Movie Suggestion XIII – The Infernal Affairs Trilogy
Original Title: Mou gaan dou; Mou gaan dou II; Mou gaan dou III: Jung gik mou gaan
Hong Kong – 2002/2003
Genre: Crime, Drama, Action
Directed by Wai-keung Lau, Alan Mak
Stars: Anthony Wong Chau-Sang (aka god), Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Andy Lau, Eric Tsang
I know these movies were released almost ten years ago, but after getting the BluRay version and watching this trilogy again, I can’t help myself, but to watch this rtuly incomparable piece of cinema art.
– Infernal Affairs:
“An award-winning crime thriller that inspired Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” — critics everywhere have hailed INFERNAL AFFAIRS for his gritty action and international superstars. Chan Wing Yan (Tony Leung) is a hard-nosed veteran cop sent undercover to infiltrate the notorious Triad crime ring. An expert at bringing down violent syndicates, Chan thinks it’s going to be a routine mission. What he’s not prepared for is the discovery that the Triad’s boss (Eric Tsang) has planted a mole (Andy Lau) in the police department…and now Chan is being hunted down. In this battle of wills, only one cop can win!”
– Infernal Affairs II:
“A legend is born at the best of times. From the multiple award-winning team behind the mind-blowing blockbuster, the secrets are finally revealed in this most anticipating prequel: What drove police superintendent Wong (Anthony Wong) and crime boss Sam (Eric Tsang) against one another? How did two struggling moles Yan (Shawn Yue) and Ming (Edison Chen) begin their parallel fates? The keys lie in the hands of three: Sam’s wife Mary (Carina Lau), ruthless kingpin Hau (Francis Ng), and righteous cop Luk (Hu Jun). The infernal gates are open to the worst of times…”.
– Infernal Affairs III:
“In 2004, Ming (Andy Lau) is transferred to do the office work. Meanwhile, a new star Wing (Leon Lai) has emerged in the police force. Ming suspects he is also a mole sent by the triad. Three years ago, Yan’s first big mission was to build up a smuggling network with Shen (Chen Daoming), a mysterious businessman from China. Actually, Yan’s was out of control and forces him to see psychologist Dr Lee (Kelly Chen). Yan gradually develops a special friendship with her”.
Perhaps my all time favorite trilogy, Infernal Affairs is a must watch. The three movies are very, very well made. Featuring spectacular performances, brilliant scripts and an impressive directing, the Internal Affairs trilogy is composed of deep movies that deals with Chinese philosophy as well as Buddhism, but also are psychological thriller/ police crime movies that leaves you speechless when they finish.
It’s amazing, the movies are so intense that you feel this tension all the time, sometimes even a hatred against some of the characters and yet you can relate to them in some situations, especially when watching the second part of Infernal Affairs, which is a prequel.
I can’t mention more details on each of the movies as I would spoil them, but they are definitely worth checking.
Roger Ebert adds that: (…) “this plot, clever and complex, is not the reason to see the movie. What makes it special is the inner turmoil caused by living a lie. If everyone you know and everything you do for 10 years indicates you are one kind of person, and you know you are another, how do you live with that?
The movie pays off in a kind of emotional complexity rarely seen in crime movies. I cannot reveal what happens, but will urge you to consider the thoughts of two men who finally confront their own real identities — in the person of the other character. The crook has been the good cop. The cop has been the good crook. It’s as if they have impersonated each other.
All very lonely, ironic and sad, and without satisfaction — especially if your superiors, the people you did it for, do not or cannot appreciate it.
You might as well just forge ahead undercover for the rest of your life, a mole forever unawakened, and let the false life become the one you have lived”.
Cinema critic Emanuel Levy concludes that “Internal Affairs is an emotionally gripping genre piece, done with taste, and boasting an uncompromising ending. Exploring the gray area between good and evil, right and wrong, the story emphasizes the degree to which criminals and cops are alike, and also that, at least to a certain extent, all people are both good and bad”.