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無間道III (2003)
Infernal Affairs III

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Chinoco
Date: 08/27/2006
Summary: Major Letdown

This is in my opinion the weakest of the series. Characterization was the strong point of the first movie, and IF2 was a classic Triad film with some decent action thrown in. None of these strengths are evident in the third film. It seems to be about Andy Lau’s character Ming’s decent in to madness, but I feel that it didn’t quite work.

IF3 has Andy Lau as well as Tony Leung, Eric Tsang, and Anthony Wong back. Half the movie is in flashback form (it has to be because most of the characters are dead by the time of the movie), and the other half is in the present day.

Ming has been cleared of any wrong doing in the death of Tony Leung’s undercover cop. Before being sent back to his department, he gets placed in a desk job for a short period of time until things settle down. His personal goal is to find out all of the other moles that were planted into the police force by his old Triad boss Sam (Tsang). He is immediately suspicious of SP Yeung (Leon Lai), a rival officer who appears to have it out for him. As with any of the IF movies however, things are not always what they seem to be, and maybe some people are beginning to be suspicions of Ming.

As mentioned, I think this movie had something planned, but it just seems to go nowhere. While it is good to see Tsang, Wong, and Leung in flashback form, nothing of importance is really added to the plot. If anything, even more storyline inconsistencies (a problem in IF2) are developed. What we are left with is a meandering plot that just drags. There is some build up towards the end, but even that fizzles out and nothing much happens. The ending has no absolutely no payoff and I was left with a “what was the point” feeling. Action is also non-existent in this film.

This was a sad way to end a great series. Production values are outstanding however, as well as the picture quality and sound. The film does gain a point or two due to having great actors, and being part of a successful series.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: made for the sake of it?

now, i've only watched each of these films once. i watched the first one about 18 months ago and the second one about six months ago.

i really liked the first one, it's vastly superior to each of the sequels. the second one was okay, a bit convoluted at times, but if you're as big a fan of eric tsang as i am, then that's not such a problem.

as for this one; there's a lot that just seemed to pass me by...

it seemed to be following 'the godfather - part 2' narrative structure, but i was pretty much just lost for several chunks of the film. it seemed to be be very drawn out, but still very bitty. what was there, was uninspiring drivel.

maybe i should re-watch them all in quick succession. however, i'm not sure that it's worth it...

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 02/15/2006
Summary: descends into madness

In the third film of the series, co-directors Andrew Lau Wai-Keung and Alan Mak Siu-Fai keep things as tight and as interesting as they did in the first two movies. This time around the filmmakers continue their story from were the first movie ended. The screenplay, by Mak and Felix Chong Man-Keung, jumps around in the timeline of events as Ming, played by Andy Lau, slowly descends into madness. His performance is exceptionally compelling. As with the first two award winning films, all of the production values and technical aspects set new standards of excellence for the Hong Kong film industry.


Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: tommyman
Date: 02/04/2005
Summary: Finally, every secret is revealed!

Infernal Affairs III is a good, though not great, finale to Infernal Affairs series. The movie is more of a tell-all story for every secret thing viewers of the first and second movies might be wondering or confused about.

After the first episode awed us with its highly-suspenseful story, there came the second episode which revealed the history of the first one. This third and final episode is more like an answer to every question many people are wondering after watching the first and second episodes. The techniques used for telling the story in this movie are quite excellent, though it might confuse some viewers a little bit with the story goes back and forth between past and present. And to the fact that this movie came out more than a year after the first one, it makes the confusion even more obvious. I had to go back and watch the first and second episodes again in order to understand every point of the movie and found out that most of the situation in this final episode make sense. True, that there are some points that aren't believeable but they can be forgiven as these are movies after all.

The acting performance in the movie is good with the leading role now shifts to Andy Lau and he handles his job respectably well. Tony Leung is excellent as usual but doesn't have much role as the first one. IMO, the first episode is Tony leung's showcase and this third one belongs to Andy Lau. The only actor who doesn't do his job well is Li Ming; I can't find myself believe that he is a police officer at all.

Anyway, this movie is a good farewell to the series. It is a must-see for people who already watched the first and second episodes. For people who haven't watched the previous episodes, I strongly recommend that you go buy the first two DVDs before getting through this movie. otherwise, you might get confused big time.

7.5/10 IMHO

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 09/30/2004
Summary: The end of the trilogy

Unlike other reviewers, i found this movie inferior to the 2nd one.
I found it confusing jumping from the past to the present, it made me unsure was these all "dream sequences?" or was this reality?This was my main compliant with this.

Though all parts of the movie was needed to build character development, i just found some parts just plain boring. The tension of what was going to happen next wasn't there.

All actors didn't have to do much in there roles, Leon Lai plays a "zombie" role and Kelly Chan doesn't do much either.

Still worth the watch and a good end to the trilogy


Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: PAUL MARTINEZ
Date: 08/30/2004

After reviewing the first 2 installments of this series I was anxious and a bit worried to see IA3. Trilogies tend to falter at the concluding installment. Not here though. I actually enjoyed this more than part 2.

