|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.
This is the first film in my 2015 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.
Glad you got to see this. I feel pretty much the same way. It's a wonderful movie, but The Departed dwarfs it. I also need to see the rest of the trilogy, though.ReplyDelete
Yeah, The Departed is on another level, but the rest of the trilogy might help in my evaluation of the first film.Delete
I've heard the The Departed is actually based on all three films and that in order to get the whole picture, you really do need to see all three. I've wanted to seek them out. Nice review buddy!ReplyDelete
Thanks man! I think seeing all three would help, for sure.Delete
I disagree that it's dwarfed by The Departed. While Scorsese's work is great, I like how brisk and quick the original is with the material. Lau and Mak don't waste time and just deliver a great crime thriller. Of course, I did see this first, so that probably plays a role in my impressions.ReplyDelete
I love the pacing of the film, but the material is handled with much more emphasis on character in The Departed, for me at least. If I hadn't seen Scorsese's film first, I might have a different outlook. As it is, I feel that The Departed gets the most out of this material. Though, I do agree Infernal Affairs is a great crime thriller.Delete
It's always interesting when you see the remake first before the original. I feel the same way about Sabrina in that I LOVE the remake more. I do like Tony Leung and though I haven't seen The Departed, I'm curious to check this one out.ReplyDelete
I saw the remake of Sabrina first as well, but it was years before I saw the original. I've seen The Departed several times, so it was hard to shake it from my mind when I was watching this more compressed version of the story. Since you're curious about IA, I'd recommend it. :)Delete
This is one of the best Asian thrillers I ever seen... Honestly I liked how The Departed wrapped up this trilogy into a compact film, but indeed, I loved the original.ReplyDelete
Hi, sinekdoks. I need to see the other two films in the trilogy. Then I'll probably have a better appreciation of how The Departed adapted them.Delete