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  •  REVIEW: INFERNAL AFFAIRS TRILOGY

    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.

      
    INFERNAL AFFAIRS TRILOGY
    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
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     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
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Infernal Affairs trilogy:

  • Infernal Affairs   from Kodanshi, May 25, 2007

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