The Hong Kong cops thriller “Infernal Affairs” starts this week in the USA. Already there is a Hollywood remake of the movie in the works. It’ll feature large stars and be directed by Martin Scorsese. But Bob Mondello says the first is really good, you ought not wait.
Yan and Ming look quite interchangeable as cadets in training at the Hong Kong police academy, but they take decidedly different routes on graduation. Yan goes undercover for 10 years as a member of the Triad gang, evaporating from police record books so fully that only one commander within the department even knows he is working undercover. Ming, meanwhile, spends those same 10 years rising through the stands in the department’s electronic surveillance device, making himself essential to commanders who don’t understand he’s a mole for exactly the same Triad gang that Yan’s undercover in. Every time the authorities get close to a bust on info furnished by Yan, their edge is undercut by Ming, who alerts the Triad leader just in time to allow them all to abort.
(Soundbite of “Internal Affairs” spoken in Chinese)
Ming and Yan realized simultaneously that they’re at risk of being outed by somebody in to the other side, due to the way this particular drug bust falls apart. What they don’t know is who that somebody is, so that they keep crossing routes while chasing one another unaware.
All of this is steely, sharp and pressing times 12, however it’s not atypical of this kind of hightestosterone action movie. Both of the main characters, it seems, are as desperate to ditch their secret identities because they’re to out another guy.
- Andy Lau as Senior Inspector Lau Kin-Ming (劉健明)
- Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as Chan Wing-Yan (陳永仁)
- Anthony Wong as Superintendent Wong Chi-Shing (黃志誠)
- Eric Tsang as Hon Sam (韓琛)
- Chapman To as Tsui Wai-Keung (徐偉強/傻強)
- Gordon Lam as Inspector B (林國平／大Ｂ)
- Kelly Chen as Dr. Lee Sum-Yee (李心兒)
- Sammi Cheng as Mary
- Berg Ng as Inspector Cheung (張Sir)
- Dion Lam as Del Piero (迪比亞路)
- Edison Chen as Young Lau Kin-Ming (少年劉健明)
- Shawn Yue as Young Chan Wing-Yan (少年陳永仁)
- Elva Hsiao as May
Awards and nominations
|22nd Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
9th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
|40th Annual Golden Horse Awards
8th Annual Golden Bauhinia Awards