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Infernal Affairs (2004)
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Review Date: December 23, 2004
Director: Wai Keung Lau
Writer: Felix Chong, Siu Fai Mak
Producers: Andy Lau
Actors:
Andy Lau as Lau Kin Ming
Tony Leung as Chan Wing Yan
Anthony Wong as SP Wong
Plot:
An Asian gangster joins the police department as a young man and acts as an inside informant to the mob as he progresses through the ranks. At the same time, another young Asian undercover officer joins the mob underworld as a mole, and progresses through its ranks, while relaying inside information to his superiors at all times. But what happens when both sides realize that the other has a stoolpigeon in their midst? Infernal affairs, baby.
Critique:
This might be yet another case of overblown praise about a film that I was expecting to blow my nuts off, but that turned out to be a solid movie, but nothing to write grandma about, or for which to wake the neighbors. If you enjoyed the classic 80s television program “Miami Vice” and like most crime films having to do with moles, informants, crime and bad guys fighting good guys fighting good guys acting like bad guys and bad guys acting like good guys, you’ll likely appreciate this Asian import that is already being developed into an American version, to be helmed by the great Marty Scorsese and possibly starring Matt Damon and Leo DiCaprio. This film starts a little slowly and doesn’t really pick up much adrenalin until the two main players, playing the police and gangster mole respectively, are established in their new home turfs and have to continually be one step ahead of the other side. It’s an interesting set-up for a cat-and-mouse scenario, in which the twosome must keep on their toes as they attempt to maintain their undercover operations, while at the same time, keeping in touch with their “real” bosses and not giving away their positions. I like shit like this because I myself am a horrible liar and could never pull off anything of the sort.

The film blends the typical elements of most Asian crime thrillers including loyalty, honor and betrayal, but left out one of my most personal favorite elements of action/violence. I kept expecting the film to downshift into some wicked scenes of blood being bathed, but t’was not to be. It simply stuck to its core about the psychological and tense effects of the lead characters’ dangerous plights, and never really delved into the more Woo-esque elements to which a movie such as this might generally subscribe. Granted, it’s an engaging film nonetheless, but I wasn’t altogether surprised by how things turned out or many of its turns. The film did offer a little more emotion than most Asian crime pics, but even then, some of it was on the melodramatic end. I still have no idea why any of the three female characters were even included in the movie, other than for “eye-candy” and pitiful background development on the lead guys. The relationships with those ladies were horribly handled. Who were they? Why were they there? That said, the film doesn’t really emphasize them anyway, so it’s not the end of the world. All in all, I liked this movie but I’m not exactly sure what all the fuss is about, since many of its duplicitous elements have already been covered in many an other film. The film did still offer a nice bit of style, an excellent score which tensed shit up real sweet in a handful of the film’s more thrilling scenes as well as some highly credible acting performances by all around, especially from leads Andy Lau and Tony Leung.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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9:20PM on 01/09/2007

this film kicks so much booty.

I got this flick for christmas, and I dug the hell out of it. Glad I waited on seeing The Departed so I could see the original first, as I think it would have severely hampered my viewing it to be comparing it to the American version... although now, when I get around to watching The Departed, i'm gonna keep thinking about Infernal Affairs. ah well. but yeah, great film. Excellent acting, great script, some nice twists and turns... there were definitely a few moments in the film when I was
I got this flick for christmas, and I dug the hell out of it. Glad I waited on seeing The Departed so I could see the original first, as I think it would have severely hampered my viewing it to be comparing it to the American version... although now, when I get around to watching The Departed, i'm gonna keep thinking about Infernal Affairs. ah well. but yeah, great film. Excellent acting, great script, some nice twists and turns... there were definitely a few moments in the film when I was like, "wow, didn't see that coming", which, y'know, is always good. Definitely check it out if you can, my cronies.
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