A decade before Infernal Affairs, Chan Wing Yan has just become an undercover cop in the triads while Lau Kin Ming starts his life as a triads mole in the police force. Both the triads and the police find an enemy in a rival crime boss.
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Another convoluted cat’s cradle, but less dashing than its predecessor. It’s an enjoyable enough rehash adding some biographical information and historical positioning along the way but is essentially just more of the same on a lower oven temperature. The background of the British Handover of Hong Kong strikes an elegiac, if under-utilised, tone.
This remains my favorite of the three, and one of my favorite Hong Kong crime flicks ever; there's more patience for subtlety and character development here than the first film's relentless pace had time for. Francis Ng steals the show with a composed, driven and thoughtful performance as a hard-bitten, master manipulator to rival Michael Corleone.
One of those rare sequels that is better, as a whole, than the original. The plot devices are not as good in this one, however: the direction, acting, character development, and atmosphere are all superior to the original. This is a more mature film, made by filmmakers who are more mature. A must-see if you've seen Infernal Affairs.