offoffoff film



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Film section
  • Film main page
  • Film archive
  • Audio index
  • Film links

    Top 10 lists

  • Top 10 films of 2004
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2003
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2002
  • Top 10 films of 2001
  • Top 10 films of 2000
  • Top 10 films of 1999
  •  All of our top 10 lists, 1999 - 2004

    Current movies

  • Afterschool
  • Antichrist
  • Babies
  • Broken Embraces
  • Dare
  • District 9
  • The End of Poverty?
  • Fix
  • Food Beware
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Pirate Radio
  • Precious
  • Red Cliff
  • The September Issue


  • Brooklyn International Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival


    Complete archive

    Recent reviews:
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer
  • The Art of the Steal
  • The Beetle
  • Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  • Boy A
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • Burn After Reading
  • Cold Souls
  • The Duchess
  • Elegy
  • Enlighten Up! A Skeptic's Journey Into the World of Yoga
  • Five Minutes of Heaven
  • Flame and Citron
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • The Human Condition
  • Hunger
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • King of Shadows
  • The Lemon Tree
  • Lorna's Silence
  • A Man Named Pearl
  • Man on Wire
  • Memorial Day
  • Mister Foe
  • Morning Light
  • My Führer
  • My One and Only
  • Paris
  • The Pervert's Guide to Cinema
  • Peter and Vandy
  • Police, Adjective
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • A Secret
  • Sleep Dealer
  • St. Trinian's
  • Thirst
  • Throw Down Your Heart
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor
  • What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Wild Grass
  • Jay DiPietro


    Infernal Affairs trilogy

    Whack a mole

    Continued | Back to part 1

    Part 1 ends with three of the four major players dead. There's further blurring of any hard and fast morality as Part 2 jumps back and forth in time to reveal the early friendship between Sam and Wong — they're so young that Sam has black hair. It also cites Hong Kong's checkered political past, with the 1997 "handover" back to China, a fact of little or no importance to most of the American audience.

    Directed by: Lau Wai Keung, Mak Siu Fai.
    Written by: Felix Chong, Mak Siu Fai.
    Cast: Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Elva Hsiao, To Man-chat, Lam Ka Tung, Ng Ting Yip, Dion Lam, Keung Wan Chi.
    Cinematography: Lai Yiu-Fai, Lau Wai Keung.
    Edited by: Pang Ching Hei, Danny Pang.
    In Cantonese with English subtitles.

    Related links: Official site
    NY Film Festival 2004

     Bad Education
     House of Flying Daggers
     Infernal Affairs trilogy
     Look at Me
     Notre Musique
     Or (My Treasure)
    • Sideways
     Triple Agent
     Woman Is the Future of Man
     The World

     Official site
    The second film also contains more wheels within wheels and moles within opposing camps, while improving the roles of its female characters. This is especially true for Sam's wife and second-in-command Mary (Carina Lau), with whom Yan has an affair and Yan's therapist (Kelly Chen) to whom Ming also turns for help. And it really pushes another favorite Hong Kong theme: the duality of the personality — think John Woo's "Face/Off" as the ultimate example.

    Again, like "Godfather II,' it's possible to view "IA-2" without seeing "IA-1," but of course knowing the first enriches a viewing of the second. Part 2 deals with just how co-mingled the rise of Sam and Wong is within their respective worlds. It also introduces another triad family, literally a crime family a la the Corleones, in which the son, Hau (Francis Ng), must avenge his father's death.

    Infernal Affairs trilogy  
    In the ensuing bloodbath, Sam survives to start a new life, only to be pulled back in himself. What goes around comes around to fulfill an earlier Buddhist prophecy, as each story is recapped in the others.

    Part 2 is more complicated than Part 1, but equaling enthralling. Unfortunately, that old saw of "third time lucky" doesn't work any better for Lau and Mak than it did for Coppola.

    Continued: Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | Next

    NOVEMBER 3, 2004

    Reader comments on Infernal Affairs trilogy:

  • Infernal Affairs   from Kodanshi, May 25, 2007

  • Post a comment on "Infernal Affairs trilogy"