Infernal Affairs (2002)
Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis on 2004-03-07
Summary: A standout movie from Hong Kong!
After the extremely disappointing 'Wesley's Mysterious Files', director Andrew Lau teams up with Alan Mak to reunite HK superstars Andy Lau and Tony Leung in an all-star cast, hi-concept thriller.

Triad boss Sam (Eric Tsang) is disappointed by the progress of his Triad members. To make sure he won't fail again, he sends a handful of new recruits to join the police as moles. One of them is Ming (Lau - played by Edison Chen as younger Ming) who has risen to the status of leiutenant in ten years after joining the police. To crack down Triad activity, SP Wong (Anthony Wong) sent Yan (Tony Leung - played by Shawn Yue as younger Yan) undercover to infiltrate the Triad as Ming entered the police force. When a drugs bust goes awry, both leaders are aware of the moles in their present. And a deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues....

This may look like the average violent HK action movie, but it stands far from it. This film focuses more on the characters to develop the story. We also learn that Yan is tired as a mole and is in need of psychological rest, he only sleeps at the couch of his shrink Dr. Lee (Kelly Chen) whom he builds an affection for. Ming on the other hand feels concious about his actions and wants to get by as an honest cop.

This movie combines the style of the 'Young and Dangerous' series with a powerful script making it a mixture of Hollywood thrillers (Heat, Donnie Brasco) and the works of John Woo and Wong Kar-Wai. But this film is much more enjoyable than 'Heat' (which is a good movie too). Hats off to Tony Leung - his performance was the best thing in this movie. Eric Tsang took me by surprise as he played Triad boss Hon Sam very well in a menacing way, and Anthony Wong also maintains a praiseworthy performance. Andy Lau seems to be a bit too similar to his other movies, but still plays his character quite well. 'Infernal Affairs' contains familiar references to Lau's previous successes - the steadicam shots used in 'Young and Dangerous' as well as the opening sequence as it is similar to 'The Stormriders'.

All-in-all, a good movie with a good concept which has proved that Hong Kong cinema still has it.

Reviewer Score: 10