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Infernal Affairs 2004 R

(128) IMDb 8.1/10
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An award-winning crime thriller in the intense tradition of HEAT and RESERVOIR DOGS ... critics everywhere have hailed INFERNAL AFFAIRS for its gritty action and international superstars.

Starring:
Andy Lau, Tony Chiu Wai Leung
Runtime:
1 hour, 42 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, International, Mystery
Director Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak
Starring Andy Lau, Tony Chiu Wai Leung
Supporting actors Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Elva Hsiao, Chapman To, Ka Tung Lam, Ting Yip Ng, Dion Lam, Chi Keung Wan, Hui Kam Fung, Tony Ho, Courtney Wu, Hin-Wai Au, Eric Tin Cheung Li, Wong Yin Keung
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on February 7, 2005
Format: DVD
'Infernal Affairs' is the biggest box-office hit in Hong Kong in 2002, and if you see it, you won't be surprised with that fact. The film's premises are very simple; it's about a cop who is actually a gangster, and a gangster who is really a cop. With this clever version of 'undercover' theme (that was previously seen in the films like 'Donnie Brasco'), 'Infernal Affairs' presents as much tension and humanity as was seen in that Johnny Depp/Al Pacino film.

Ming (Andy Lau, 'House of Flying Daggers') is a young mole in the Honk Kong police, whose real boss is Sam, head of the Triads. He has been in police force for nearly ten years, and starts to doubt his life while faithfully swears his loyality to Sam.

At the same time, Yan (Tony Leung, 'In the Mood for Love') is an undercover cop, who has been in Sam's Triad for ten years. His superior officer Wong (Anthony Wong) is the only one who knows his real identity in the police, and Yan is also getting fed up with the life based on lies.

As the poilce force confronts the Triads, both Ming and Yan attempt to help their side anticipate the moves of the other. Finally, both sides realize that there are moles among them, and investigations and revenges make these characters lives more complex and unbearable.

DO NOT EXPECT the martial arts or so-called actions. This is a noir, and that means that it is the characters that matter, or their lives. I know, though the story is simple, it needs leap of faith. But the portraits of the people, and the pains of keeping on pretending what they are not, are vividly presented that the audiences will be sucked into the turmoil of their emotions. And the results are often nerve-shattering.

ANd the acting is all top-notch.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Victor Schwartzman on December 7, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are some very good reviews already posted about "Infernal Affairs", although they got some minor facts wrong (such as which actor played which role). This review will look at differences between this film and "The Departed"--for Scorsese fans who enjoyed his version and now wonder if they should see the original.

Yes, they should see the original.

Scorsese did a remake which followed the original storyline closely. Scorsese's style, as always, is marvelous. His work is more controlled than usual--no digressions into extended violent scenes (as in Casino, although "The Departed" film is much more violent than "Infernal Affairs"), no plot diversions into draft riots during the Civil War...etc.

However, the Scorsese film--which I enjoyed and was his best film in years--left me unsatisfied, while "Infernal Affairs" was extremely satisfying. Both films are tragedies, but the drama is far more deeply felt (for me) in "Infernal Affairs" than in "The Departed".

Why?

The answer lies in the difference in approach between the film making cultures of Hong Kong and Hollywood. Between what each culture feels the audience wants. Between the pressures of a higher budget and bigger stars. Scorsese, whether the actors asked for it or not, clearly felt a need to give the principal actors meatier roles. The film brothers who made the Hong Kong original only wanted to get the job done--a crisp story that did what it needed to, and then got out.

The Hollywood version takes a lot of time to provide additional detail to the story to flesh out the characters and give them showy scenes. "The Departed" runs about forty minutes longer than "Infernal Affairs". It adds a love interest (which really goes nowhere) and a lot of character details.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Shaun M. on May 12, 2006
Format: DVD
Infernal Affairs begins as young police cadet named Chan Wing Yan (Tony Leung) is being groomed by the highest ranks of the Academy to eventually become an inside man for the police. His keen eye and steady dimeaner makes him the perfect candidate to infiltrate the Triads, who have taken control of Hong Kong's streets and are peddling massive amounts of drugs to it's citizens. At the same time, a different road is laid out for fellow Academy officer Lau Kin Ming (Andy Lau). Although we aren't witness to the actual path he takes, Ming becomes Yan's counterpart in the film, as he uses his position within the higher ranks of the police department to keep Triad Boss Sam a step ahead of any police actions. Sam is deftly played by Eric Tsang, who gives a highly effective, authentic performance here. What follows is one of the best table-turning, catch-me-if-you-can cop stories ever put to film.

Often compared with another great epic, Heat, Infernal Affairs is quicker, brighter and goes down in 40 minute less time. It's apparent why this film became a smashing success in Asia and in turn, exploded onto the world scene. Spawning a sequel (which is actually a prequel) and then a third installment.

Returning to the story; Yan, after leaving the Academy and subsequently earning his chops

on the street as a Triad footman for 10 years, becomes a member deep in Sam's inner circle. Yan continues to work directly and exclusively with Superintendent Wong (played by Anthony Wong) feeding him information that Wong puts to good use. He brings that information to his most elite police team led by Officer Ming, who unbeknownst to Wong, relays it back to the Triads.
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