Infernal Affairs (2002)

Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang,
Mou gaan dou is a movie starring Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, and Anthony Chau-Sang Wong. A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who...
  • 8.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Felix Chong, Writer:
  • Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak, Director:
  • Producer:

Trailer:

10 / 10

It has changed my expectation on crime drama forever

This movie has been regarded as the cream of Hong Kong gangster and cop movie. And has won 22 awards. But we all know awards don't mean a thing sometimes. The God Father of America cinema "Martin Scorsese" himself is making a American version of the movie, titled: Departed. I'm somewhat happy to see that this movie is being recognized and acknowledged by a true master, but distraught to the possibility of disappointment.

A little history of Hong Kong film industry, being in somewhat government free state for over 100 years, Hong Kong movie industry proliferated to the state of hysteria. On one hand, everything goes as long as people get what they want for 2 hours worth. On the other hand, lack of political drama has afforded the gangster and cop drama to truly grow and mature.

Now back to the movie itself. 3 years ago, when I was still a poor student, I was loitering in the local Chinese video store as usual, looking for something exciting. The owner handed me a VHS copy of this movie, he personally recommended it and said it's new and unique. So I went home and watched it immediately. And then I said in my then dark and dingy apartment for 30 minutes, in utter silence.

There was no plot twist, and no surprise ending, no Mr. M Night's heavy handed gimmicks and Hollywood's camera tricks. But from the beginning to the end, for full 2 hours, you can cut the tension with a knife. In the end, you still don't want it to end. The story goes on in your mind, questions, bits and pieces start to put together, characters start to take shape even after the movie ended.

In my entire life, I've never seen a movie that there isn't a single excessive frame, until I saw this movie. It has forever changed my expectation on crime drama.

The story is genius and simple enough. A mole in police department working against an undercover cop in drug trafficking mafia. They don't know each other's identity, so it is like a invisible tug war between the two competing against each other's wits. I won't reveal too much of it even though like I said, there's no plot twist.

It's a fairly popular movie that has generated huge buzz when it came out, and since been talked, compared and still highly regarded as unsurpassed by countless fans worldwide. It has an all star cast in Hong Kong cinema, and of course, the screenplay, the acting, the editing, the camera work and overall directing is flawless judging by all standards.

If you are adventurous enough to try even one Hong Kong movie, try this one.

10 / 10

Hong Kong does "Michael Mann"!

Most western viewers will only know the Asian crime scene from the bleak and lyrical canvas of Takeshi Kitano's work. Here we get something that at first seems far more westernized and very close to the work of one Michael Mann. Okay, enough allusions: yes "Heat" comes heavily to mind at first. but this is no simple "Heat" in Hong Kong. This a splicing of everything Asians do best in a moody, stylish tension-based thriller. From the beautiful cinematography(reminiscent of Wong Kar-Way's films)- step forward visual consultant Christopher Doyle! - and music to the graceful ying-yang undertones (mirror-images are a key theme), the film's most heroic achievement lies in its leads and in the bold ending.

Hearing that this is being considered for a remake stateside comes as no big surprise, but how Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio could possibly compete against Andy Lau and Tony Leung evokes cynicism at best. Both leads are perfect. Lau's cold calculating intellect against Leung's anguished and tormented heart, complimentary opposites. There aren't enough words to commend this fresh, invigorating film with...

10 / 10

One of the best from Hong Kong

This movie should be compared to movie like Heat, even when the storyline are not the same. Movies like Hardboiled and A Better Tomorrow are predominately action-based, whereas this movie is more dramatic and emotionally-driven.

The main attraction is the mole hunts but it would not be as brilliantly done if not for the fireworks between the major characters.

The title from the explanation in the intro means "Endless Purgatory Road". This philosophy, to me, really made this movie more thoughtful. The two central characters both had to walk their road, in life and in their minds for a long time. Both had no choice but to keep walking. As they cross path, they were forced to play the game of cat and mouse by their superiors. While it is not certain who's the cat and who's the mouse, one thing is certain - the loser will die.

While there are four main characters, they are all males. This should be bad for any movie but I think this is one of the exception to the rule. The emotions and tension between the four were well-scripted and brilliantly played. It is no surprised each had at least one best actor awards in the Hong Kong industry. The sequels(2 prequels) will delve deeper into it.

Plotwise - it is hard to see any holes.

Seen it around six times, a lot for a drama.

I think you should ask yourself after the movie, "what would I do if I am in the same situation?". Right and wrong is harder to separate.

9 / 10

Absolutely awesome

A seriously refreshing police thriller that cranks up the tension to the max. There's no overblown gunplay or buddy cop crap here, this baby is tight as a drum and will have your nails down to the quick. Superb performances, a tight script and tense direction make this a winner in every department. Pick it up if you can, it's fantastic.

9/10

Niz

10 / 10

more than just entertaining

This movie is well-made, stylish and extremely entertaining. However, as stated by the review from a Hong Kong viewer, there is also depth and subtlety rarely found in action/thrillers. It is this depth that makes this movie brilliant. The depth of this movie is best served by the understated yet deeply moving performances of the main characters. Viewers are allowed into the inner changes of these characters and before long, the viewers begin to care about them, be it the "good guy" (Yan) or the "bad guy" (Ming). The rest of cast successfully relate the complicated and exciting plot to the viewers, and all the supporting performances are almost flawless, perhaps with the exception of the female psychologist who seems sadly one-dimensional. I grew up in Hong Kong but has since lived most of my life in Canada. With this duo-cultural background, I have mixed feelings about the Hollywood remaking of this movie. On the one hand, I am happy for the Hollywood recognition of this great movie by remaking it. On the other hand, I would hate to see how badly sabotaged the end result would be. Some things just do not translate. As a minimum, I hope the great director Scorcese will make good use of the major plot line and generate a haute thriller and with the excellent cast, develop some in-depth characterization. The Chinese philosophy and the spirit of the original film is better left undisturbed.