acting is superb. This is a great movie, so much better than its American remake, THE DEPARTED.
One cannot relate all the superlatives of this film without the risk of missing something.
This is the film "The Departed" wanted to be when they tried to duplicate it -- they didn't come close.
Felix Chong and Siu Fai Mak wrote this incredible story of and undercover cop in the mob, and an undercover mobster on the police force (Andy Lau). Directors Wai Keung Lau and Siu Fai Mak (again) did not waste one second of the hour and a half that this story runs.
The sound was superlative. The art direction, cinematography, music, visual effects and editing were top notch, and the action choreography was the equal of any Chinese action film - just breathtaking!
And then there…
Yep, The Departed was definitely based on this film. And yep, it is definitely an improvement.
Infernal Affairs takes that entertaining central crime conceit and does just about nothing with it. There is no character development for either Andy Lau's or Tony Leung's character. It's possible the actual dialogue is snappy and entertaining, but in the translated version I was reading, it wasn't. Instead, it's mostly what you would expect a cop struggling with his life as an undercover to say, etc.
The film spends more time on certain crime scenes than The Departed, which is not a bad thing. The microprocessor exchange where phones are being tracked and sneaky texts are being sent is the best scene in the…