In keeping with the Godfather Part II influence this series had, this was both a sequel as well as a prequel. This type of storytelling is both challenging and bold. It can lead to the storyline becoming quite convoluted and at times in IA3 it did. The directors did a good job of tying things together at the end, so if you get frustrated early on give it some time. While I thought Tony Leung gave the best performance of this film, I felt there was too much time allotted to the flashbacks. This movie was about Andy Lau's character, Ming, & his dealing with what he did to Yan in the first part.I thought we needed to stay with him a little longer. This movie seemed to right some of the wrongs I felt were done in the prequel to some of the characters, especially Eric Tsang's Sam. Leon Lai did a good job as Ming's protagonist. Kelly Chen has a great look but the script doesnt allow us to see her range as an actress. So while I can't criticize her, I stop short of giving her any praise.

While the first 2 can stand alone, IA3 is dependent on you seeing the first 2. That's not a complaint it's just a fact. Overall this was a well made trilogy. With the exception of some of what I would call lapses of focus in Part 2, it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 06/18/2004

Very rarely is the third installment in a trilogy considered the strongest entry, and judging by the initial reaction to Infernal Affairs III, I was fully expecting a Godfather III-style suck-a-thon. Andrew Lau was said to have had a tough time writing and directing this film, and it seemed to have reflected that onscreen, based on the tepid local box office take and reviews. Thankfully, though -- even if it's not as good as the first two films -- Infernal Affairs III is still a solid crime drama, even though it does depend too much on having the viewer seeing the previous movies, the first film in particular.

The events here take place after the first part, as Triad-turned-cop Andy Lau has been cleared of corruption charges resulting from the events in IA1. However, a seemingly dirty officer played by Leon Lai still has his doubts -- as does Lau. A series of flashbacks, which highlight the relationship cop-turned-Triad Tony Leung had with his psychiatrist (Kelly Lin) help fill in the details, which leads up to the final clash between Triads and cops -- but who is on which side?

Flashbacks can be a powerful tool, but frankly, I think they are overused here. The story becomes much too convoluted and hard to follow, even for those who have seen the other movies -- those who are dving into the Infernal Affairs saga with this picture are more than a little likely to be totally bewildered as to exactly what the hell's going on. The film-makers seem to know this, as they have to throw a label on-screen every time there is a time shift.

The flashback gimmick should be something natural and free-flowing within a movie, but it seems forced in Infernal Affairs III. Really, even though I enjoyed Tony Leung's work, we probably could have gotten away with his character for the most part. The Lau/Lai conflict was interesting enough. Adding Leung in just put too many flavors in the broth, and the whole cinematic stew seemed too diluted as a result. The characters are nicely portrayed (I even enjoyed Chapman To's turn here), but there's just too many people and too many sub-plots -- and, as such, it's hard to develop any real interest in any of them.

Still, I did enjoy Infernal Affairs III. The actors all do a good job (with the exception of Kelly Chan, who seems to be going into more of a "jade vase" mode with each new role), Andrew Lau's trademark visual style is as always nice to look at, and the score is great. It's just that overall, Infernal Affairs III feels like a great boxing match that goes on for ten rounds and then ends by a sucker punch -- it's great to watch, but leaves a bit of a sour taste in your mouth.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 02/27/2004
Summary: Good to the Last Shot

"The more things change, the more they stay the same" is the best way to sum up "Infernal Affairs 3" (IA3). This sequel to the successful "Infernal Affairs" returns to the main characters, Yan and Ming (Tony Leung and Andy Lau). And, once again the script by Felix Chong and Alan Mak is dense and full of circuitous plot elements that provide the ebb and flow of the film. The directors, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, use the narrative convention of slipping back and forth in time with Yan's death as the dividing line of past and present. This allows characters, dead and alive, to continue to exist in the world of movie magic. This time out, Leon Lai Ming joins the cast as Yeung, a police investigator at odds with Andy Lau's Ming.

At first "Infernal Affairs 3" may be a bit confusing as it weaves a story told before and after Yan's murder. But once things get going, it's a fast downhill ride. The first IA movie was all about the cat-and-mouse game of wits; IA2 showed how everyone was evil; IA3 demonstrates that what you see is different from what you get, and that appearances can truly be deceiving.

In IA3, Tony's charisma burns bright while Andy turns in a fine and demanding performance, with a nod to Kelly Chen for adding some soul to the cold and calculated predicaments. As Yan gets his vengeance from the grave, Ming grows remorseful and takes on some of Yan's traits to help him through the guilt. Some of the movie's most effective scenes are those with Kelly, Tony and Andy, featuring hypnotism, relaxation therapy and an occasional Freudian slip. Wong and Sam revert to background characters as the emphasis shifts towards Chen Dao Ming as Shen and Yeung.

This true sequel helped to put the prequel IA2 out of my mind, as IA3's shifting of time to bring past and present together was a great device. The star power of Tony Leung and Andy Lau didn't hurt either. The script held together much better than in IA2, where too many inconsistencies interrupted the viewing pleasure. IA3 remedies this by returning to the main presence of Tony and Andy and allowing them to pick up directly from where they left off from the original film.

"Infernal Affairs 3" is a worthy sequel in every respect, with a grand finish.