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.
Even if I saw the wonderful remake first (due to how much easier it is accessible) the original deserves even more praise as it was this fillm that gave us the engaging twist and the shock twist ending first. Absorbing characters and the usual fast-paced frentic editing that we are used to see when Hong Kong's finest films are on the screen. The Hollywood adaptaion have better dialogue but the action is tougher here.
This is basically a genre picture Martin Scorsese turned into an overlong morality play with The Departed. At just over 100 minutes this hums right along as opposed to the Scorsese version which is almost an hour longer. The plot is absurd and the translations are awkward at times, but the stakes are clear from the start. It's a straightforward yarn that doesn't aim to draw any grand conclusions about society.
I enjoyed this film from beginning to end and thought that the pilot was great as most Chinese crime movies are. The idea of a mole going undercover to investigate on another undercover was a concept I would have never thought of. The film is pretty straight forward and did not contain a plot twist. The acting was phenomenal and the camerawork was great as well. I would recommend watching this Infernal Affairs.
The Hong Kong style hyperbolic editing is a touch exhausting, but this is a superb cop movie that works simultaneously as a morality play about two men who have lost their identity and sense of self. Leung and Lau are glorious and it’s fair to say the film wouldn’t work half as well without their complex and intelligent performances at its center.