Certification (UK): 15
UK Release Date: 6th August 2004
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 2nd April 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is the second of the ‘Infernal Affairs’ trilogy, and is a prequel to the events portrayed in the 2002 film Infernal Affairs. Concentrating more on the Triads and the power struggle that ensues when one of their bosses is assassinated. In particular the rise of Hon Sam is portrayed here along with the relationships he develops within the Hong Kong police. More of this later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters, and those that don’t wish to know about the plot, please take out another crime boss while I write the next paragraph).
When the main Triad boss, Father Kwun is killed, his son, Ngai Wing Hau takes over the business. The other bosses don’t agree at first but soon fall into line when they realise Hau is no pushover. Lower down the pecking-order, Hon Sam is just waiting for the opportunity to move up the ladder. He already has contacts inside the police force, including Inspector Wong Chi Shing, who would dearly love to take him down. Chan Wing Yan is an undercover cop installed in the gang to gain information on their activities. Sam is also grooming a young cop to be his inside man in the Police not realising that this young cop has a serious crush on his wife, Mary. As events progress more and more of the Triad bosses meet grizzly ends and it soon becomes a show-down between Sam, who has survived an attempt on his life in Thailand, and Hau. Will the Police have a say in the outcome though? I’ll leave it there so as not to upset the Hong Kong Spoiler Police.
This is a pretty well made film with some good performances and quite a nice soundtrack. It is quite violent and some of the violence is quite graphic in places. As I said, good performances, particularly from; Anthony Wong Chau-Sang as Inspector Wong Chi Shing, Eric Tsang who was excellent again as Hon Sam, Carina Lau as Mary Hon, Francis Ng as Ngai Wing Hau, Edison Chen as Officer Lau Kin Ming and Shawn Yue as Chan Wing Yan.
Because it concentrates on the workings of the criminal elements, I felt this film was almost trying to be a Chinese version of ‘The God Father’. It’s clearly not as good as that, but there’s enough double-dealing going on to make it a good candidate. I did find it a little too long, but it did keep my attention. Not as good as the first one, but still quite watchable… Recommended.
My Score: 7.1/10
(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0369060/
RT Page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/infernal_affairs_2/