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. Awards - 23 wins & 19 nominations
Cast & Credits
It’s true that the American version has better visuals because…duh, it was produced four years after Infernal Affairs but the original remains the best. Anyhow, I am not here to compare both versions; let’s talk about this movie.
Infernal Affairs is about the underground world, the triads and the moles. This is probably the best undercover story ever written; the developments created a race against time to reveal the moles within the gang and the police. This is a fast paced rollercoaster ride with many twists and turns that will keep you at the edge of your seat. The suspense element was flawless but the mystery built up was somehow lacking that’s why the storyline didn’t manage to get the perfect score.
Like any other action movie, this one contains violence and brutal killing sometimes but I wouldn’t categorize it as a violent movie. This is basically a thriller-crime mixed up with well-made suspense with the undercover theme as its center.
The acting was quite remarkable, with Tony Leung and Andy Lau as main leads you’re bound to expect something with quality and they surely didn’t disappoint. They were both great in portraying their role and delivering feelings; nothing less from two of the best actors in HKC productions. Other actors like Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang were also quite good and pretty convincing.
This movie’s characterization was the major strength point beside the clever writing of course. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say that all characters will be able to to get your full intention whether they were the good guys or the villains. The writers succeeded in creating top-notch characters’ development that will make you relate with each and every one of them.
The music was fitting for a suspense thriller movie; I also liked the “Shi Shey” song that was played in the background, it was really calming.
Watch this if:
-You’re looking for good suspense thriller with unexpected twists and turns.
- You’re fond of undercover themed stories.
- You’re in the mood for good screenwriting and compelling storyline.
- You like Andy Lau, Tony Leung or both them. This shouldn’t be missed for both of their fans.
Do not expect:
-Happy ever after ending.
All in all, this movie is wonderfully made since it can draw you into the world of darkness and make you strongly attached to its characters and events. If you like the genres, I can guarantee that this movie will manage to move you one way or another.
Leung and Lau are great contrasts to each other but at the same time, also compliments each other. With Lau's charismatic face, he delivers his character with such decency all the while keeping a dark secret. Leung on the other hand, has always been a playful character (he has played a policeman in Chungking Express too!) and his presence on screen is just really nice to watch.
Some say that Martin Scorsese's The Departed is a more "soulless" adaptation of Infernal Affairs but I can't say since I haven't seen the former. But the fact that it is a remake of the latter is enough of a statement to say it's good. I just hope those who watched the former know that it's based of on the latter (I mean with a cast like Dicarpio and Damon, it's difficult not to forget).
Infernal Affairs is intense, gritting and an exciting film to watch. The fact that you have a mole in the mafia and the mole in the police and it's a race against time to figure out the two is already enough to make something worth watching. Living in Hong Kong (and sometimes even taking it for granted), the cinematography of the city here is amazing. There is as much vibrancy as there is much darkness that embodies the two main characters as well.
The action isn't your-head-over-heels action compared to Western films but there's still that edge-of-your-seat feeling. So much dramatic tension and suspense especially on which mole will be figured out first.
Absolutely love that build-up before Eric Tsang (whom I know more as a comedian to be honest so his role here is a refresher for me too and he delivered it well) smashed Tony Leung's cast on the table -- I was surprised. It was too good of a scene. Add that up with music that gives you such adrenaline, you won't be able to take your eye off the screen. And that build-up up the way to the finale -- just brilliantly done. So many scenes that just gives you mini heart attacks.
I couldn't ask for a better ending as well.
I always saw Hong Kong crime thrillers as cheap and ambitious but that's a blind opinion since I haven't seen one before (except for some Jackie Chan classics which I'm not even sure counts as crime thriller) and then came Infernal Affairs. I take it back, Hong Kong crime thrillers are great.