The prequel to Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's smash hit Infernal Affairs opens in 1991, with Inspector Wong (Anthony Wong) explaining the frustrations of police work to gangster Sam (Eric Tsang). He also expresses his desire to see the seemingly reasonable Sam take over he reins of the local triad from the current boss. When that boss is murdered, with no apparent heir, it seems that Hong Kong is going to explode in an all-out gang war. But the boss' bespectacled, soft-spoken, and well-mannered son, Hau (Francis Ng), unexpectedly takes charge, calmly and cleverly defusing the situation. Meanwhile, Yan (Shawn Yu, reprising his role as the younger version of Tony Leung's character in the first Infernal Affairs) is thrown out of the police academy for breaking the rules, and it's discovered that he's Hau's half-brother. Wong recruits him to work undercover in Hau's organization. Ming (Edison Chen playing the younger Andy Lau) is a corrupt cop secretly working for Sam. His progress up the ranks of the police force is swift, but his relationship with Sam is threatened when he finds himself falling in love with Sam's girlfriend, Mary (Carina Lau). For his part, as the handover of Hong Kong to China approaches, Hau plots to become involved in "legitimate" politics, and to avenge himself against those he believes responsible for his father's death. Chapman To reprises his role as the goofy Keung. Infernal Affairs II was selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center for inclusion in the 2004 New York Film Festival. Add Synopsis In Portuguese
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This is practically a prequel instead of a sequel; we get to go in depth of Yan and Ming’s past as well as Sam, Wong and many other characters. So you can guess that this movie will explain the beginning and the background of our characters. As much as I hated the premise at the beginning, I came to enjoy it afterwards because of one reason only: The idea was pretty well executed!
The writers succeeded at making the past stories interesting even though we know all of their destinies. The main reason why this movie felt intriguing to watch is because of the new obstacle that the screenwriters were successful at integrating it without ruining the future story (what we already know from the first movie). The fact that the younger Yan has to spy on his half-brother as his first mission was really absorbing. And let’s not forget the gangs and the fights to take over the reins of Hong Kong’s triad.
Just like the first Infernal Affairs, this movie had absorbing action, good thriller as well as pretty cool suspense which I highly appreciated it. Just a heads up though, I believe that this movie was more violent than the first one but I still wouldn’t consider it a “Violent movie”.
The negative point that I found about this movie’s storyline is the fact that we know almost all the characters’ destiny from the first movie so no matter how hard the screenwriters tried to manipulate their fate, we would know that nothing will happen until it’s the first movie’s era. I thought that was somehow handicapping on the suspense level.
Now let’s talk about the acting, Yue Shawn and Chen Edison can’t be at the same level as Andy Lau and Tony Leung but they were surprisingly convincing. I do believe that they did a good job as the younger versions of Yan and Ming. Besides, Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang were left untouched which was relieving. As for the added actors, they were also good enough.
The characters were well-written. The younger versions of Yan and Ming were nice to follow but I must admit that the younger version of Yan was way more interesting than Ming’s no matter how much you think about it. That’s because Yan was involved with his half-brother Hau, who I believe is the best written character in this movie and the reason behind its fascinating events. Hau is such an attention-grabbing character! He’s so calm, intelligent, well-mannered and never acts without thinking twice. He’s the villain alright but I never managed to hate him; actually, I came to love the way his character was executed. So the fact that Yan was spying on him was highly cool to watch. Other than that, there were other characters that I didn’t appreciate their addition especially Mary who ruined Ming’s character for me.
Basically, if you saw the first Infernal Affairs then you should give this prequel a shot. You will be able to understand the characters’ motives and you will get to know many behind stories as well as new events that will keep you interested.