A double undercover story, with a cop infiltrating a triad gang while at the same time a gangster manages to work his way into the same police squad that are investigating his own gang. Which impostor will be flushed out first? Each leading a double life, the two men begin to hunt each other.
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Over time this film has become known as the basis for Martin Scorsese's The Departed, but it still stands on its own. Tony Leung is very good, but I think it's Andy Lau who owns the movie. You don't really know which side his character really serves until the end of the movie.
The film that got Scorsese his first Oscar is a remake of this wonderful film, a very perplex and masterfully weaved chess match of wit and ingenuity. The scenario deserves all possible accolades and the directing is very sharp indeed.
A very thrilling morality play, handled with operatic panache across complex plotting. It never lets slip, remaining focused, sharp-edged and firm-handed throughout. What a treat. The style is more or less where modern Bond films should be (not disappearing up their own mythology as they have). Having a soft spot for ‘Honkers’ myself helps, although this is far from the air conditioned walkways of Central as you get.
Taken as an individual work, its average at best as it lacks resolution and a fully developed plot. As a trilogy though, I was very impressed with how well the whole story and its containing characters were pieced together.