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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.
The moment when Eric Tsang smashed Tony Leung's hand cast on a table, I knew instantly that this is a film that I will adore for.. well, forever is a strong word, but it's definitely a long, long time.
Powerful performances by the entire cast including the two mentioned above and of course, the great Andy Lau. An exciting ride that tells a genuinely good and original story. Awesome soundtrack. Cheesy death scenes. No CGI rats. Hong Kong crime thrillers are invincible.
Noir-vember Film #16
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, the lowest level of hell where people who have committed the most awful sins are made to suffer "boundlessly". The two main characters in the story find themselves trapped, with no hope of redemption. They both want to be "good", a rebirth of their identity.…
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,…
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…
Review In A Nutshell:
Infernal Affairs is the story of two individuals, one a mole for the Chinese triad and one an informant placed in the Chinese police force, trying to expose each other.
I found Infernal Affairs plot to be highly engaging but sadly a little thin in its characterisation. Throughout the entire film, I kept thinking how each one would expose each other and whether or not they are able to keep themselves under the shade as both the leaders of these two groups are pressing hard on their tail, but I felt the film had all of that tension put on Chen Wing Yan (Tony) instead of Inspector Lau Kin Ming and it bothered me a little…
Highly original, stylishly executed, cleverly structured & featuring honest performances from its cast, Infernal Affairs is the cinema which later became the blueprint for Martin Scorsese's Academy-Award winning feature, The Departed. And because I watched the latter before the original plus loved it a lot, this crime-thriller ended up being a pretty mediocre experience compared to that foul-mouthed & terrifically performed Hollywood remake.
The plot has the structure of a cat-n-mouse chase & concerns two police officers; one who is an undercover cop working as a mole in a local mafia gang while the other being the member of the mafia gang who infiltrated the police force, and over the years, both have made it to a pretty high position in both forces.…
A very smart and taut thriller that prefers to focus on its characters and the relationship between them instead of jumping into action, shootings and twists as is usually expected from this kind of crime movie.
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All this time i never realized that it's Infernal Affairs and not Internal Affairs
“A double crossbow for a double cross!”
— Minerva Mayflower
2016 movie viewings, #165. I read online that many people consider 2002's Infernal Affairs to be one of the greatest movies ever made; but just to disabuse you of that notion quickly, so you won't be disappointed when watching it, it's not, and you shouldn't go into this expecting it to be some transcendental movie-going experience. I can see, though, why people would say this, because it features one of the most clever premises I've ever seen in a genre film, then executes that complicated premise about as perfectly and as flawlessly as is even possible to do so; not just a movie about a cop who's been groomed from day one of the police academy to eventually become a…
It had a star-studded cast of prominent Chinese actors. It
also revived the fortunes of the Hong Kong movie world. The Chinese name for the film was a reference to the Buddhist concept of Hell. The title was translated into English as Infernal Affairs, which is a play on words,mixing the name Internal
Affairs with the Latin word for Hell, (“Inferno”). The plot for Infernal Affairs is quite complex. Chan Wing- Yan (played by Tony Leung
Chiu-Wai) is a cop. He works undercover for the police. It is
his responsibility to infiltrate the Triads, (the Chinese Mafia).
Another character in the film is Lau Kin-Ming (played by
Andy Lau). He is a member of the Triads. He joins the police.…
If I hadn't already seen The Departed, I probably would have enjoyed Infernal Affairs a lot more than I did. That's not to say it's bad, quite the opposite; the directing is brilliant, the plot is complex yet easy to follow and the performances are great. Tony Leung in particular gives a remarkable turn. I enjoyed the over-the-top artistic style, which was incredibly different to Scorsese's presentation of the story. I can't decide which one I like better. The Departed will forever leave a greater impact on me due to its surprising twists, and unfortunately I'll never be able to experience Infernal Affairs the way it was meant to be seen. I doubt I'm missing much though - it was a lot of fun, but it's not much more than that.
Aside from a few less than optimally integrated subplots and details (Tony Leung's ex and daughter, the psychiatrist, and Inspector Lau's wife--so...yeah...all the women...), I think INFERNAL AFFAIRS is much tighter and a lot more entertaining on a cat-and-mouse genre level. The editing is cleaner, the script more streamlined, and the storytelling more parsimonious. I think the age of this really shows, especially in the music, but, overall, this is a lot of fun.
A tightly woven, deliciously complex piece of entertainment. The story is compelling, the acting is good and the direction is top notch. I could have done without the cheesy dramatic flashback sequences and schmaltzy music though. I also think it felt a bit too rushed at times and some side characters needed to be more fleshed out (problems that Scorsese would remedy in his remake). But this is a tense, creative, highly enjoyable movie. Just remember to have a notepad ready.
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24 Frames Per Century
Black Something (Zellners)…