|A good precursor to Martin Scorsese's masterful film.|
Directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak
Produced by Andrew Lau
Written by Alan Mak and Felix Chong
Starring Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Eric Tsang and Anthony Wong
Plot Summary: A mole (Lau) in the Hong Kong police department and an undercover cop (Leung) play cat-and-mouse to uncover each other's identities.
Significance: Considered one of the greatest modern crime thrillers in Asian cinema, it was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#894 in the critics poll). The film also won numerous international awards, including 7 Hong Kong Film Awards. Of course, it spawned the Oscar-winning remake The Departed as well.
Thoughts: This film feels like a very thin version of The Departed, though I need to see the rest of the trilogy. It moves at breakneck speed, but almost too quickly. While the film establishes so much so fast, it doesn't register as deeply as the more involving American version. Granted, it's hard not to be influenced by seeing the remake first, and the original version is still a thrilling piece of cinema. The performances by Leung and Lau are solid, and the writing feels like a beautiful diamond in the rough. Admittedly, The Departed is a massive improvement on this material, but Infernal Affairs is worth a look for being kind of fascinating. While I'd recommend the The Departed over this, I fully intend to check out the other two films, which might improve my view of this entertaining crime drama.