Movies that are slightly off.
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.…
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…
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…
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.…
The Departed ha allungato notevolmente il brodo.
QUESTO FILM DURA UN'ORA E MEZZA!!
One day the elevator doors will close in time :-(
Still far better than a certain remake
How is a film with Andy Lau and Tony Leung so shit? The difference between this and The Departed is that this jumps right into the action without providing a proper backstory, consequently you know nothing about either character nor do you care for them. The action is like a cheesy 80's film, and the plot is jumbled all over the place.
If it ever comes up that I need to recommend a film, Infernal Affairs is one of my go tos. It's a really easy film to like, and is a lot more morally ambiguous that I remembered. Some over of the HK-Drama aspects annoyed me a little, and the opening scenes felt a bit rushed, but overall, I think this surpasses the Scorsese remake. Tony Leung is terrific as ever, though I feel he is as typecast as they come, as "broody morally questionable policeman"
When your movie is remade by Martin Scorsese, your movie is forever to be doomed into being considered "that movie Scorsese made better," especially when that Scorsese film is nominated and wins a bunch of awards and the original doesn't. Thing is, Infernal Affairs is by far the better film. Why? The Departed is by no means a bad movie, but it makes several missteps that actually hinder it considering the genre.
This is a thriller through and through. The Departed slows down it's pace in the early parts of the film for some unneeded character development. This is completely unnecessary because it adds nothing to the film as a whole and kills the pacing. What Infernal Affairs does is…
INFERNAL AFFAIRS > THE DEPARTED.
"Longevity is a big hardship in Continuous Hell."
It's really difficult for me to separate Infernal Affairs from The Departed in my mind. While watching, I was constantly drawing comparisons. Hey that one's Matt Damon. That one's Martin Sheen. It's weird that this is moving so quickly. As it stands, I much prefer Scorsese's reimagining, though the original isn't without merit.
This is my first taste of Hong Kong crime and I felt that this gave me a good once-around of the techniques and sensibility that come with the genre. The quick cuts to nature and fast-motion/slow-motion editing are really neat and imbue the gritty material with a mythic feel. I could do without the melodramatic flashbacks and invasive score that I already associated with the genre going…
Some pictures and more recommendations and the reasons why this list exists over at The End of Cinema.
My canon. In (approximate) order of favorite films, not necessarily of best action sequences.
Trying to keep a relatively open…